Saturday, January 12, 2013

Sailor Mouth Saturday: Day

The day has turned into the next, as will happen each day at noon when aboard us. For those here in south central Alaska, that means wind, rain, and the dreaded Chinook, or williwaw, wind. Everything will be a dangerous sheet of ice once this passes. Not to mention it hasn't gotten past the dark of dusk all day. But no one wants to here about our blue-Devil weather; let's talk about days at sea instead.

The nautical day is reckoned from noon to noon rather than midnight to midnight as it frequently is by land. The log book is turned to the next page once noon is called, and the series of watches begins anew.

Likewise, the day's work in the nautical mind differs from the perception by land. From The Sailor's Word Book:

In navigation, the reckoning or reduction of the ship's courses and distances made good during twenty-four hours, or from noon to noon, according to the rules of trigonometry, and thence ascertaining her latitude and longitude by dead-reckoning.

A very disparate thing from a task well done.

Day mates is an old term, probably originating in the Medieval period, for mess mates. When the distinction changed jibes relatively with abolition of the sub-lieutenant distinction. This position, an officer who was in charge of a group of day mates, was taken over by midshipmen who were similarly set to command a mess.

Day book is also an old term for the log book, noted earlier in this post. A journal, or diary, was referred to in some parts of Britain as a day book up until the 19th century.

Finally, the day-sky refers to the gloaming of sunrise or sunset. Something that my neck of the woods has experienced all the day long.

Here's hoping that your weather, wherever you may be, is better. Fair winds and a mug of grog to you all, until next we meet.

Header: Sunset by Julian Rix via American Gallery


Blue Lou Logan said...

Ah, yes...memories of the perpetual dusk of Fairbanks in winter. Hold fast, Pauline!

Pauline said...

It can be a tough row to hoe. Today is an "ice day"; schools closed and the first mate working from home. I have to venture out tomorrow but today we hunker down...

Timmy! said...

The painting at the header is certainly much more beautiful than the view outside these days, Pauline.