Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A WORD OR TWO

CROWS NEST The lookout at the highest practical point aboard ship.

DASHER BLOCK Small block on the gaff peak for an ensign halyard also known as a jewel block.

DAY'S WORK The Navigator's calculations from noon sight and position to the next day's noon.

DEAD HORSE The period of time during which the crew are working off their wages 'advance' after signing on. In British ship's the crew got an advance to pay off debts on sailing day. They also got 'channel money' on arrival in home port prior to paying off the next day. This enabled them to have some money to go ashore the first evening.

DEMURRAGE The delay of a vessel beyond the Charter Party terms for handling cargo. Also used for the charges the shipowner or charterer would have to pay.

DIOPTRIC LIGHT Beam of light from a lighthouse concentrated by a Fresnel prism lens. From the Greek dioprikos meaning refraction.

DUBBING The shaping of a ship's timbers using an ADZE. Anglo-Saxon word dubben means a light stroke.

DUNNAGE Scrap wood planks used to protect cargo from chafe against the ship's steelwork. Heavier better quality used to chock cargo and stores in holds, storerooms and on deck.

EPHEMERIS Almanac of data for celestial bodies.

FARDAGE An old word for dunnage. Never heard of this one! Middle English fardel and Arabic fardah meaning a bundle.

FELLOE The outer edge of the segments of a ship's steering wheel. From Old English felge meaning segments.

FERRULE An iron band used to strengthen a spar. From French virole meaning a binding-ring.

FLOTSAM The wreckage of a ship or its goods found floating in the water. This is a Legal term of Maritime Law.

FRAP To join two lines together. From French fraper meaning to wrap.

FRESNEL LENS A multiple facet lens used in lighthouses, light buoys and ships running lights to focus and amplify light beams. Named for Augustin Jean Fresnel a French physicist.

GIPSEY or GYPSEY The warping drum of the anchor windlass. Used to heave the mooring ropes not the anchor chain.

GOOSENECK A hinge used to secure the boom to the mast.

GRAVING DOCK An English term for a fixed drydock dug out of the river bank.

Let's take a break.

Good Watch.

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