• Alexander Dallas Bache

    1806-1867. Graduated from West Point in 1825. Appointed second superintendent of the United States Coast Survey in 1843. Became first president of the National Academy of Sciences.

  • back staff, back-staff, Davis quadrant

    A navigational instrument for measuring the altitude of the sun, introduced in the 16th century. It got its name because, unlike the cross-staff that it replaced, the user has the sun behind him when using the instrument. Sailors also called a Davis Quadrant after the inventor John Davis who published it in 1595 in his Seaman's Secrets.

  • A net set in a river, attached to a rectangular wooden frame. The frame is then attached by guy lines to a large cement block or boulder to keep it from shifting. As the incoming tide opens the net, fish swimming with the current are caught inside. The net is pulled up at the highest point of tide. Used for smelt.
  • Net bag in a lobster trap in which the bait is put.

  • Any heavy material carried temporarily or permanently in a vessel to provide desired draft and stability. "In ballast" means that the vessel is sailing without any cargo, just with ballast in her hold.

  • A sharp-built topsail schooner or brig-rigged vessel with tonnage from 90 to 200 tons, about 100 feet long. The masts were raked to preserve a balance of sail, the hull had a sharp V section and cutaway ends. Ill suited for carrying cargo, it was faster in light and moderate winds than most other vessels. The type reached its height of development in the War of 1812 in which Baltimore clipper schooners played a major part as privateers, posing a major threat to British merchant shipping. The type inspired later clipper ship design.
  • This rail line was formed in 1891 to combine the lines of the Bangor and Piscataquis Railroad and the Bangor and Katahdin Railroad. It was based in Bangor. Lines went to Oakfield, Houlton, Madawaska, Presque Isle, and Searsport. It was sold in 1995 and declared bankrupt in 2002. It is now the Montreal, Maine, and Atlantic Railway under the ownership of Rail World, Inc.
  • As a nautical term, banks are shallow areas which are often prime fishing grounds.
  • Corsair was the term usually used to describe the piratical vessels of the coast of northern Africa, manned by Berbers (hence the name Barbary). Unlike real pirates, these were sponsored by small countries in that area. Many countries bribed these Algerian states to leave their merchant vessels alone. The Barbary Corsairs or Barbary pirates were known for their ferocity and skill. Piracy off the Barbary Coast took place in the 17th,18th, and early 19th centuries. Protecting American merchant vessels from them was a major impetus for the creation of the United States Navy and led to the first Barbary War from 1801 to 1805. They were finally eliminated after the French conquest of Algiers in 1830.
  • The general name given to a flat-bottomed rigged or unrigged craft with a full body and heavy construction. Usually for transportation of bulky freight such as coal, lumber, sand, or stone.
  • A sailing vessel with three masts; square-rigged on the fore and main masts and fore-and-aft rigged on the mizzen.
  • A sailing vessel with three masts; square-rigged on the fore mast and fore-and-aft on the main and mizzen masts.
  • An enclosure or barracks formerly used for temporary confinement of slaves or convicts.
  • In barrel making or coopering, the person who puts the top and bottom (the head or heading) on a wooden barrel.
  • People inhabiting parts of France and Spain, on the western edge of the Pyrenees, near the Bay of Biscay.
  • bateaux
    French for boat. A term used in North America to designate various types of small craft. In Canada and New England, a double-ended, flat-bottomed rowing boat used on rivers and lakes; specialized bateaux were used by lumbermen in driving logs down rivers.
  • Established in 1884 by Thomas Hyde in Bath, Maine to consolidate his various maritime companies. He had begun in 1865 with an iron foundry and machine shop to build engines and ship machinery, which became the Hyde Windlass Company. Began ship building in 1888 and continues ship building today with the United State Navy its primary customer. Now owned by General Dynamics Corporation.
  • The southern tip of Manhattan Island, N.Y., facing New York harbor.
  • In 1759, the British and Americans defeated the French and Indians at the Battle of Quebec, ending French rule in Canada and French influence in Eastern Maine.
  • bay of good Success
    A small bay in the Islands of Tierra del Fuego, across the Straits of Le Maire from Staten Island. The Bay was visited by Captain Cook in 1769.
  • (1) The transverse measurement of a vessel at its widest part; (2) A term used to indicate direction in relation to a ship, as in "on the beam (abeam)" for something whose direction is at 90 degrees to the vessel; (3) One of the transverse members of a ship's frame on which the decks are laid. In wooden vessels, beams are supported on the ship's sides by right-angled timbers known as knees, and in steel ships by steel brackets or stringers. The depth of a beam is called its moulding, and its width is its siding.

  • A trawl or towed net whose mouth is held open by a long beam.
  • The horizontal angle between the direction of true north or south and that of the object of which the bearing is being taken. When the bearing is taken by a magnetic compass, subject to variation and deviation, it must be corrected before true bearing is obtained.
  • Sir Francis Beaufort
    1774-1857. Irish hydrographer and Royal Naval officer. During his naval career in the Napoleonic Wars during which he rose to captain, he surveyed when he could. In 1829 he was given the appointment of Hydrographer of the Navy and oversaw the creation of a Hydrographic Department which made Admiralty Charts the standard to which other chartmakers aspired. He is still remembered for his creation in 1805 of the Beaufort Scale to measure wind and sea conditions.
  • sea cucumber, trepang
    Beche-de-mer (sea cucumbers) are sea-dwelling echinoderms similar to sea stars and sea urchins. In Asia, where they are considered a delicacy, they are dried and pulverized and used in foods. Sea cucumbers contain chondroitin, thought to help joint pain and stiffness from arthritis. They are in demand for health supplements, although there is no documented proof of effectiveness. The sea cucumber grows slowly, raising concerns about management of their harvest. Commercially, it is also known as trepang.
  • Becket
    A looped rope, strap, hook and eye, or grommet used as a handle or as an oarlock.
  • Time is marked at sea by striking the ship’s bell every half-hour during each of the seven watches of the day. At noon, the helmsman strikes eight bells; at 12:30 one bell; and so on through the afternoon watch, adding one bell each half-hour, until 4 p.m. when eight bells is sounded again. The process is repeated from 4 to 8 p.m. (covering the first and second dogwatch); from 8 p.m. to midnight (the first watch), from midnight to 4 a.m. (the middle watch); from 4 to 8 a.m. (the morning watch) and from 8 a.m. to noon (the forenoon watch.)
  • Organisms (plants, animals, and bacteria) that live on or in the sea floor. Familiar examples would be shell fish, crabs, lobsters, sea anemones, sea urchins, sea stars.
  • A shelf-like sleeping space, as on a ship, airplane, or railroad car. It can also refer to the space allotted to a vessel at anchor or at a wharf, or to a job or position.
  • A document issued by a carrier, such as a ship's master, acknowledging that certain goods have been taken on board for delivery to a specific person or place.
  • A carving, usually a scroll attached to the bow under the bowsprit of a vessel. When it is a representational figure it would be called a figurehead.
  • Biliousness
    A group of symptoms including nausea, abdominal discomfort, headache, and constipation. In the past it was thought to be caused by excessive secretion of bile from the liver.
  • William Bingham
    William Bingham, 1752 - 1804, was a delegate from Pennsylvania to the Continental Congress. After the American Revolution he used his wealth to purchase land, including about 2 million acres in Maine. This was known as the Bingham Purchase.
  • A case that supports and protects the ship's compass.
  • A delicacy in Asia for over 400 years. The soup is made from swiftlet nests, found in Southeast Asia, Pacific Islands, and Australia. The Chinese believed the nests to have great nutritive and medicinal properties, although this has largely been discounted by scientific analysis.
  • Clarence Birdseye
    1886-1956. Developed the quick food freezing process after watching Inuit use freezing to preserve food in Labrador. He started a company in 1924 to develop quick-freezing machines for his newly-established General Seafoods Company in Gloucester, Massachusetts. His system reached practicality in 1926. In 1930 after selling his company it was established as Birds Eye frozen foods with the first products appearing. His work led to the frozen fish market.