Saturday, September 17, 2011

Sailor Mouth Saturday: Tail

Welcome back one and all to a celebratory – if necessarily brief – SMS. Not only is this post the 112th outing of one of Triple P’s first recurring subjects, but it is also the 700th post for the blog as a whole. Huzzah!

Tail at sea generally indicates either the end of something or something that follows behind, as in a ship’s wake which is sometimes called her tail. A tail can be left on a rope passed through and around a block so that the entire mechanism is easily attached elsewhere as to spars or rigging. A ship is said to tail down stream when her stern swings in the current of a river while she is at anchor. She has tailed a bank when she has run aground at the aft end only.

Sailors refer to tail-block and tail-tackle both of which, as noted above, have a “tail” of rope streaming off them for use.

The call to tail on (sometimes tally on) is an order to take hold of a rope for the purpose of heaving.

A whale is said to tail up when it dives, showing only its tail above the water. In old whaling vessels, this was a call to alert those who did not see the whale dive, or fluke. It was generally understood that the query would probably reappear in about the same area as it went under.

The tail of a gale or storm is its end game; the last and usually the weakest part of it.

With that, I shall say goodnight but not before wishing Timmy!, Triple P’s most strident supporter, a very happy Birthday.

Header: Morro da Viuva by Luis Graner y Arrufi


Timmy! said...

Ahoy, Pauline! Huzzah for tail... and for your 700th post at Triple P, Pirate Queen!

And thankee most kindly for the birthday wishes. I am, and always shall be, your most humble servant, Cap'n.

Pauline said...

You're very welcome, Timmy! Sorry I made it so miserable with my unflinching work party round the homestead.