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May 2017    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 32, No. 5   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Are You a Wreck Diver or a Liveaboard Diver?

either way, itís not a bedroom, itís a cabin

from the May, 2017 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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With the increasing popularity of liveaboard diving, we get reports that describe a craft as if it were a hotel, with bedrooms and bathrooms and floors and kitchens. Even some experienced wreck divers rewrite ship descriptions. So, we thought it might be useful to give landlubbers less familiar with being at sea clues to terminology used historically.

Vessels don't have kitchens, they have galleys; they don't have bedrooms, they have cabins. The corridor that links the cabins is a companionway, not a hallway or corridor.

From the times of medieval sailing ships, the lavatories have been called heads, just as the raised section of the deck (floor) at the bow is known as the fo'castle (pronounced folk-sole), a corruption of forecastle. The foredeck (the forward deck) normally carried the winch or windlass for hauling in lines (not ropes) or anchor chain. It's no place to be if you have no job to do there, because there will be cleats and fairleads - things to trip over! The hawse pipe is the tunnel down which the anchor chain passes out on larger vessels. ...


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