Putting on sails on the old Tall Ships
I recently asked a question about docking Tall Ships because operating and sailing them seems like such a hard job. I have another question about sailing these ships.
The sails on the large ships were large and and generally high up, especially on square rigs. Cormfirm that I'm correct if you will. In the event that a square rigger had to trim or take in sail, a sailor would have to climb up to the sail, work his way out on the yard arm and furl the sail.
Wasn't this extremely difficult? He was standing on a rope support while trying to maintain his position without falling and trying to gather in and collect the sail for furling. Assuming there was wind to some degree, the sail would be billowing and difficult to gather because it would be pulling away from him. It seems that it would be extremely physically demanding with not much room for error or he would fall.
There may be some details of the operation that I don't understand so I would appreciate any explaination or opinion of the operation.
Also, I wonder how many crewmen fell while working the sails. I imagine working the sails would have been a frightening experience for an apprentice.
Thanks for any information.