Speaking Passing Ships
The fine oíd custom of speaking passing ships is rapidly dying out aruong the skippers of today, and the general opinión seems to be that the modern master is, as a rule, too easy going to bother about anything of the sort. Colouel Hozier, the secretary of Lloyds, considers that a deal of trouble and anxiety would often be avoided if captains would but take the trouble to speak ships within reading distance of their signáis. In many iustances anxiety with respect to overdne vessels would be allayed, aud, furtberwore, there would continually be news for the frieuds oí íuasters and for the hundreds of thousands of others who are interested in the great merchant marine oí tb is country. Chatting the matter over, Captain Froud, the secretary of the Sbipmasters' society, said: "The practice of sptakiug each other at sea and reporriug at every opportunity is, I ain sorry to say, dying out among the captains cf tbe present day. I suppose they are indifferent, or careless, and do not consider it worth the trouble of hoisting the signáis and inakiug out the other fellow's. It is a very great pity that an exceediugly useful custom should be neglected, and I am glad to learn that Colonel Hozier is doing his utmost to induce masters to speak other ships and to report whenever it is possible. "I am convinced tbat if captains can be persuaded to take the trouble to do this ruuch good service will be rendered to the public generally. This society is doing its utmost to get masters to revive the practice. " Captain Froud's appeal wasstrengthened by the picturebque evidence of an old time skipper, who admitted that speaking and signaliug had been almost eutirely neglected of late years. " When I first went to sea," he said, "it was the invariable custom to exchange names and destiuatious and sometimes reckonings with passing ships, but nowadays captains don't bother. Sometimes a skipper is short handed and be won 't take even one man from his work, but mostly be doesn't bother himself about the tbiug at all. That's my experience, and I've beeu at tbe game a week or two. "
Ann Arbor Argus