Sunday 27 February 2011

From the Inbox

     "...Sailing a reach, before a followin' sea. She was makin' for the trades on the outside, and the downhill run to Papeete...."

    Crosby, Stills and Nash created one of the best modern sailing songs ever written, but the lyrics are often mangled  by karaoke-krazed dirt-dwellers  who have no grasp of nautical terminology.  For this reason, and because there may be a lubber (hi Mom!) out there among the many, er almost a dozen readers, I have taken the liberty of posting a glossary sent to me by a fellow Dock Six Denizen.  Author unknown.  I can't take either the credit or the blame for this one.

Amidships - condition of being surrounded by boats.

 Anchor - a device designed to bring up mud samples from the bottom at
 inopportune or unexpected times.

 Anchor Light - a small light used to discharge the battery before daylight.

 Beam Sea - A situation in which waves strike a boat from the side,
 causing it to roll unpleasantly. This is one of the four directions
 from which wave action tends to produce extreme physical discomfort.
 The other three are 'bow sea' (waves striking from the front),
 'following sea' (waves striking from the rear), and 'quarter sea'
 (waves striking from any other direction).

 Berth - a little addition to the crew.

 Boat ownership - Standing fully-clothed under a cold shower, tearing
 up 100-dollar bills

 Boom - sometimes the result of a surprise jibe. Called boom for the  sound that's made when it hits crew in the head on its way across the  boat.

Calm - Sea condition characterized by the simultaneous disappearance
 of the wind and the last cold beverage.

 Chart - a type of map which tells you exactly where you are aground.

 Clew - an indication from the skipper as to what he might do next.

 Course - The direction in which a skipper wishes to steer his boat and
 from which the wind is blowing. Also, the language that results by not
 being able to.

 Crew - Heavy, stationary objects used on shipboard to hold down
 charts, anchor cushions in place and dampen sudden movements of the

 Dead Reckoning - a course leading directly to a reef.

 Dinghy - the sound of the ship's bell.

 Displacement - when you dock your boat and can't find it later.

 Estimated Position - a place you have marked on the chart where you
 are sure you are not.

 Flashlight - Tubular metal container used on shipboard for storing
 dead batteries prior to their disposal.

 Gybe - A common way to get unruly guests off your boat.

 Headway - what you are making if you can't get the toilet to work.

 Jack Lines - "Hey baby, want to go sailing?"

 Landlubber - anyone on board who wishes he were not.

 Latitude - the number of degrees off course allowed a guest.

 Mast - religious ritual used before setting sail.

 Mizzen - an object you can't find.

 Motor Sailer - A sailboat that alternates between sail/ rigging
 problems and engine problems, and with some booze in the cabin.

 Ram - an intricate docking maneuver sometimes used by experienced skippers.

 Sailing - The fine art of getting wet and becoming ill, while going
 nowhere slowly at great expense.

 Shroud - equipment used in connection with a wake.

 Starboard - special board used by skippers for navigation (usually
 with "Port" on the opposite side.)

 Tack - A maneuver the skipper uses when telling the crew what they did
wrong without getting them mad.

 Yawl - A sailboat from Texas, with some good bourbon stored down
 yonder in the cabin

 Zephyr - Warm, pleasant breeze. Named after the mythical Greek god of
 wishful thinking, false hopes, and unreliable forecasts.

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