We Turn Private Boat Owners into Private Boat Captains
Vincent Pica Chief of Staff, First District, Southern Region (D1SR) United States Coast Guard Auxiliary
“Sabby the Lingo?”Maritime Language – XV
As noted prior, each discipline has a language and that language conveys competency to the listener.This column is part of a series of maritime vocabulary words.So you can sound like the salty ol’ mariner you are…We’ll run enough of these to get the major concepts and phraseology from Alpha to Zulu in front of you!
M – Mike - International Meaning: My vessel is stopped; making no way. Meaning in a Sailing Regatta: Mark Missing
Magnetic Bearing - The bearing of an object after magnetic variation has been considered, but without compensation for magnetic deviation.
Magnetic Course - The course of a vessel after magnetic variation has been considered, but without compensation for magnetic deviation.
Magnetic Deviation - Compass error. The difference between the reading of a compass and the actual magnetic course or bearing due to errors in the compass reading. These errors can be caused by metals, magnetic fields and electrical fields near the compass. The act of checking for magnetic deviation is called swinging.
Magnetic North - The direction to which a compass points. Magnetic north differs from true north because the magnetic fields of the planet are not exactly in line with the north and south poles. Observed differences between magnetic and true north is known as magnetic variation.
Magnetic Variation - The difference between magnetic north and true north, measured as an angle. Magnetic variation is different in different geographic locations, so the nearest compass rose to each location on a chart must be used
Make Fast - To attach a line to something so that it will not move.
Make Way - Moving through the water.
Marline - Pronounced "marlin" - small line used for whipping, seizing, and lashing.
Marlinspike - Pointed tool used for line work, for opening line strands for splicing, and especially for prying tight knots apart.
Marry, to - The operation of bringing two lines together; term also applied to other objects.
Mast - The vertical pole or spar that supports the boom and sails. a mast on a mechanically propelled vessel holds electronics antennas, lights, etc.
Master - The Captain of a vessel. Highest officer aboard ship. Oversees all ship operations. Keeps ships records. Handles accounting and bookkeeping. Takes command of vessel in inclement weather and in crowded or narrow waters. Handles communications.
MAYDAY - An internationally recognized distress signal used on a radio to indicate a life threatening situation. Mayday calls have priority over any other radio transmission and should only be used if there is an immediate threat to life or vessel. Mayday comes from the French M'aidez which means help me. For urgent situations that are not immediately life threatening there is the PAN PAN identifier. Less urgent messages such as navigational hazards should send a SECURITE message.
Mean Low Water - A figure representing the average low tide of a region.
Mediterranean Berth - A method of docking with a boat's stern to the dock.
Meet Her - An order to the helmsman to put on opposite rudder to check the swing of the ship.1
Messenger - A small line used to pull a heavier line or cable. The messenger line is usually easier to throw, lead through holes or otherwise manipulate than the line that it will be used to pull.
Midchannel Buoy - A red and white vertically striped buoy used in the United States to mark the middle of a channel. Midchannel buoys may be passed by on either side.
Midships - In the middle portion of the boat - Roughly halfway between a ship's stem and stern, and where the beam usually is the widest.
Mile - Distance at sea is measured in nautical miles, which are about 6067.12 feet, 1.15 statute miles or exactly 1852 meters. Nautical miles have the unique property that a minute of latitude is equal to one nautical mile - Measurement of speed is done in knots where one knot equals one nautical mile per hour.
Monkey Fist - A large heavy knot usually made in the end of a heaving line to aid in accurate throwing.
Mooring - An anchor or weight, permanently attached to the sea floor, with a buoy going to the surface, used to hold the boat in a certain area.
Mooring Buoy - A buoy secured to a permanent anchor sunk deeply into the bottom.
Mooring Line - A line used to secure a boat to an anchor, dock, or mooring.
Motor - (1) An engine. (2) The act of using an engine to move a boat.
Motor-sailing - Sailing with the motor on and in gear
Mushroom Anchor - A type of anchor with a heavy inverted mushroom shaped head. Mushroom anchors are used to anchor in mud and other soft ground.
Muster - To assemble passengers and/or crew.
More in the weeks ahead…!
BTW, if you are interested in being part of USCG Forces, email me at JoinUSCGAux@aol.comor go direct to the D1SR Human Resources department, who are in charge of new members matters, at DSO-HR and we will help you “get in this thing…”
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