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sailors & sailing

Sailing, sailing over the bounding main...

...Bound over the main with the muses as they translate nautical terms into English, keep time with ship's bells, and bone up on all sorts of sailing miscellany, from superstition to fact and from the time of the trireme to today's nuclear aircraft carriers and submarines. If you're reading or writing about sailing and the sailor's life, you'll be especially glad you did.

about this feature

The USS Constitution at Sea

West into the Afternoon Sun

Sailors & Sailing is a collection of resources about nautical topics. The different resources that belong to Sailors & Sailing are all intended to assist Electricka's visitors to find their sea legs when they're reading. Each helps landlubbers or others unfamiliar with watery subjects to navigate their way safely through the mysterious and sometimes dangerous shoals of seafaring.

If you are among those who like to read or write about sailors and sailing, the sun is now ashinin' and the fair winds are a-blowin'. Why? Because you're one of those who will benefit most from this feature. Others who will benefit are those in search of nautical information generally: people whose business touches on the sea or sailing directly or tangentially and those who run into watery subjects from time to time for no reason in particular or just in passing.


nautical resources

Below you will find descriptions of the nautical resources that comprise Sailors & Sailing. Each resource is designed to convey information in the most appropriate way for the topic at hand and the type of inquiry being made. The visitor should bear this in mind when selecting a resource to consult.

nautical terms—Talk like a sailor

Here, the muses present scores of nautical terms dating from ancient times to the modern era. The table is a joint effort by the Muse Of Language Arts (for writers) and The Muse Of Literature (for readers).

Terms are organized in the form of a searchable and sortable table which automatically finds all the definitions that satisfy search text that you supply. These automatic features help you locate root words and words related to root words. Other automatic features enable complex searches that can be especially helpful when you're looking for terms which express common ideas or similar word formats. The table also provides offers automatic facilities for printing, sorting results, etc.

Each row of this table provides a nautical definition for a term (used by seamen) as well as a general definition for the term (used by the public at large), when multiple usages exist. Comments are added for the nautical definition and for the general definition, as appropriate.

The user is encouraged to make cross-comparisons between a nautical usage and a general usage for a given term. Such comparisons can reveal a lot about how nautical parlance has influenced general parlance and vice versa. Some of these comparisons are interesting, illuminating, amusing, or otherwise revelatory.

  • See the table of nautical terms published by The Muse Of Language Arts and The Muse Of Literature: click here.

Tell Time like a sailor

Sailors keep time by tracking bell rings. This way of tellling time is often incorporated into both fictional and non-fictional books about the sea and into other kinds of nautical writings.

Authors of fictional accounts of the sea normally write for the general reader; they don't expect him to understand exactly what "bell time" it is when they write about characters who stand watch at the taff rail at four bells or plot mutiny in the forecastle at six bells.

The Cutty Sark

Such authors know that bell-time amounts to double-talk for most of their audience but they but they use nautical jargon anyway because it adds to the local color aboard ship.

Are you a landlubber when it comes to bell time? No more! Just visit the page on telling nautical time by bells and the mystery ends forever.

  • Tell time like a sailor. Visit the page of the same name: click here.





sailors & Sailing—future additions

Electricka invites you to return to this feature from time to time to look for additions; keep an eye out for quizzes, sea chanteys and other nautical music, music, books, movies, myths, and other topics based on nautical subjects.

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