Hammocks

It’s the longest day of the year. Summer. It’s cold, windy and wet. So, my mind turns to hammocks. A hammock on a tropical beach, perhaps, or a hammock on a boat that’s anchored off a tropical beach. Slung between the mast and the forestay. That’s how we did it on Adriana.

I find the rolling hitch useful for two purposes – attaching the snubber to the anchor chain and fastening the hammock to the forestay.

Did you know that hammock is one of the few words we’ve taken from the language of the pre-Columbian West Indian natives, the Caribs? Columbus tells us it’s the word they used for what he describes as “the nets in which they sleep”

A variation on the hammock is the Spanish hamaca, the deck chair. Hammocks are much more useful on small boats than are deck chairs.

I know sailors who sleep in hammocks below decks in preference to bunks but we only use ours on deck. I’ve seen a hammock slung below the boom and the boom pushed out over the water – to keep the occupant cool, I imagine.

Hammocks can be large or small, solid or mesh and with or without stretchers at each end to hold them open. They’re all good.

If you want to sling it on the foredeck you’ll probably need to know how to tie a rolling hitch.