You’re all set for that first cruise. You’ve booked the perfect balcony cabin away from the nightclub, bought yourself a new pair of sunglasses, flip-flops and big floppy hat, and you’re ready to set out on the high seas. You’ve researched the ports and decided which trips you want to take, and which you think you’d prefer to do on your own, and made your reservations for the nicer restaurants on board your ship.
You’re all set!
Or ARE YOU?
Do you know the bow from the stern, or which is port side and which is starboard? Don’t worry, because I’ve created a little “cheat sheet” so you’ll look like an old salt even if it’s your first time.
1. Bow – This term refers to the very front of a ship. Just look in the direction that you’re heading and you’ll be looking directly over the bow of the ship. Yes, the captain will be looking that way as well, as he steers the ship to your destination.
2. Stern – Turn backwards from the bow and you’ll find the stern. This is the very back of the ship. Take a walk back there and see the wake that the ship creates as you travel.
3. Aft – Don’t get confused here, but aft means back as well, only it’s more of where your heading than the actual back of the boat. So…you head AFT to get to the STERN. Aft is the direction that you’re heading (back).
4. Bridge – This is not something that you can drive your car across…no, no, no. The bridge is where the captain’s station is…it’s where the wheel and all of the instruments to steer the ship are located.
5. Gangway – This is the way you get on and off the ship. This is an easy one, just think of that pirate who made the guy walk the gangplank (only his was out into the ocean, not onto land).
6. Embark/Disembark – Embark means to get ON to the ship, Disembark is when you get OFF of the ship.
8. Port – This is one of those words that have ONE meaning, but with 2 uses. Port is a stop, a city, island, etc. BUT it also is the LEFT side of the ship when facing the bow. So, if your cabin is port side, it should look over at the dock.
9. Starboard – The opposite of port, so when you face the box, starboard will be on your right. If you’ve got a starboard cabin you’ll probably look out onto the ocean when you’re docked in port.
10. Windward – This is the side of the ship where you’ll feel the wind blowing. Simple one isn’t it?
11. 10. Leeward – If windward is where the wind is blowing, than leeward is the OPPOSITE side.
12. Knots – When you travel in a car, you measure your distance in miles per hour, in a boat the measurement is knots.