Written by Joe, July 4th, 2013. Special Tattoo Ideas, Sailing Ship Tattoo Designs and Meanings
Sailing Ship Tattoo Designs (or “at full speed”) with the words “Road Home” (the phrase most used in English is “homeward bound”), are one of the most recognizable tattoos nautical theme.
Probably no more tattoo design associated with marine tattoo of a sailboat with all sails to the wind, with its keel breaking waves, clouds and seabirds in the sky. Most boats represented in this type of tattoos belong to a category of sailboats called “clipper”. These tattoos were usually large, the sailors showed pride in their chest or back, with smaller versions in your arms or shoulders.
When the design of the ship under full sail was made on the chest or back, the central motif was often framed with a rope, and under the boat appeared a scroll with the words “homeward bound”, something like “the way to home “occasionally these palatals could appear at the top of the design. This tattoo trying to convey pride in a way of life (life in the sea), but also acts as a kind of amulet to ensure that the sailor will return safely to their home.
There is a kind of code among marine tattoo, a tattoo of a ship under full sail means that the Navy has surrounded Cape Horn, one of the most inhospitable, dangerous and feared the world’s marine straits, but a necessary point to circumnavigate the balloon on the trade routes. Cape Horn is at the lower end of South America, and for many years was one of the critical stages in the route of sailing ships, including the famous “clippers” (the “clipper” is the boat you can see on the label of the brand of whiskey “Cutty Shark”). The waters around the Cape are particularly hazardous, owing to strong winds, large waves, strong currents (is a point where the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean), and often the presence of icebergs from the Antarctic. These hazards have made the Horn on a marine cemetery, and a place that has earned a legendary reputation in the marine culture, appearing in many stories and songs.
Sometimes storms around Cape Horn were so strong and violent that the crossing was literally impossible, and the boats had to give up and go back and wait for the conditions improved before trying again to round the Cape.
“Rounding the Cape” or “Rounding the Horn” were synonymous seamanship and meant that a sailor and his ship had survived the perilous journey, and usually after this critical stage navigated “way home”. For sailors, rounding Cape Horn was seen as the equivalent to a broker to “running a marathon”, or climbing Everest for a mountaineer. It was not an easy task, and it could be my dangerous.
More macabre tattoos with ships in full sail and phrases such as “headed home” were the tattoos that showed “the tomb of the seafarer”. These tattoos usually showed a ship sink beneath the waves, with its keel broken by rocks or a reef. As tattoos of skulls, or demons, these Sailing Ship Tattoo Designs were done in reality as a protective talisman in order to ward off misfortune representing (the shipwreck and death at sea). And a kind of reminder that the sea can often be ruthless.
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