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CRUISING DIRECTORY - PART 4
I bet you can hardly believe how much there is to learn about cruising! But don’t let it put you off. You will soon be using all the jargon like an old sea dog!
Bridge – nothing to do with crossing rivers, this is high up at the front of the ship and is where the captain may be found (when he is not drinking champagne at his numerous cocktail parties, or having his photograph taken with yet another group of leering passengers who expect him to remember that they were on his ship 4 years ago). It usually juts out on either side and has lots of glass windows. It is the navigation and command centre of the ship, from where it is steered. If you are lucky you may get to tour this area. If you are very lucky you may be invited to join the captain on the bridge for a ‘sailaway. ’ Most people would give their eye-teeth for this, just to tell the neighbours.
The Captain – otherwise known as the Master of the Ship. You cannot miss him, he has the most gold on his uniform and is usually to be found at the entrance to the main lounge, shaking hands with everyone at his ‘Welcome Cocktail Party. ’ He tends to have a fixed smile on his face, and is very good at remembering which ship he last met you on – or maybe he is just good at ‘blagging’ it.
Funnel – often called a smoke stack, and not to be confused with a chimney. These are sometimes fake, and added to make the ship look symmetrical. Some ships even have climbing walls attached to their funnels.
Course – this is the planned route taken by your ship. It can also be part of your meal, as in entrée, dessert etc.
Leeward – this is the side of the ship which faces away from the prevailing winds. In other words, it is the side of the ship where you do not get blown over the side. When venturing out onto the deck in windy weather, for your comfort it is very important to know if you are about to step onto the leeward side.
Windward – this is the side of the ship you DO want to avoid. It’s the side the wind is blowing across. If you can’t open the doors onto the deck and if there is a notice advising you not to, then unless you want to get blown over the side, don’t try.
List – this is not that irritating piece of paper which has all your important information on it (things to pack, what to buy, instructions for looking after the cat while you are away) and which you have lost. In nautical terms it is the degree that the ship leans to one side or the other. In normal circumstances a ship should not list at all. To check this just look at the level of the water in your glass – it should be completely horizontal. If your wine glass slides off your dining table during dinner then the ship definitely has a list, and at this point it might be wise to run down to your cabin and grab warm clothes and your lifejacket.
Pitch – this is the amount of up and down movement of the ship whilst at sea. In most circumstances you will not notice it at all, but in rough seas you will be able to watch the bow of the ship rising and falling. This is not to be recommended and may result in you turning a pale shade of green.
Roll – you may think this is something you eat with your soup, and which is freshly baked, but technically it is the movement of the ship from side to side. You may never feel the ship rolling, so it is not something you need to worry about. You really only need to worry if it keeps on rolling – then all those things you learned from the film ‘Poseidon’ may well come in useful.
If all of this is making you feel a little seasick then take a look at my article on ‘What About Seasickness.
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