Monday, March 22, 2010

A sailor's dictionary

American Practical Navigator (Bowditch):

Ancient nautical treatise, generally though to deal with navigation, which to the present day has resisted all attempts to decipher it. Often found on board ship as a decorative element or paperweight.

1) Opposite of girlie or flying gull.
2) Navigational aid. There are several types and colors of buoys of which the most numerous are:
- green can (seen as a fuzzy black spot on the horizon)
- red nun (seen as a fuzzy black spot on the horizon)
- red or green day beacon(seen as a fuzzy black spot on the horizon), and
- vertically striped black-and-white channel marker (seen as a fuzzy black spot on the horizon)

1) Large piece of paper that is useful in protecting cabin and cockpit surfaces from food and beverage stains.
2) Type of nautical map which tells you exactly where you are aground or what you just hit.
3) A map that confirms to the user that they don't know where they are, while allowing them to convince others that they do.

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.

Dead Reckoning:
1) A course leading directly to a reef.
2) What a Southern Doctor pronounces after a sailor goes to Davy Jone's Locker.
3) Using a map instead of a chart.

Estimated Position:
A place you have marked on the chart where you are sure you are not.

1) The estimated position of a boat.
2) True position a boat and its crew in are in most of the time.

Great Circle Route:
1) Ship's course when the rudder is jammed or stuck..
2) Depression left in a seat cushion.
3) Mark around your eye after sailor's pub brawl.

The number of degrees off course allowed a guest.

Mile (Nautical):
A relativistic measure of surface distance over water - in theory, 6076.1 feet. In practice, a number of different values for the nautical mile have been observed while under sail, for example: after 4 p.m., approximately 40,000 feet; in winds of less than 5 knots, about 70,000 feet; and during periods of threatening weather in harbor approaches, around 100,000 feet.

Long voyage from A to B, interrupted by unexpected landfalls or stopovers at point K, point Q and point Z.

Traditional units of angular measurement from the viewpoint of someone on board a vessel. They are:
Straight ahead of you, right up there;
Just a little to the right of the front;
Right next to that thing up there;
Between those two things;
Right back there, look;
Over that round doohickey;
Off the right corner;
Back over there;
Right behind us.

1) The fine art of getting wet and becoming ill, while going nowhere slowly at great expense.
2) Standing fully clothed in an ice-cold shower tearing up boat bucks as fast as you can go.

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