LATITUDE-The measure of angular distance in
degrees, minutes, and seconds of arc from 0° to 90°
north or south of the equator.
LAUNCH-(1) To float a ship upon completion of
building. (2) An open powerboat.
LAY-(1) Expresses the idea of to move oneself, as
Lay (yourself) up on the main deck. (2) The
direction of the twist of strands of a rope.
LEAD-A weight used in taking soundings.
LEE-(1) The direction toward which the wind is
blowing or the opposite direction from which the
wind is blowing. (2) A sheltered area to leeward of
a ship or other windbreaker.
LEEWARD-Position away from the wind.
LEEWAY-(1) The drift of an object, with the wind, on
the water's surface. (2) The sideward motion of a
ship due to wind and current. (3) The difference
between a ship's heading (course steered) and a
ship's track (course made good); sometimes called
LIFELINE-(1) Any line secured along the deck to lay
hold of in heavy weather. (2) Any line used to assist
personnel. The lifelines between stanchions along
the outboard edges of a ship's weather decks are all
loosely referred to as lifelines; specifically, the top
line is the lifeline, the middle line is the housing line,
and the bottom line is the fast line.
LINE-A general term for rope, either fiber or synthetic.
LONGITUDE -A measure of angular distance in
degrees, minutes, and seconds east or west of the
prime meridian at Greenwich.
LOOKOUT-A person stationed as a visual watch;
horizon, surface, fog, an so forth.
LUCKY BAG-A locker usually maintained by the
master-at-arms used to stow personal gear left adrift
and deserter's effects.
MACNAMARA LACE-Fancy curtains and trimmings
for barges and gigs worked from unlaid canvas
MAGAZINE-A compartment aboard ship or ashore
fitted for the stowage of ammunition. All magazines
are fitted with sprinkler systems for flooding in case
MANNED AND READY-A report made by a guncrew
or watch station when all hands are present and
ready for action.
MANNING THE RAIL-An all-hands evolution where
the ship's crew line up along the ship's rail to honor
some person or occasion.
MANROPE-A safety line, or any line rigged to assist
personnel in ascending or descending.
MARLINE-Small stuff (line) usually made up now of
MARLINESPIKE-A tapered steel tool for separating
strands of rope or wire in splicing.
MASTER-AT-ARMS-A member of a ship's police
MATERIAL CONDITION-State of damage-control
readiness within a ship. Designated conditions of
readiness are X, Y, and Z.
MEDITERRANEAN MOOR-The mooring of a ship
with its stern to a seawall and bow kept from
swinging by anchors placed ahead while
maneuvering in; used much by the U.S. Sixth Fleet.
MESSENGER-(1) A light line used to carry across a
hawser. (2) Person who carries messages.
MIDWATCH-The watch beginning at 0000 and ending
MIND YOUR RUDDER-The caution to the steersman
to steer a more precise course or to be alert to some
MOORING-(1) The securing of a ship to a pier or
wharf or to a mooring buoy. (2) Anchoring with two
anchors connected to a single chain by means of a
MOORING LINE-A line used specifically for
securing a ship to a pier.
MORNING WATCH-The watch from 0400 to 0800.
MOUSING-(1) A seizing of line across a hook to
prevent a sling from slipping off.
PARCEL-The act of wrapping a line or wire with strips
PAY OUT-The act of slacking off or easing out a line.
PELICAN HOOK-A quick-release device made in
various sizes. May be opened while under strain by
knocking away a locking ring that holds it closed.
PENDANT-A length of wire; often fitted with an eye
at one or both ends.