Safe Surf

surf boat launch on plum island
Postcard: CrazyasaCoolFox (click to magnify)
A few weeks ago I posted about  the Salisbury Beach U.S. Lifesaving Station so I thought I would add to that this week. This week's Sepia Saturday prompt has something to do with physical exertion with some men who were playing a game called hurling. So I'll match that with the physical exertion seen here in launching a life boat in the surf.

This lifeboat would have been from the life saving station just across the Merrimack River mouth from the Salisbury Beach Lifesaving Station. Their boats would have been the same as you see here all up and down the coast, and launched the same way; by wheeling it down to the surf and pushing it past the breakers.

rear of surf boat launch postcardSome folks commented on the photo in the Salisbury Beach post showing the carts used to launch the boats looked like it didn't have a rear set of wheels. Perhaps the photographer just airbrushed them out because they didn't get a good photographic exposure. I'm not sure, but all the surf boat sets I have seen have had a forward and rear set of wheels.

This card is posted to a Master Edw. Scrivens of Woburn Mass. The writer asks him if he would like to push this surf boat out. He then goes on to tell the boy that he has only two more days here to play in his own boat. Looking at the postmark it was sent on the 28th of August of 1923 so summer was coming to a quick ending.

I wonder if the good Master Ed ever got his chance to push a surf boat out or to even enjoy a fishing trip on someone else's boat?
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Peter said…
Beautiful and very clear handwriting!
I didn't know airbrushing was possible back then.
Kat Mortensen said…
You may be closer to the mark than you think: currently, there is a Canadian ice-hockey goal-tender by the name of Benjamin SCRIVENS! HA!
Kat Mortensen said…
Also, the word scrivener used to mean someone who could read and write. Herman Melville, of course known for his sea-tales (another link to your post) wrote a wonderful short story entitled, "Bartleby, The Scrivener".

Bob Scotney said…
Hard and dangerous work in a surf boat.One of my grandsons is a junior surfing champion so he would look at the photo from a ifferent point of view. Agree with Peter about the handwriting.
Postcardy said…
It must have taken a lot of exertion to row a boat like that.

The rear wheels may have not shown up on the previous boat because they were inside where it was dark, and then the artist that worked on the photo painted them out.
DougVernX said…
Thanks for that info, that does make sense. I figured you would know about that process of processing of older postcards. Have a nice weekend! :)
Wendy said…
That's a lot of oars in one boat. I wonder how many people went out in the lifesaving boat.
Launching a boot in those conditions seems to be a hard job.
Unknown said…
I noticed the number of oars also. Looks like a team effort. I have been watching many old BBC dramas made in England and Ireland and life near the water was hard and many times fatal. Nice handwriting for sure.
Always amazed by those who purposely head out to struggle with nature's forces.
Unknown said…
Ohh timely with the recent disasteress, Sandy. The men launching the boat appear fully dressed and likely cold!

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