• A region of China, formerly a Portuguese territory, on the west side of the Pearl River Delta, across from Hong Kong. In the days of the China Trade, Macao was strategically located to control access to Canton, an important (and for a long time the only) city in China that was open to western trade.
  • Mack's Point
    Site of a deep water port in Searsport, Maine, and home to Searsport's industrial district. The correct spelling is Mack Point. Mack Point is on the mainland directly across from Sears Island.
  • Atlantic mackerel is the species found in the North Atlantic. A schooling, bony, oily, strongly-flavored food fish, green above with dark blue bars and silvery color below. The commercial stock has rebounded since near collapse in the 1970s. Without ice they spoil quickly. They are caught in purse seines which produce relatively little bycatch and no bottom damage. Today most of Maine's mackerel fishery is recreational.

  • A magnetic compass gets its directive force from the Earth's magnetic field. The force acts on a magnetized needle, or several needles, affixed to a card. The needles rotate freely horizontally. Until the mid 19th century, compasses were dry; that is, the compass card rotated in air on a pivot pin. Edward S. Ritchie developed the first liquid magnetic compass (or wet card compass) in 1862, which solved problems of instability in dry card compasses. Wet card compasses have the card suspended in a liquid, usually a light oil, which has a float in the center to take most of the weight of the card off the pivot. The oil damps or smooths the card motion in a rough sea.
  • The magnetic force of definite strength which surrounds a magnet.
  • Magnetic north is one of two points on the globe where the line of total magnetic force is vertical and towards which the magnetic needle points in all adjoining regions. Variation (also called magnetic declination) is the difference in direction between true north as determined by the earth's axis of rotation and magnetic north as determined by the earth's magnetism. The variation is designated as east or positive when the magnetic needle is deflected to the east of true north, and as west or negative when the deflection is to the west of true north. The magnetic North Pole is located south of the North Pole in the Canadian Arctic, while the magnetic South Pole is near the coast of Antarctica.
  • Passed in 1976, with modifications up to 1996, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act gave the United States exclusive fishery management power in waters out to 200 miles from its shore. It gives authority to the Federal government to set conservation policies which it does through the National Marine Fisheries Service.
  • A large island in the Mediterranean Sea. It is the largest in the Balearic Archipelago belonging to Spain. Majorca is so named because it is larger than the nearby smaller island of Minorca.
  • A large city in Spain, on the Mediterranean Coast.
  • One tribe of the Wabanaki Confederation now living in the St. John's River valley mostly in New Brunswick and Quebec, with one band in Houlton, Maine.
  • A tool like a hammer, but with a wooden head.
  • A warship.
  • mandarins
    Civil and military officials in Imperial China.
  • In rope, fiber obtained from the abacá plant. Named as such as the Philippines were a primary source for this rot-resistant natural fiber rope, the most important maritime rope material before the advent of petroleum-based fibers like nylon and polypropylene.
  • A city in Cuba, 25 miles west of Havana.
  • The lower stay of rope used to sustain the strain of the forestays.
  • Nevil Maskelyne

    1732-1811. British astronomer who served as Astronomer Royal from 1765 to 1811. He established the publication of the Nautical Almanac and was instrumental in providing the data for the lunar distance method of calculating longitude. Portrayed negatively in a recent book on longitude, Maskelyne's methods proved practical and efficient until the late 19th century when chronometers became common.

  • Masons
    An organization formally called the Free and Accepted Masons, an international fraternal and charitable group with secret rites, rituals and signs.
  • Formed in 1628 as the Company of Massachusetts Bay in New England, the first 400 settlers, primarily Puritans, arrived in the Boston / Salem area in 1629. The first major emigration landed in 1630 under the governance of John Winthrop. In 1691-2, the Massachusetts Bay Colony was combined with other colonies to form the Province of New England.
  • A straight piece of timber or a hollow cylinder of wood or metal set up vertically or nearly so and supporting yards, booms, derricks, or gaffs. In fore-and-aft rigged vessels each mast is commonly made of two parts, called the lower mast and the topmast. On large sailing vessels the masts are made up of several lengths called lower mast, topmast, topgallant mast, and royal mast. Masts are supported from forwards by stays, from sides by shrouds (rigging), and from aft by backstays.
  • A seventeenth century vessel that carried cut white pine trees, several hundred feet tall, to England for use as masts for the British Navy.
  • A city on the northern shore of Cuba, about 56 miles east of Havana.
  • In the merchant marine, the rank below master. Mates may be first, second, third, etc.
  • Woven straw or other fiber.
  • A heavy hammer for driving stakes, or wedges.
  • Matthew Fontaine Maury

    1806-1873. Naval officer and oceanographer. Maury joined the US Navy in 1825, became superintendent of the Navy's Hydrographic Office in 1839, and in 1842 became the superintendent of the Depot of Charts and Instruments. In 1844 he became the first superintendent of the Naval Observatory. His analysis of thousands of logs and reports let him create pilot charts and sailing directions for ocean navigators, allowing them to choose the best wind and current. His main publication was in 1855, The Physical Geography of the Sea. A Virginian, during the Civil War he joined the Confederacy, and was in charge of all coast defenses. After a pardon for Confederate leaders in 1868, he returned to become professor of meteorology at Virginia Military Institute.

  • According to the Indians kidnapped by George Waymouth and James Rosier, who explored the coast of Maine in 1605, the Natives called this area Mawooshen.
  • Tobias Mayer

    1723-1762. German astronomer whose studies of the moon and lunar tables were sufficiently accurate to be usable to calculate longitude by lunar distances. These tables were sent to the British government and published by Maskelyne in the Nautical Almanac.

  • A datum or basis from which depths are measured on many charts. It is the average of the lowest of the two low tides each day on a 19 year cycle. Since it is a mean low tides can be lower than this.
  • Time as measured by the mean sun; a fictitious sun conceived to move along the equinoctial at a uniform rate corresponding to the average rate of the true sun on the ecliptic. It is used as a reference for calculating mean time.
  • Extra power or strength obtained by using a simple machine.
  • Pedro de Medina
    c.1493-c.1597. Spanish mathematician and astronomer. Published the first manual for compass navigation in 1584, the "Arte de Navagar," translated into many languages. He was the examiner for Spanish navigators for the West Indies.
  • Revolution in Japan in 1866/8 that 'restored' the Emperor's rule by ending the 250 year feudal rule of Tokugawa shoguns, opening Japanese ports to the West. It was a direct result of Commodore Matthew Perry's visit to Japan in 1853 which forced the Japanese to allow American trade, ending a two-century Dutch monopoly. It created a highly centralized bureaucracy that was directly responsible for Japan's industrialization.

  • pogy, mossbunker
    One of the herring family, menhaden are one of the most important food fishes on the Atlantic Coast. Maine is at the northern limits of their range. They are caught in purse seines and have been traditionlly processed for fertilizer and oil especially in the Cheasapeake and North Carolina areas.
  • Maps and charts are printed as projections of the land onto a piece of paper. The Mercator projection shows what the world looks like when a light is placed in the center of a hollow earth, and it shines out through the surface of the earth to project the shape of land and sea onto a piece of paper wrapped around the globe. Thus, the north and south poles would have to be at an infinite distance from the equator on such a map, but the shape of the land at the equator would be correct. Greenland looks larger than it really is on a Mercator projection. The advantage of the Mercator projection is that it allows one to draw a straight "rhumb line" between two points and have the bearing remain the same along that line. On a Maine chart, the longitude lines will be closer together than the latitude lines. The scale of nautical miles is the latitude scale on the right side of the chart, as one degree of latitude is equal to sixty nautical miles, or one minute of latitude is one nautical mile. While useful for the navigator, the projection greatly distorts the size of the land masses, and it is no longer used to show the whole world on a flat plane; however, it is used in large scale navigational applications.
  • Gerardus Mercator
    1512-1594. Flemish mathematician and geographer who, after moving to Germany in 1552, invented the map projection named after him. His world map was first published in 1569.