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AS THE CROW FLIES

Saturday January 17th, 2009
ImageA SHORT HISTORY OF SEAFAIRING CROWS.
You would think that the phrase ‘as the crow flies’ harked back to feudal times and had distinctly landlocked origins. Not so. In bygone days it was customary for crows to be carried aboard ships bound for long voyages. The bird was in essence a simple yet very effective device used to determine in which direction the nearest landmass lay. A crow would be released and would naturally fly towards land. The bird’s flight path would be followed from a platform positioned at the top of the tallest mast and the most direct route to shore could then be plotted with ease. The lookout platform, as all you good little naval scholars will by now have deduced, subsequently became known as the ‘crows nest’. And crows inherited the earth!
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