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Hog  A craft that sags downward at her bow and stern

Hooker  A term describing any older vessel - also a small two-masted craft such as an Irish Galway Hooker

Horns  Protrusions on the sides of a rudder to prevent it turning beyond an allowable angle

In Irons  A sailing craft caught dead to wind and unable to fill her sails on a new tack

Isobar  A line of equal barometric pressure on a weather map

Jack   A small flag flown at the bow, correctly flown  only when not underway

Jackass   A plug for a hawsepipe

Jacobs Ladder  The type of ladder used as a "Pilot's Ladder"

Jews Harp  A shaped shackle for stock anchors

Jigger  The name of a fore-aft sail rigged aft on the mizzen mast

Jumbo  Name of the heavy lift derricks of 100 tonnes or more seen on breakbulk cargo ships

Jury  A temporary or makeshift arrangement repairing damage

Keckling  Old line served around the rope anchor cable before chain cables

Kenning   Term for the distance (about 20 miles) from which high land could be sighted at sea.  Kennen sketches were common on the British Admiralty (BA) coastal charts.

Kentledge  Inboard ballast (¡¡does not include useless crewmembers!!)

Kevel   A large cleat or pair of bitts in sailing vessels

Killick  A simple anchor - also the nickname of a British Royal Navy Leading Rate as it is his rating insignia

Kippage  All the apparel and personnel of a vessel

Knock Off  Stop all work or whatever task is at hand

Good timing - lets knock off for now.

Good Watch

Some 400 of our fellow seafarers are still being held captive by pirates off the coast of Somalia.  Let us work to bring them home.


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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…