Saturday Scenes

Thu 4 April 2013

Splice the Mainbrace

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 20:18

On the 30th of March in 1972, the last daily rum ration was issued to Canadian naval personnel. The tradition of the rum ration was a “tot” of rum given out to every sailor at midday. Until 1740, that was half a pint of neat rum, twice a day. This was watered down and the quantity reduced as concerns rose about the sailors’ ability to operate the weapons and navigational systems until finally the “lunchtime slug” was removed completely.

The secondary tradition to splice the mainbrace however, is still celebrated in the Canadian navy. Splice the mainbrace is an order to issue the crew with an extra ration of rum or, these days, a celebratory drink. In the Royal Canadian Navy, only the Queen, the Governor General of Canada or the Chief of the Defence Staff have permission to issue the order to splice the mainbrace. The phrase, and others like it, remain a part of navy-speak:

Royal Canadian Air Force Journal 02-Editors_Message_e.pdf

Not that it was all bad. Every once in a while there was a banyan to enjoy and in port there were opportunities to splice the main brace when the Jimmy would call sliders. And there was always a minute to be ganked here and there to make and mend. Crabfat you may be, but you always acquitted yourselves handsomely and for that, before you swallow the anchor, no duff, you deserve a heartfelt Bravo Zulu!

For those of us not in the Canadian Forces, perhaps photography remains as an easier way to communicate.

On the 30th of March in 2013, the following completely comprehensible images were shared around Twitter:

And here are the tadpoles that took them:

Why don’t you join us? It’s easy:

  1. Take a photograph on a Saturday
  2. Upload the photograph to a friendly photo-hosting site
  3. Send a tweet to @SatScenes with the url and location

I’m looking forward to seeing your Saturday Scene in the next edition!

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