WEATHER:  Yesterday:SUN SUN SUN...30 degree freezing overnights, 55 degree sunny days, clear/dry/nice.  Today: Grey-cold 35 degree windy nasty day of overcast.

The oldest rate still used in the Navy is the Boatswains Mate (BM), the original Sailing Ship Deck Seaman billet, they are in charge of all activities relating to marlinspike, deck, boat seamanship, painting, upkeep of the ship's external structure, rigging, deck equipment, and boats, work parties, performing all  seamanship tasks; act as petty officer-in-charge of all the ships boats, self-propelled barges, tugs, and other yard and district craft. On commercial fishing and cargo ships their seamanship carries the day with net mending, and fabricating the many rigging and lifting devices aboard.

Their tools, and the types of traditional ropes used, are as rare as the Bosun himself in 2019, the examples of these workings used to be found aplenty aboard almost anything that floated, today, almost no one has ever heard of or seen this work, and synthetic line (rope) has taken over.. Here are some examples of both . . .  the workings and tools:

Traditionally, most sailors and boat people carry a  (sharp) knife in a belt scabbard, the Bosun is easy to spot, as he has two . . . one is a marlinspike.

Netting shuttles (needles),
 sail palms,


 splicing needles

 come in all sizes for working hawser and line (ropes) from  twine-size up to 6 inches in diameter, plus for the many fancy knot workings of  ropes (MacNamara's lace) used as embellishment.

All part of a Boatswains Mates job onboard ship....  most people have never seen a Ships Quarterdeck or the Captains or Admirals Quarters, office or barge that they go ashore in, this is where the Bosun shows off his art, Slungshots and "eyes" are only the practical side of marlinspike-ship.