The Lesson

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“Avast, ya matey!” the boatswain prompted, “Which means?”

“Stop my shipmate,” the lubber responded.

“Not bad.  Not bad,” the old salt said approvingly.

The crash course was going well.  We had already learned that “starboard” meant right, and “larboard” meant left; and that “fore” meant in front of you, and “aft” meant behind.  It was a little more confusing that “bow” was at the far fore, and that “stern” was far aft.

The second session complicated matters. We were told that “larboard” is also called “port.”  But we also had to note that “port” was also where we parked the boat, and the boat was never called a boat, but rather was referred to as a “vessel” or “ship.”  When the vessel was in port it was moored in a “berth,” which was also the name of the place where we slept.  But our berth was also our “rack” but never our bed.

Our berths were on the second floor down, which wasn’t a floor but a “deck.”  We went down to it on a “ladder” which looked as if they were actually stairs.  This ladder ran through an opening called a “hatch,” which is a door that runs between decks.  It is different than a “door” which runs through a wall, that isn’t a wall, but a “bulkhead.”  Unless of course you are a Marine, then doors and hatches are both called “hatches.”

At the end of the lesson we headed to the “scuttlebutt” to get a drink.  The scuttlebutt was a kind of drinking fountain.  It was there that we caught up on the “scuttlebutt” which was also what we were to call the light banter and rumours of what was going to happen next.

Fortunately we were going to have a chance to eat before lesson three.  So we are now heading to the “mess” or dining room, next to the “galley” or kitchen.  I think my understanding is starting to become a bit “fouled” or is that a mess?


Story Starter Challenge #25:  “Avast, ya matey!”



3 thoughts on “The Lesson

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