Skip to main content


Lace Line   A line used to secure a sail to its yard or spar

Larboard  The old name for 'Port' or the left side of a vessel

Lateen  A trangular fore-aft sail on a long yard

Lazarette   A small hold or locker usually in the stern used for stowage

League  An old measure of three nautical miles

Letter of Marque   A Royal license authorizing a non-naval vessel to act as a 'warship' under the Royal flag

Lewis Bolt   An eyebolt socketed and wedged under deck for extra strength.  Usually fitted when a breakbulk cargo vessel had a heavy-lift derrick

Limbers  Holes   Holes in the frames at bilges level to allow drainage

Loblolly  A porridge usually served to sick crew

Loblolly Boy  A surgeons assistant in a naval vessel

Lobscouse   A hash served to crews

Long Stay  A term used for a long anchor rode

Loof  The taper of the hull toward the bow and stern

Lubber  An ackward or not to bright sailor

Lubber's Hole  The hole in a square-rigger through which the shroud heads pass to the mast

Lyle Gun  A small cannon used to fire a projectile to pass a light line, such as a Breeches Buoy rescue rig

Manhelper  A long pole to which at paintbrush or scraper can be attached

Manifest  A master document of a merchant ship listing her cargo, passengers with details

Mitten Money  The extra pilotage fee charged in very cold weather

Mother Carey's Chicken  A seafaring name for stormy petrels

Mouse  To enclose a hook with small line or wire to prevent it jumping free

Good Watch

There still remain some 400 of our fellow seafarers held ashore and off the coast of Somalia.  There are now quite a few shoddy security outfits trying to make money from this misery.


Popular posts from this blog


It sometimes happens that one is going to write a Post on a subject when lo and behold there is already an excellent one.  Such is the case today; so rather than repeat everything let me refer you to the source of that Post

At present we are experiencing Perigean Spring Tides which occur when the Moon is at perigee on its oval path that is the closest point to Earth.  One of the principal results are higher than usual Spring Tides as against the Neap Tides.

Should you be interested in the full explanation of this phenomenon then you might like to reference "Old Salt Blog" which has an excellent explanation of this event and uses all the correct terms - quite unlike our Media here in South Florida.

Good Watch.


In addition to the recent "Standing Down" of training voyages for its Midshipersons the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) has received warnings about the quality, or lack thereof, of its training programme.  The Middle States Commission of Higher Education (MSCHE) report stated that accreditation was in jeopardy for non-compliance in certain areas.

Coupled with the continuing problems requiring disciplinary actions including dismissal from the Navy the United States Navy (USN) has had in recent years this does not bode well for the professionalism of the seafaring community of the United States.

It is clear to this writer, an International Master Mariner with 50 years of experience, that the training sources for both Officers and Ratings need an immediate complete examination and review.  Currently the Officer commanding riverine craft based in Bahrain has been dismissed.  Another nine Officers and Ratings are under disciplinary action as a result of the capture by…


NAUTICAL LOG has on previous occasions discussed the SS El Faro VDR in a Post titled RELUCTANCE TO RECOVER and two other Posts about the VDR (Voyage Data Recorder) of the SS El Faro

The Ship sank in Hurricane Joaquin on October 01, 2015 off the Bahamas.  There has seemed to be a reluctance by all parties involved to continue the attempt to recover the VDR from some 15,000 feet - admittedly a considerable depth.  However because of the importance of possible data on the recorder such an attempt must be made.

Finally the NTSB has contracted with the USN Supervisor of Salvage to assist in the recovery of the VDR.  The USNS Apache will depart in early July 2016 together with USCG, Phoenix International and an underwater operating vehicle the CURV-21.

Once the VDR is recovered it will be brought ashore to the NTSB laboratory and thoroughly studied to download and analyze the information.  With these results in hand the USCG will conduct a two hearings to investigate the sinking and questio…