Practical English For Seafarers
Question and Answer
How would you get a hold ready for cargo after discharging coal?
Sweep the sides, bulkheads and ceiling dowe thoroughly, send the sweepings up out of the hold.
If the weather is suitable and there is time for drying purposes, rig the hose and wash well down. If not, sprinkle damp sawdust and sweep up clean. Lift the limber boards and clean out the bilges. Give them a coat of cement wash. See that the rose boxes are all clear. Replace limber boards and dunnage the hold. If the cargo is to be grain in bags or anything which requires special protection, cover all bare Iron with battens, burlap, dr mats. Rig shifting boards if necessary.
If you were stationed in the hold to look after the interests of the ship during the loading of general cargo, what would you consider it your duty to do?
I would inspect the cases or packages as they came on board, and if any appeared to be damaged, notify the chief officer at once before he gives a receipt for it. I would see that any directions printed on any package were observed whilst being stowed, such as "this side to be stowed uppermost," or "stow away from the boilers," or "that hooks were not to be used for bale goods," etc. I would particularly guard against broaching or stealing of any cargo, and see that all was properly stowed and blocked off securely. Should not stow liquids above solids if it is possible to avoid doing so.
What would you look out for in the hold whilst discharging?
As before, I would prevent any broaching, and see that no cargo was damaged by rough improper handling. If any cargo appeared to damaged I would call attention to it before disturbing it, so that, IF necessary, it may be surveyed.
If a vessel has 'tween decks,' would they require dunnaging?
Yes, sufficient to keep the cargo clear of the deck, an inch or so for cases, and little more for bales or bags. I would lay it athwartships, so that in case of leakage the water might drain freely to the scuppers.
What special precautions would you take if you were going to load grain in bags for a long passage ?
I would line the hold out with boards, and cover them with old sails, burlap, bagging, or mats. I would also cover up all bare iron likely to come in contact with the cargo, such as stanchions, mats, etc., and lash good shifting boards on both sides of the stanchions amidships, so as to form a fore-aft bulkhead, to prevent the cargo shifting.
If you were going to load a cargo of raw sugar or molasses, what would you be careful about in dunnaging the hold?
To leave a free course for the drainage to run the pump well.
Where would you stow bags of sheep dip, or patent manures, or any other strong smelling cargo?
Where it would not be possible for it to cause damage to other cargo by reason of the strong odour which it emits. Tea, for instance, is very liable to absorb any foreign smell; I should see therefore if any was to go in the ship that it was stowed in a different hold. The same precautions would apply to any food-stuffs such grain, flour, etc.
In loading a mixed cargo, how should It be generally distributed in the hold?
The deadweight or heaviest portion of the cargo amidships in the main hold; Liquids, if any, in the ends at the bottom; bales, cases, etc., in the 'tween decks or upper part of lower hold.
How would you stow a ground tier of casks or barrels?
I would stow each barrel fore and aft on two good beds of sufficient thickness to keep the bilge clear of the floor, and put quoins under each quarter. When stowing alongside the keelson, I would keep the bilge clear of it by putting stout pieces of wood, upright or vertical, between each quarter and the keelson.
I would see that when stowed the bung was on top, and be careful to keep the tier strictly level. After stowing the wing barrels, I would fill up any space left with dunnage in order to secure the cargo.
How would you stow the riding tiers?
In the cantlines of the lower tier, each barrel lying on the quarters of four barrels below it.
How would you stow a graound tier of barrel containing dry goods, suds as cement, flour, etc.?
I would dunnage the floor and then stow the barrels fore and aft, resting evenly on the dunnage.
When placing them I would see that the pieces of wood forming the head were vertical, so as not be so liable to split with the weight of the riding tiers.
Note.- Barrels containing liquids are made so that the grain of the wood in the head is in a line with the bung, so that when stowed bung up the head pieces are vertical.
How would you stow barrels of tar, pitch, etc.?
The sides of these barrels being straight I would not use beds, but stow them for and aft flat on the dunnage, bung up.
How many hoops are fitted on a good cask?
Eight : Bilge, quarter, and two chime hoops at each end. The rivets of the hoops are in line with the bung.
How many heights of barrels, hogsheads, puncheons, pipes are allowed to stow?
Eight of barrels, six of hogsheads, four of puncheons, and three of pipes.
Why should the number be limited?
Because the lower tier, having to bear the weight of all above it, might be damaged If too may heights were stowed.
Where and how would you stow wines and spirits ?
Where they are least likely to be pilfered by crew or cargo workers. Should see that cases were all well blocked up, and that cask were carefully stowed bung up and bilge free, and well quolned and secured.
How would you stow bale goods of manufacture materials, etc.?
On their flats, with mark and number uppermost, wing bales on their edges, mark and number inboard.
How would you stow cases of glass, slabs of marble or grindstones?
On their edges; as they would then be less likely to get broken. Large cases of plate glass are best stowed athwartships.
Suppose you were loading grain, and a compartment in the lower hold was to be stowed Partly in bulk and partly in bags, how would you stow it?
No more than three-fourths is allowed to be In bulk. I would take that in first and level it off, then cover it over with mats and boards and stow the bags on top. Fore-and-aft board must be not more than 4 feet apart. Athwartship one not more that 9 inches apart. The athwartship one must be on top of the fore-and-aft ones.
The Meaning Of "Dead Reckoning"
During the Great War millions of the worst linguists on earth – the English- were called upon to fight in many countries in Europe, Asia, and Africa, and their great failing in knowing other tongues than their own has, perforce, induce the natives of foreign countries to pick up a little knowledge of the language of Tommy Atkins, so that, without any specially directed propaganda on our part, English has gained immensely during the war, and may be regarded as little short of the universal lan¬guage.
But the curious thing in all this is that English language is only a creation of yesterday.
Through the long-drawn centuries-from the days of the Ancient Britons down to the reformation it underwent a slow process of development, all the then known foreign tongues contributing to its formation.
One source of weakness in the process of the development of the language was the liability to misunderstand and to misconstrue the meanings of words and phrases used in foreign tongue, so that there are many expressions now in use which cannot be traced to their original foreign source, or the same word has two or more different meanings, many words have completely lost their original meaning because the early writers were indifferent in their modes of spelling, or in the use of abbreviations.
Perhaps one of the most remarkable of these posers is a word which is familiar to every English-speaking sailor in the Naval and Mercantile Marine services of the world, and is in perpetual use every day in the year. It has also been adopted by all British and American aviators as the word to use in navigating the aerial ocean overhead. Yet the word is a flat contradiction of what it is intended to mean, and of what was meant by the word used originally. In every ship's log, in all books of instruction, in all works on navigation, and in innumerable other publications, we find a special made of the "Dead Reckoning" on board ship. Why Dead ? It has been for a century or more a stumbling block to investigators.
One after another has attempted to arrive at some reasonable explanation of it, but has had to abandon the task as perfectly hopeless, for when they have marshaled all the facts at their disposal, it is always found that the operations which the word covers are anything but dead. They are, indeed, very much alive !
Whether it be on board a becalmed wind-jammer, on board a crawling tramp steamer, on board a 25-knot ocean liner, or on board a torpedo-boat destroyer, tearing through the sea at 36 knots, there is sleepless watch being kept by officers and men, the ship itself is never still, and in one form or another there is perpetual restless motion.
Still more absurd and inapplicable is the word when it is used for the change of position of an aeroplane, speeding through space at a velocity of 80, 100, 120, or 150 miles an hour. In all this violent activity we can conceive of nothing in the nature of death-like inactivity.
More than one hundred years ago, in 1819, Dr. Gregory, in his "Complete Dictionary of Arts and Sciences, wrote : "Dead Reckoning, in navigation, the calculation made of a ship's place by means of the compass and log; the first serving to point out the course she sails on, and the other the distance run. From these two things given, the skilful mariner, making proper allowances without any observations of the sun or stars, to ascertain the ship's place tolerably well"
All dictionaries have failed to give a full account of the origin of the expression.
The late Sir James Murray gave three quotations of the expression, respectively 1613, 1760, 1840. He might have gone further back, to 1580. The writers of text books on Navigation, with one exception, have adoptedDead Reckoning without question, there being no obvious explanation of the sense of the word Dead. The present writer, having had a great deal to do with the logs of the Royal Navy, as far back as the middle of the seventeenth century, long ago discovered the real solution of the difficulty.
It was not until nearly the close of the eigh-teenth that printed log books were supplied by the admiralty. Long before that, officers were compelled to keep a journal, the form of which was only gradually develop. Originally it was on loose sheets of small size, and the columns, when introduced, had to be ruled by hand. The log of the Dreadnought, 1679, had 12 very narrow columns on page. For want of space the column for the latitude "deduce from the reckoning" was headed "Ded. Lat."
This abbreviation De., for deduced, has be-come corrupted into Dead, which has for gen-erations served to exercise in vain the most learned savants on two continents to get at its real, and in the result perfectly simple meaning. There is not a mariner who, on reading this explanation, will fail to realize that deduce is the only word which correctly expresses the method of obtaining his so called Dead Reckoning.
He deduces his position from the account he has kept, just as any tradesman deduces his profit or loss from his account.
DEPARTURE (LEAVING PORT)
THE PILOT HAS ENTERED THE SHIP TO TAKE HER OUT
Pilot : Good Morning, Sir!
Mate : Good Morning, Sir!
Pilot : Are you the chief officer?
Mate : Yes, I am. And you are the pilot, I suppose?
Pilot : Yes, sir. Are you all ready to make a start, Mr. Mate?
Mate : The captain will be here (at) any time, I expect
Pilot : well, single up your ropes then. Just keep the spring and a bow rope forward, and the buoy- rope and stern- rope-aft
Mate: All right, sir! Get all hands on the deck, second
THE CAPTAIN COMES ON BOARD
Captain : Is the pilot on board, Mr. Mate?
Mate : Yes, sir, he is on the bridge already
Captain : Take in the Gangway and send a man to the wheel, second!
Pilot : Give them "Stand By", captain! Let go the bow- rope! Let go aft! A small kick ahead, captain! Stop her!
Check her up in the spring! Easy, don't break it!
Let go the spring! Heave away your buoy- rope!
Look out for the pier- head!
Stand by with a couple of fenders!
Easy now! just pick up the slack!
Let go, and heave in
Let us (=Let's) know when the propeller is clear!
(FROM THE POOP) : ALL CLEAR AFT!
All right, sir. Slow astern, captain!
Port your helm, hand over.
Full speed astern! stop her! Full ahead! Shift your helm! Half speed! Ease your helm! Steady! As she goes now!
Mind your steering! don,t look too much at the compas!
Get a good mark on shore!
We'll have to slow down when we pass the ferry-boat station, captain.
Slow speed! Dead slow!
Let her go full now, captain!
(THE CHIEFT OFFICER IS NOW ENTERING THE BRIDGE AS THE CAPTAIN WANTS TO GO DOWN INTO HIS CABIN TO HAVE LOOK AT THE SHIP'S DOCUMENTS)
Pilot : A lovely afternoon, Mr. Mate, isn't?
Mate : Yes, it is, but too hot.
Pilot : Well, you might have some breeze when you get outside
Mate : Have you had your supper, Pilot?
Pilot : No, sir. Just tell the steward to give me a cup of coffee and a couple of sandwiches. Will you, please?
Mate : Certainly, I will
Pilot : (To the man at the wheel) What's her head now?
Helmsman : South eight-two (degrees) West, sir
Pilot : Keep her west by south! I have to ask you some question, Mr. Mate
Mate : Of course, Pilot. What do you want to know?
Pilot : What's her gross tonnage?
Mate : Forty-seven ninety-six (tons)
Pilot : And her nett?
Mate : Twenty-eight fourteen.
Pilot : And what's her draught?
Mate : Twenty-five three and a half (25 feet 3 inches and 1/2)
Pilot : Who is your agent (=Broker)?
Mate : Mr. such a one
Pilot : Thank you, sir. I have to put this on my bill. Nice and clean these new diesel-ships, Mr. Mate
Mate : Yes, sir. We took her out from the ship-yard only six months ago
Pilot : Where was she built?
Mate : In Copenhagen by B & W. Engine & Shipbuilding Corporation, Ltd.
Pilot : Has she never been in drydock yet?
Mate : Yes, sir. we had to dock at Boston after th last trip across
Pilot : Any repairs to do?
Mate : Wll, not much. Besides ordinary cleaning and painting (of) the bottom, there were some leaking rivets in the forepeak and No.1 tank to shift of
Pilot : Is that so! In new ship like this?
Mate : Oh, We had a very heavy weather. Ballast trip across the north Atlantic in wintertime you know
Pilot : Yes, sir. I know them. How much does she carry? ( What is her dead-weight?)
Mate : Eighty-five fifty
Pilot : Except bunkers?
Mate : No, sir. Bunker, water, stores, and provision included
Pilot : What's her daily consumption of fuel?
Mate : Ten tons (per day (=10 t. a day))
Pilot : Not much for this ship, I should say. And she might run fast too?
Mate : Fourteen now she is light, eleven and a half when loaded
Pilot : What is her bunker capacity (=her capacity of fuel oil)?
Mate : About thirteen hundred tons or eight thousands barrels, and that means a cruising radius of more than thirty-five thousand (nautical) miles
Pilot : Well, Mr. Mate. Please tell "the old man" that we are at the pilot-boat in about ten minutes. Have the ladder and boat rope ready on your starboard side. And (remember) a heaving line for the hand bag
Pilot : (jumping into the boat) : All clear, Captain! Happy Voyage!
The Pilot Comes on Board
Captain : Good morning, pilot!
Pilot : Good morning, captain! Give her full ahead!
(To the helsman): Port a bit! Ease your helm! Steady her on East half North.
(To the captain) : Is the single- or twin- screwed?
Captain : She is single- screwed.
Pilot : What (= How much) does she run?
Captain : Twelve or thirteen knots, I suppose.
Pilot : Then I think you will be there in about three in about three hours. The tide just coming out now. Where do you come from?
Captain : From Antwerp
Pilot : Good morning, sir!
Mate : Good morning,sir!
Pilot : Are you the chief officer?
Mate : No, I am the second.
Pilot (To the helmsman): Keep her East three quarter North.
(To the mate) : Your compasses seem to have 2 or 3 degrees' deviation.
Mate : That's right, just what we have got for these easterly courses.
Pilot : She is steering pretty well, this ship, Mr. Mate.
Mate : Yes, she is.
Pilot (To the helmsman) : Starboard half point! Watch her head now, Don't let her come the Least thing to port! Starboard! Ease your helm! Steady as she goes! Keep that white light just a little bit on your port bow! Port your helm! Midship! Port a little more! Ease! Steady so!
(To the mate) : Half speed! I want a man on the forecastle- head now, Mr. Mate. Tell them down below that we shall be there in about twenty minutes. Slow! Stop her! Give three long blast! (The captain is now entering the bridge to take charge of the ship)
Pilot (To the captain) : We might have to (go to an) anchor, captain (= drop the anchor, to bring up); I can't see the harbour pilot yet.
(To the mate on the forecastle- head) : Standby your starboard anchor!
(To the captain) : Full speed astern! Port your helm. Hard over! – Midship! Stop her, sir! Slow ahead! Stop her!
(To the mate on the forecastle) : Stand by your starboard anchor
(To the captain) : Full speed astern! Port your helm, hard over! – Midship! Stop her, sir ! Slow ahead! Starboard ! Stop her!
(To the mate) : Let go (the anchor)! Veer out to forty- five fathoms on the Wind lass! How is the chain?
Mate : The chain grows astern, sir.
Pilot : All right, sir. Give her slow astern, captain!
Mate : The chain is right up and down.
Pilot : Stop your engines, captain!
(Tothe mate) : Hold on your chain! How much in the hawse pipe now?
Mate : Forty- five in the water, sir!
Pilot : Right you are; I think she has got enough. (The harbour pilot (or dock pilot) takes the ship alongside the wharf).
Pilot : Give them" stand by" down below, captain! Heave away the chain, chief! Heave short!
Mate : The anchor is aweigh, pilot.
Pilot : All right, sir.- Slow ahead, captain!- Starboard, just a little bit, steady!- Stop Her! Get your bow- rope ashore! Have a good manila ready for the tug, Mr. Second! On your port side! Hold on, make fast the tug- rope!
Heave away the (back-) spring!
Easy (= Gentle), Don't break it! Finish your engines, captain! (= That will do the e.) ou'll have to shift your stern- rope to the next post, she has to come about fifty feet more ahead! Heave away forward ! slack away aft!
Vast heaving forward, hold on aft. Tie her up like that!
Put the bight ashore again when your wire is fast, the current is very strong here at time.- Please, sign this bill, captain?
Captain : Certainly, pilot. Do you want a drink?
Pilot : Yes, please.
Captain : What do you drink?
Pilot : Gin, sir.
Captain : Here you are, sir; help yourself! Good luck, pilot!
Pilot : Good luck!- Very fine stuff, sir.
Captain : Another one?
Pilot : No thanks. So long!