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About splinters big and small
I enjoyed Erin Jennings’ articles on the Kitsap Harbor Festival, except for her recommendation to use tweezers to remove deck splinters which “killed more pirates than cannon balls” (“Arrgh! Fun in store at the Kitsap Harbor Festival,” page 2, May 27 Kitsap Week).
Back in the days of wooden ships and iron men, deck splinters were the large jagged hardwood shrapnel derived from the cannonballs hitting a ship. (Good visual examples are seen in the many ship-on-ship battles in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise.) They were often lethal to the men they impaled!
Alexander A. Stanioch III
(Editor’s note: True. Seamen also suffered infections from splinters received while scrubbing wood decks; that is what Jennings referred to in her story.)