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Naval Terms and Customs -Continued: Rope Yarn Sunday - Sundowner
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Naval Orientation - Military manual for administrative purposes
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Index A - D - 12966_383
in  the  early  days  who  ordered  all  hands  to  be aboard  by  sunset. TAR Sailors once covered their clothes with  tar or oil  to  make  them  waterproof;  hence,  the  nickname often  applied  to  mariners. TATTOO Tattoo  is  derived  from  the  old  clutch  term taptoe,  meaning   the   time   to   close   the   taps or  taverns.  At  the  appointed  hours,  drummers marched  from  post  to  post  in  the  town,  beating their  drums.   “First  post”  was  the  signal  given when they had taken their place and were ready to commence their rounds (this signal survives in the  Navy  as  “first  call”),  while  “last  post”  was sounded when they had reached the end of their rounds  (this  signal  survives  as  our  present “tattoo”).  The  “first  call”  is  sounded  10  minutes before    “taps”;   “tattoo,”   5   minutes   before “taps. “  “Taps”  is  the  signal  for  lights  out. TONNAGE Today tonnage refers to a ship’s displacement in  the  water  or  the  gross  pounds  of  cargo  it  is capable of carrying. In the days of sail, tonnage was  spelled  “tunnage”  and  referred  to  the  number of  “tuns”  a  ship  could  carry.  A  “tun”  was  a barrel normally used for transporting wine, and tunnage  specified  the  number  of  barrels  that would  fit  into  the  ship’s  hold. AII-8

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