Saturday, October 22, 2011
Sailor Mouth Saturday: Bob
At sea, it probably goes without saying, things in the way of bobs become both more precise and more colorful. One of the most common references aboard a sailing ship is to the bobstay. This is a rope, cable or chain that is used to pull a bowsprit downward toward the portion of the keel known as the cut-water. These are used to counterbalance the stress of the foremast stays which draw the bowsprit upwards. There are also bobstay collars which were originally made of rope but are now generally iron bands used for attaching the bobstay to the bowsprit. Bobstay holes are those close to the head through which the bobstays pass. Bobstay plates are iron plates on the keel to which the bobstays are attached.
A bob can be the weight attached to a plumb line. A ship is said to bob out when it bounces and bobs in heavy seas without making any remarkable headway. This is a particularly distressing occurrence for those afflicted with seasickness. Waves bobble when they seem to crash without any specific set or direction as during cross currents or riptides.
Bob can also apply to things people do. Shift your bob: move out of the way. Bear a bob: hurry up. A bobbery among the men is a disagreement or argument. According to The Sailor’s Word Book this was used particularly by the Royal Navy in the East Indies and China.
Happy Saturday, Brethren; only two more days until Triple P’s third annual Horror on the High Seas Week begins.
Header: Sailing Ship via All Oil Painting’s Marine Art section