The days before steam was dominated by the age of sails. The ships ranged from small sloops to the tall square-rigged ships. The sailors took their life in their hands whenever they climbed into the rigging--and that was at a calm. When at sea, the danger increased greatly. The masts could reach 140 feet in height. The rolling of the sea at that height would make working in the upper rigging perilous. Boarding this ship at Hyde Street Pier was exciting for a student of history (San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park).