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 – IV
As noted prior, each discipline has a language and that language conveys competency to the listener.This column starts 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!
A - Alpha International Meaning: I have a diver down;keep well clear at slow speed
Abaft - Behind or aft of; on the after side of; towards the stern relative to some other object or position.
Abaft the beam - Any direction between the beam and the stern, more behind a vessel than in front of it. Behind a perpendicular line extending out from the middle of the boat
Abeam - At right angles to the fore and aft line of the boat, or beside, the boat; on the beam; also Abreast.
Aboard - On or in a vessel. “Close aboard” is close to another ship or an obstruction
Above-Board - Above the deck, and therefore open and visible. This gave rise to the term used to denote open and fair dealing.
Abyss - That part of the ocean lying below 300 fathoms from the surface.
Aft - At, near or towards the stern; to move aft is to move back
Against the Sun - Anti-clockwise circular motion. Left-handed ropes are coiled down in this way.
Aground - When the hull or keel is touching or fast to the bottom of any body of water; on or onto the shore.
Ahead - In front of the vessel, forward; in a forward direction; opposite of astern.
Ahoy - Seaman's call to attract attention.
All-Around Light - A light showing an unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of 360 degrees. An anchor or riding light is an all-round light.
Alongside - Close beside a ship, wharf or jetty.
Amain - An old maritime expression meaning "immediately", as "let go amain" (drop the anchor at once!).
Anchor is Apeak - The anchor is under the hawse .
Anchor is Aweigh - Anchor is off the sea bottom when being heaved in .
Anchor is Foul - Anchor cable is caught around the fluke or an object is caught around the anchor .
Astern - Backwards, somewhere behind the vessel, towards the stern; in the direction of, or behind, the stern; opposite of ahead.
Athwart - Lying along the ship's width, at right angles to the vessels fore-and-aft line (centerline). Same as abeam.
Avast - A command to stop or cease immediately what one is doing.
Awash - Water washing over; the situation of an object when almost submerged.
Aweigh - To raise an anchor off the bottom; the position of anchor as it is raised clear of the bottom.
B - Bravo International Meaning:I am taking in, discharging, or carrying dangerous cargo. Flown to signify fueling or other hazardous operation. Keep clear.
Baboon Watch - The unfortunate man who was assigned to remain on deck to watch over the ship's safety while the ship was in harbor, and the rest of the crew were off duty.
Baggywrinkle - Tassels of unraveled line, yarns, etc. which are lashed around chafe spots such as spreaders to prevent chafe on sails.
Bail - To remove water from the boat by hand, bucket, pump etc.
Bar - A region of shallow water usually made of sand or mud, usually running parallel to the shore. Bars are caused by wave and current action, and may not be shown on a chart.
Batten Down - Secure hatches and loose objects both within the hull and on deck in preparation for approaching bad weather.
Beacon - A lighted or unlighted fixed (non-floating) aid to navigation that serves as a signal or indication for guidance or warning. (Lights and daybeacons both constitute "beacons.")
Beam - (1) The transverse measurement of a boat at its widest point. Also called breadth. (2) One of the transverse members of a ship's frames on which the decks are laid.
Beam Ends - Vessel said to be "on her beam ends" when she is lying over so much that her deck beams are nearly vertical.
Beam Sea - A situation in which waves strike a boat from the side, causing it to roll unpleasantly.
Beam Wind - One which blows across a boat's side
Beamy - Wide, a wide boat is a beamy boat
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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