Has anyone got a link to an actual photo of the knot being used?
Or Was the knot ever actually used for its nominal purpose?
This is a question I have, with current leaning towards "NO WAY!".
The Wikipedia article held my strong opinion until rejected summarily
and then somewhat returned upon my protest --which I think they
did nicely, ameliorating my feelings.
SOME of the few respectable knots authors --viz., Ashley, CLDay,
& CWarner-- have presented the knot with its legend as though it
is adequately true or without at least some skeptical comment.
IMO, there is good reason to doubt the legend. CAN the knot
really perform as stated? --which should take some binding
to the mast, after first reasonably fitting it (some masts don't
look so accommodating).
Given a reasonable knotting ability, how many such knot tyers
would on their own come up with such a knot?
How many, if presented with the knot, would think that it was
a good idea?! (E.g., why would one not have some better,
surer hitch to the mast?!)
I have fiddled only a little with the knot around a "mast" pole
trying to assess capability; I wasn't convinced.
IMO, it was just a legend made up to grace some fancy
knotting able to be shown to the readily impressionable.