Brought to us from the inter-workings of Member, Madeleine Loh’s brain… we hope you enjoy this as much as we did!
I hope that 2015 passed with flying colors [sailing ships would fly their “colors,” or flags and pennants, to be identified when passing other ships at sea.]!
Even if the past year left you pooped [the swamping of an aft deck when sailing down wind in high following seas], overwhelmed [Old English word for “capsize” or “founder”], or feeling blue [if a ship lost its captain during a voyage, the ship would fly blue flags and have a blue band painted along her hull when she returned to port], here’s to a clean slate [sailing ships recorded courses, distances and tacks on a log slate; the new watch would always start with a clean slate] for 2016!
In plumbing the depths [use a plumb or lead weight to test the depth of the water] of the past year’s experiences, I have arrived at some resolutions:
- To mind my p’s and q’s [at port taverns, the barman’s tally of sailors’ drinks — “P” for pint or “Q” for quart]
- To deep six [a fathom, the unit of measurement for the depth of the sea, is 6 feet; sailors used the term to refer to throwing something overboard] unhealthy habits like drinking until three sheets to the wind [when the lines controlling the trim of the sails, or “sheets,” are too loose, causing sails to flog in the wind]
- To know when to cut and run [when encountering a larger enemy vessel, to order crew to cut the lashings on all the sails and run away before the wind, or to cut the anchor cable and sail away] when I don’t like the cut of someone’s jib, [warships often had their foresails or jib sails cut thinly to maintain point and not be blown off course].
- To put a new slant [achieving the optimum slant or angle of heel of a sailboat, given conditions] on things that are out of my control
- and to generally stay on an even keel.
Hope your 2016 will be chock-a-block [two blocks of a rigging tackle so hard together they cannot be tightened further] with fun and adventure! Fair winds and following seas in the New Year, friends!