About Me

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Split personality. Liking the arts, especially opera, and hockey and Los Toros. I know, I know THAT one is non pc currently. But I can't help it saw some in Spain and got hooked, but good. But on the other hand right now opera and hockey are in the forefront!


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Anchors away! "Knotty" things ..

Maritime Museum exhibits in Erie, PA on this exhibit indoors, a ship volunteer demonstrates how sails are raised or lowered or moved into the wind!
view from pier- onion domes in Erie!
Lighthouse light warns sailors away from shoals and other hazards.
All aboard, but first one must pass through the gangway..

USS Brig Niagara..was not available to tour on the day we were there. Volunteers (25 or so from USA and Canada) were tearing it apart to scrub and disinfect, to wash out a persnickety 'bug' that had sickened the crew earlier! And here I thought knots, hitches, bowlines, yardarms and sails are the real pr0blems on a wooden sailing ship. And bugs infect only cruise ships.. that just shows how ignorant we landlubbers are!
Apropos, the USS Niagara should not exactly be identified as a ship.
She is a BRIG and has two square rigged masts..
SHIPS have three masts and thus 9 yards....see expression below.
A sloop has only one mast! So now you know, too!
Wanna get hitched!
poster and samples from the collection of the Maritime Museum in Erie, PA
Wooden sailing steering wheel

Siple...he coined the "wind chill factor" - so that is how we know that it really IS colder than a witch's tit :-)!

NAUTICAL EXPRESSIONS creeping into the vernacular. Rather fascinating to me, and I hope to you as well..some did have changed from their original meaning.
To be three sheets to the wind-a person is not in control.
The whole nine yards- it has nothing to do with football ;-)! If one looks at a "typical square-rigger" -there are three masts with three yards on each mast. So if all of the square sails were a flying one would have the whole nine yards in operation. Thus it means THE works!
Mind your Ps and Qs. - sailors used to be told to watch their "Pea" jackets and pig-tails "Queues"-tarred hair.
Son of a gun -If paternity was uncertain the child born on board or land, was entered in the log as "son of a gun".
In the offing - 'about to happen'.
Batten down the hatches-prepare for bad weather/news.
Jury rig -"assembled in a makeshift manner" - not a "rigged jury";-)!
At loggerheads - nothing to do with loggers of trees!
Skyscraper - Not a building- actually a triangular sail set above the skysail to maximize the advantage of a light favorable wind.
Freeze the balls of off a brass monkey - Not what you may think ;-). On ships, cannon balls were sometimes stacked in what was called a monkey, usually made from brass. When it got really cold the monkey would contract forcing some of the cannon balls to fall off.
Field day - Day for cleaning up all parts of a ship which was on the way during our visit ;-!
Forging ahead -Going ahead slowly. Now it seems to mean go quickly !
Pipe down -"Keep quiet."
Halcyon days-a Kingfisher bird calming the sea at winter solstice
In the doldrums-meaning in a slump
Logging on - computer users adopted that one ;-)!
Shake a leg or show a leg--wakey, wakey! tars and gals (in port sailors could have female overnight guests) and need to shake a leg to show he heard the wake up call. If a female was under the covers...it may give the sailor a bit extra time to show up for his shift ;-)!
The cat's out of the bag-ready to punish-'cat' -(stringed flogging utensil usually kept in a bag)!
No room to swing a cat - on a crowded ship with all hands on deck to observe the punishment, a cat o' nine tails could not be used without hitting the observers-tight fit!

On the hockey front:
Aeros schedule not out yet. Palmer Hestley gone.
"Dimples" Khudobin stays in USA.
"Soft Spot" Mathieu Beaudoin signed with Coyotes as did Matt Climie.
"Blondy" Corey Locke signed by Ottawa,
Barry "Brusty" by Binghampton, Nolan Schaefer by Bruins.
AND what about that long contract by the NJ Devils for Kovalchuk of a $6 million cap hit for 17?
The Devils may care, I don't-much ;-)!
After all the Wild did this: Koivu's got a $6.75 million cap hit for seven years.


ICEVET said...

An excellent article on "maritime speak" and a reminder of how important it is to know and understand the impact of maritime culture in the early development of our Country.

Further, the importance of the Great Lakes Region to US international tradeflows has always been significant and remains so today.

artandhockey said...

you are right.. we now put too much emphasis on airtravel, but without ships (rivers, lakes, oceans) and rail this country would not have been as accessible to as many! After all horse and buggy travel is just soooo slow :-D!