Tuesday, 2 June 2015

A Nub at Sea

As newbie shudders all at sea
Setting sail at break of dawn
Ship ahoy this anchor buoy
All ‘Bitter Ends’ are now withdrawn

Boat hooks poised to set adrift
Bollard knots now slack untied
No more Sunday morning lassitude
Where lapping ebbs subside

All compass points are giving lie
To clean slates above the coaming
Weathered eyes on pole star skies
That swell with oceanic roaming

Holding taught strains on ones cringle
Keeping cockpit well intact
Slug your tot give it all you’ve got
The world’s your oyster that’s a fact.


Bitter End:

The last part or loose end of a rope or cable. The anchor cable is tied to the bitts; when the cable is fully paid out, the bitter end has been reached.


Clean Slate
At the helm, the watch keeper would record details of speed, distances, headings, etc. on a slate. At the beginning of a new watch the slate would be wiped clean.

Coaming
The raised edge of a hatch, cockpit or skylight to help keep out water.

Cringle
A rope loop, usually at the corners of a sail, for fixing the sail to a spar. They are often reinforced with a metal eye.

Bollard
From "bol" or "bole", the round trunk of a tree. A substantial vertical pillar to which lines may be made fast. Generally on the quayside rather than the ship.

Slug Your Tot

The rum ration, or "tot", consisted of one-eighth of a pint of rum at 95.5 proof, given out to every sailor at midday. Senior Ratings (Petty Officers and above) received their rum neat, whilst for Junior Ratings it was diluted with two parts of water to make three-eighths of a pint of grog. [1] The rum ration was served from one particular barrel, also known as the "Rum Tub" which was ornately decorated and was made of oak, reinforced with brass bands, with brass letters saying, "The Queen, God Bless Her".[2]

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