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NAUTICAL AND NAVAL TERMS USED IN THE TEXT
(This glossary is intended to cover only the technical expressions actually used in the book itself.)
Aback. A sail is aback when the wind blows on the forward part
tending to move the vessel astern. Abaft. Behind, towards the stern.
Aft. See " Bearing."
Beam. The width of a vessel, so used because of the cross timbers, called beams.
Bear, to. To be in a specified direction from a vessel.
To bear down, to move towards; to bear up, or away, to move
away, from the wind or from an enemy. Bearing. The direction of an object from a vessel; either by
compass, or with reference to the vessel itself. Thus, the
lighthouse bears north; the enemy bears abeam, or two
points off the port bow. Bearing, Line of. The compass bearing on which the vessels
of a fleet are ranged, whatever their bearings from one
Bearings, with reference to the vessel.
Ahead. Directly before; forward.
Abaft the beam, starboard or port, weather or lee. To the rear of abeam, to the right or left, to windward or to lee
Abeam. Abreast. Aft. Perpendicular to the vessel's length.
Before (or forward of) the beam (as above). Ahead of abeam, etc.
Broad. A large angle of bearing, used ordinarily of the bow. "Broad off the bow" approaches "before the beam." On the bow, starboard or port, weather or lee. To one side of ahead, to right or left, to windward or to leeward. On the quarter, starboard or port, weather or lee. To one side of astern; to right or left, to windward or to leeward. Bearings, by compass. The full circle of the compass, 360 degrees, is divided into thirty-two points, each point being subdivided into fourths. From north to east, eight points, are thus named: North; north by east; north-northeast;northeast by north; northeast; northeast by east; eastnortheast; east by north; East. From East to South, from South to West, and from West to North, a like naming is used. Beat, to. To gain ground to windward, by successive changes
of direction, called tacks. Boom. See " Spars."
Bow, or head. The forward part of a vessel, which is foremost
when in motion ahead. On the Bow. See " Bearing." To head "bows-on": to move
directly towards. Bow And Quarter Line. See pp. 84, 200. Bowsprit. See " Spars."
Braces. Ropes by which the yards are turned, so that the wind may strike the sails in the manner desired.
Bring-to. To bring a vessel's head as near as possible to the direction from whioh the wind blows; usually with a view to heaving-to, that is, stopping. See heave-to and luff.
Broadside. The whole number of guns carried on one side of a vessel; starboard or port broadside, weather or lee broadside.
Cable. The heavy rope which was attached to the anchor, and held the ship to it. Cables are now chains, but in the period of this book were always hemp. To veer cable, to let more out, to let the ship go farther from the anchor. To slip the cable, to let it all go overboard, releasing the vessel. Cable's length: 120 fathoms.
Chase, General. A chase by a fleet, in which, in order to more rapid advance, the places of the vessels in their usual order are not to be observed.
Close-hauled. See " Course."
Column. See " Line Ahead."
Come Up. A ship comes up, when her bow comes more nearly to the direction of the wind. Used generally when the movement proceeds from some other cause than the movement of the helm. See " Luff."
Convoy. A body of unarmed or weakly armed vessels, in company with ships of war.
Convoy, to. To aocompany a number of unarmed vessels, for their protection.
Course. The direction of a vessel's movement, with regard to the compass or to the wind. Compass course. The point of the compass towards which the
vessel heads. Wind courses:
Close-hauled. As nearly in the direction from which the wind blows as is compatible with keeping the sails full; for squarerigged vessels six points. (See "Bearings by Compass.") For a north wind, the close-hauled courses are east-northeast and west-northwest. Free. Not close-hauled. Large. Very free. Off the wind. Free. On (or by) the wind. Close-hauled. Courses. The lowest sails on the fore and main masts. Cruise, to. To cover a certain portion of sea by movement back
and forth over it. Cruiser. A general term for armed ships, but applied more specifically to those not "of the line," which therefore are more free and wider in their movements. Current.
Lee Current. One the movement of which is away from the wind.
Weather Current. One which sets towards the wind. Ebb, ebb-tide. See " Tide."
Fair, wind. A wind which allows a vessel to head her desired compass course.
Fall Off. A vessel falls off, when, without the action of the helm,
her head moves away from the wind. See " Come up." Fill. 1 Sails are said to fill, or to be full, when the wind strikes the Full. J rear side, tending to move the vessel ahead. Flood, flood tide. See " Tide."
Fore And Aft. In classification of vessels, indicates those whose sails, when set, stretch from forward aft; more nearly lengthwise than across. Opposite to square-rigged.
Foremast, fore-topmast, etc. See " Spars."
Foresail, fore-topsail, etc. See " Sails."
Foul, to. To entangle, to collide. A foul anchor, when the cable
gets round the anchor. Foul, wind. A wind which prevents the vessel heading the desired
compass course, compelling her to beat. Free, wind. A wind which allows the vessel to head the course desired. The amount to spare from the close-hauled course is sometimes designated. E.g., the wind four points free; the wind would allow the vessel to come four points nearer the wind than her course requires. Frigate. See " Vessel."
Gage, weather and lee. A vessel, or fleet, is said to have the weather gage, when it is to windward of its opponent. Lee is opposite to weather.
Haul, to. To haul (to) the wind is to change the course to that
lower mastheads. Heave-to. To bring-to, (which see), and then to lay some sails (hove-to.) aback, in order to keep the ship without movement ahead or astern. Heel, to. To incline a vessel on one side by shifting the weights on board, such as guns. "On the heel": to be thus inclined. Helm. The tiller, or bar, which like a handle turns the rudder, and thus changes the course of the vessel. Port the helm. To put the tiller to port, which turns the vessel's
head to the right; to starboard the helm is the reverse. Helm down. Tiller to leeward, vessel's head to windward; helm up, the reverse. See " Rudder." Hull. The body of a vessel, as distinguished from the spars, or engines.
Hull, to. A cannon ball striking the hull of a vessel is said to hull
Jib. See "Sails."
Keep, to. To keep off, or away, is to change course away from the wind or from an enemy. See " To bear up."
Large. See " Course."
Lee. The direction toward which the wind blows. "Under the
lee of," protected from wind and sea by land, or by a vessel,
interposed. Lee Tide. See "Tide." Leech. The vertical side of a square sail. The upper and lower
sides, horizontal, are called head and foot. Leeward (pronounced looard). Direction of movement, or of
bearing, opposite to the wind. Lie-to, to. To bring the vessels head on, or near, the wind,
and remain nearly stopped. Usually in heavy weather,
but not always.