thank you Mr. Columbus
My mind goes out to the summer. And has been for several months now. While looking out into a curtain of drizzle, the hammock enters my mind. A piece of cloth strapped between two trees on a desert island. A coconut with straw in one hand and Daniel Defoe in the other. Rolling waves enter the beachline and take with them an abundance of sea fruit and cool breeze...
As many of you might know, while looking for a quicker passage to lucrative Chinese silk, spices and trade markets, all that Christopher Columbus came back with was tobacco, an idea about slave-trading and syphilis. In fact it is somewhat surprising that what is today considered one of the most important voyages in history was something of a failure at the time. In addition, he had lost the largest of the three ships entrusted to him.
In short, in all his voyages he never came back with what he was actually looking for. In today's society he would simply be sacked for not meeting the set-out goals. However he had enormous sales skills. Even after these terrible results he managed to get a second expedition approved. Unlike our modern CEO and managers, Columbus did look at himself as being a failure. He knew and understood very well that he did not meet the expectations set out for him. He did not get into any argument saying otherwise and he did not sue the state for any inconvenience he might have embarked on. He was a righteous and very wise man in my mind. Although he did discover new land, he maintained, to his dying day, that the lands he discovered were part of the known Far East. He was not easily satisfied, and it shows.
With the good weather on its way, I would like to pick out one of his new finds he took along with him to the Old World, the hammock! In early 1493, Columbus entered the Spanish harbour after his first expedtion. With him he brought an interesting piece of cloth he discovered on one of the islands he came across (present-day Bahamas). On the islands it was strapped between to palm trees of beams within the huts. The indigenous people used it as a resting spot or a bed. It was perfect to save space within these small huts, as the bed would be folded up after waking up.
One hundred years later the hammock was standard material in sailing ships. The Royal Navy adopted it in 1597 for all its vessels as the sailors would stay balanced through the night as the occupant is not at a risk of being thrown onto the deck during swells or rough seas. Besides this ofcourse the naval hammocks could be rolled tightly and stowed in an out of the way place to save valuable space.
Nowadays we came a long way. Hammocks in every size and set-up. Framed, travel or camping hammocks, the spreader-bar or the hanging chair. The latter only needs one attaching point instead of the two palm trees.
And that is just one of the reasons why we have selected one that will go perfectly with a nice glass of wine in one hand and our favourite Indy magazine the Heritage Post in the other.
Have a great Summer and hang in there!