Nautical words



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Break Bulk. To commence to discharge cargo.

Breaker. Small cask used for bringing off water in boats. Also used for carrying provisions in a boat. Anglicised form of Spanish 'Bareca'. 2. Wave with broken or breaking crest.

Break Ground. To heave anchor out of ground. Term had a special meaning when sailing on Sunday was considered unlucky. If possible, ship broke ground on Saturday, moved a few yards and then re-anchored: voyage could then be considered as starting on Saturday. This subterfuge was known as 'Breaking ground'.

Breaking (a Flag). Hoisting a flag that has been rolled up and secured by a bow knot in its halliard, and then freeing the flag by jerking on its downhaul. It is conventionally wrong to break a ship's national ensign.

Break Sheer. Said of a vessel at anchor when, due to action of wind or tide, she brings wind or tide on the opposite bow.

Breakwater. Construction, usually of masonry, erected on seabed and extending above sea level. Intended to protect a harbour, anchorage or other area from effect of sea waves. Word is used, also, to denote any structure that defends against a free flow of water.

Breaming. Removing fouling from a ship's bottom by burning.

Breast. Mooring line leading approximately perpendicular to ship's fore and aft line. To breast a sea is to point a ship's bows in the direction from which the sea comes.

Breast Anchor. Anchor laid out from forward or aft, in direction at right angles to ship's fore and aft line.


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