Holystoning Illustration



Constitution’s decks are smooth, white and spotlessly clean. Keeping them that way is the seamen’s’ most unpopular chore. They do it by scrubbing the planks with “holystones” – great slabs of gritty rock. Smaller “prayer books” clean the tight corners. Sprinkling the deck with salt water and coarse sand
helps smooth the timbers. However, it also makes the task more unpleasant: the sailors must kneel on the wet grit with their pants rolled up.

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