We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
If I remember correctly (if this is the same barque), the captain was a rather renowned figure of an old salt who had demonstrated personal heroism by rescuing some of his own crew at great risk to his own life earlier in life. I might be getting my barques mixed up, though.
What's amazing to me is that some of these ships remained competitive as cargo ships into the 50's, principally because of their longevity as ships. Under the ABS and DNV it would probably be impossible now, but back then, the ships died out because the industry was no longer producing capable crews. The complex art of sailing for a living was no longer taught in the maritime academies or available to be learned under apprenticeship.
The narrator says repeatedly that there is some sort of hypnosis that allows them to do what needs done without worrying about the consequences. I cannot wrap my mind around it. By our standards this is super human behavior. Yet men did it for centuries before this film. Consider Magellan. Too, I could not help but think of the shipwrights. The engineering, the level of craftsmanship needed to design, build, and maintain such a vessel are on a par with the courage and skill needed to sail it. My grandfather, born in 1900, was a Lakesman. He came from a long like of seafarers all the way back to Scotland. I have some of his notebooks on navigating the very treacherous Great Lakes. In addition to the physical tasks, consider doing trigonometry in your head. Could such folks be found at all today? Start with pencil, and paper. End with sailing around the globe.
I rounded the Cape on U.S.S. Enterprise in 1989. The tougher aircraft were moved aft, and everything else went below. We had green water pouring over the bow. If you've ever stood next to an aircraft carrier, you know how high those waves were.
U.S.S. Long Beach was our escort. Half of the time they were under water except for the superstructure. Felt sorry for those guys.