Smearing white lead and tallow on the backstays seems the nearest answer, but the stays are not white, and they do not seem to have brought with them any of that greasy stuff.
And the two upper fellows seem to have a stick on a string to use for something. Is this stick something that combines with
Here is a photograph taken at the same place as the one I last posted, titled "What are they doing", only looking aft this time. This too shows a serving mallet in use, but used for servicing this time. Service is chiefly used for covering splices, and I suspect that this is what is being
Two professionals at work on the forestay of Staatsraad Lehmkuhl. They're fitting concave battens onto the stay to prevent chafing. The iron rod in the right hand of the one sitting astride the baggywrinlkle ( The hairy stuff) is a serving mallet. In sailor terms they're putting on a Scotchman. Not