Francis Liardet: Professional Recollections on Points of Seamanship, Discipline, &c., 1849.

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Anchored in an open roadstead in blowing weather.

If you think it will be best to ride the gale out at anchor, bend all your best storm-sails, and see the stays well greased. Send top-gallant-masts, yards, and flying jib-boom on deck, close-reef the top-sails, take one or more reefs in the courses, then furl the top-sails and courses well. Send all the studding-sails and top-weights not actually wanted, on deck. Lash boats well, and secure everything. Brace the yards for casting the way you wish the ship to go, in the event of the cable parting. If you wish the ship to cast to starboard, have the storm stay-sheets and trysail sheets aft on the starboard side; of to port, on the port side. The relieving tackles should be hooked, and the spare tiller aft, on the deck on which it ships. A good seaman in each main-chains, a quarter-master attending the deep-sea lead, the other at the conn, ready to give the word to the helmsman, "hard a-starboard," or "hard a-port," as the case may be, as the ship will sure to get stern-way first when she parts her cable; the helm should be put hard over either to port or starboard, according to the side on which you wish to cast the ship; of course the watch on deck are to be on the alert ready for anything, and the watch below lying down with their clothes on, ready at a moment's warning. If the ship should part her cable,* the carpenter is immediately to see the hawse-plugs put in. When the decks are wet, sand them well, so as to insure firm footing for the men, which will give you increased strength for setting your sails, and working the ship off shore.
* If you have sea-room, let one watch be employed in heaving in the outer end, while the other watch are making sail, being careful to keep the ship well full, or, the cable dragging on the bottom, will bring her into the wind; if in a critical situation, sacrifice the cable at once by slipping; and it ought invariably to be the practice to have a shackle abaft the bitts, whenever at single anchor, with maul and pins ready for that purpose. No cable ought to be clinched by shackle and pin, but by rope lashing, which can be readily cut, as several vessels have been wrecked from not being able to free themselves of their cables after parting.
Francis Liardet: Professional Recollections on Points of Seamanship, Discipline, &c.
William Woodward, Portsea, 1849. 8vo, frontisp., (6), x, 319 pp, 1 col. plate of signals.

Transcribed by Lars Bruzelius

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Copyright © 1998 Lars Bruzelius.