• 1. A heavy hook fastened to the end of a handle for landing fish.

    2. The spar on which the top or head of a fore-and-aft sail is laced. Halyards are attached to it to hoist the sail.

    3. The act of using a gaff.

  • A continuous wind varying in velocity from 34 to 63 knots.
  • Galileo Galilei
    1564-1642. Italian mathematician, astronomer and instrument maker. In 1609, basing his work on a description of a Dutch telescope, he developed the first practical telescope which he used to discover the moons of Jupiter the following year. This tool was an astronomical breakthrough, for no longer were astronomers dependent on their eyes alone for observation.
  • The kitchen on board a vessel.
  • A chat or conference among captains or sailors, ashore or at sea.
  • In fishing, fastening a number of hooks to the same line, creating a "gang" of hooks. Gang can also refer to the leader from the trawl line to an individual hook.

  • gasket
    A rope, plaited cord, or strip of canvas used to secure a furled sail to a yard or boom.
  • In fishing, a measuring device to determine if the catch is of legal size.
  • The ropes, blocks, and tackles of a particular sail or spar. In more general terms, gear refers to any arrangement of machinery, or set of equipment. Gears are also wheels, disks, or shafts with teeth cut to mesh with teeth of another gear, to allow machinery to run in either direction and to transmit force and motion, such as inside of a capstan or part of a windlass.
  • A category of artistic work characterized by a particular, style, form or content. It can also mean a painting that depicts scenes or events from everyday life, usually realistically.
  • A shallow area rich in fish, located in the Gulf of Maine east of Cape Cod. It separates the Gulf of Maine from the Atlantic. Lying only about 60 miles offshore, it was responsible for the fishery development for Massachusetts and Maine. It is still a productive area, now subject to strict managment rules to sustain and rebuild fish stocks. It is unclear if these are working.
  • A light rowboat, powerboat, or sailboat, often used as quick transport for the ship captain or a lighthouse keeper. The gig was designed for speed, not as a working boat.
  • Sir Humphrey Gilbert
    c.1539-1583. English nobleman and explorer who annexed Newfoundland to Britain in 1583. He was lost at sea on his return voyage. He had been active in promoting English North American colonization. Queen Elizabeth reissued Gilbert's exploration and colonization patent to Walter Raleigh, Gilbert's brother-in-law, who used it to plant a colony at Roanoke.
  • A net which captures fish of a certain size. The fish is unable to swim forward due to its size anc cannot back out due to the size of its gills.

  • Ginseng is a plant with an aromatic root, one species growing wild in China and another found in the woodlands of the American Atlantic Seaboard. Ginseng root had been used for centuries in China as a medicine and tonic. It was believed to be a cure-all, with many healing powers for disease, as well as a tonic to restore youth and vigor and defer old age.
  • GPS
    Satellite-based navigation system developed and operated by the United States Department of Defense becoming operational in 1993. It uses 24 satellites, and users can determine position, speed and time.
  • A perspective projection in which part of a spherical surface is projected from the center of the sphere onto a plane surface tangential to the sphere's surface. The great circle arcs are projected as straight lines.
  • In the China Trade, storage areas inside Hongs in Canton, where tea and silk were kept before trade with western merchants.
  • Estêvão Gomes, Esteban Gomez

    c.1483-1538. Portuguese navigator who worked for Spain (Estêvão Gomes is the Portuguese spelling.) Piloted one of Magellan's ships on Magellan's around the world voyage in 1519, but mutinied and turned back at Cape Horn for which he was jailed on his return in 1521. Released after the survivors returned in 1522, he convinced Charles V, king of Spain, that he could find a passage through North America. Charles V was concerned about his rival and enemy Francis I of France and his navigator Verrazzano and gave Gomez full support. Gomez sailed in September of 1524. Traditional scholarship has him making the trip from north to south but more recent work indicates it was south to north, which makes more sense, wintering in Cuba (Hispaniola) and then heading north. In 1525 he coasted from Florida to Nova Scotia, returning to Spain in August. A map drawn in 1529 using the results of his voyage showed that he had sailed up into Penobscot Bay, up to what is now Bangor, as well as sighting the offshore islands,;Casco or Muscongus Bay; and the White Mountains of New Hampshire, all in June. He also kidnapped at least 58 natives for eventual sale into slavery; they were freed by Charles V, but not returned to their homeland. Gomez was killed in the West Indies in 1528.

  • G. Brown Goode

    1851-1896. Zoologist whose specialty was the natural history of fish (an ichthyologist). After joining the staff of the Smithsonian in 1877, he became Assistant Secretary of the Smithsonian in 1887. He organized a number of fisheries exhibitions and is chiefly known for his work directing and editing the 1880 fish census survey that resulted in the 7-volume publication, The Fisheries and Fishery Industries of the United States, published between 1884 and 1887.

  • Sir Ferdinando Gorges
    c.1566-1647. Wealthy British nobleman and governor of Plymouth, a main sponsor of a number of exploring expeditions and colonization attempts in New England, having been granted major lands. His interest was kindled by taking in to his house the three natives captured by George Waymouth in 1605. One of the investors in the colony at Popham Beach, which failed in 1608, he hired John Smith to explore the New England coast in 1614 and sent out further colonies and expeditions. He founded the Council of New England, and at one time, was the lord-proprietary of the province of Maine.
  • Bartholomew Gosnold

    1572-1607. English explorer who sailed to New England in 1602, arriving at and naming Cape Elizabeth, anchoring in York Harbor, then sailing down the coast. He named Cape Cod, then sailed around to Martha's Vineyard, naming it for his daughter. His party was too weak to plant a colony, so all returned. He obtained the exclusive charter that established the Virginia Company, which was to establish the Jamestown colony, and recruited its leadership. He sailed himself as vice admiral and captain of the second largest ship, Godspeed. He died four months after landing at Jamestown. A skeleton, which may be his, was uncovered in 2002. He is considered to be the prime mover of the settlement.

  • In the nineteenth century, schools that offered instruction beyond the elementary level. Grammar schools could be attended only by children whose parents owned shares in the school.
  • A marine mammal resembling a dolphin but without a beaked snout. Historically, the term grampus was sometimes used to refer to a killer whale.
  • A large shallow area, rich in fish, located in the North Atlantic off Newfoundland. Publicized by John Cabot's voyage in 1497, this was once perhaps the world's greatest fishing grounds, with cod so thick they could be snagged in baskets, according to Cabot. The Candian portion of the Grand Banks have been closed to cod fishing as well as the cod fishery along the northern Newfoundland and Labrador coasts due to complete collapse of the Northern Cod stock.

  • green hands
    A novice seaman.
  • A mill for grinding grain.
  • groundfish
    Bottom-dwelling fish, especially commercially valuable ones such as cod or flounder.
  • Droppings of sea birds, with high levels of phosphate and nitrogen making it valuable for fertilizer. Starting in the 1840s, centuries of deposits were mined at the Chincha Islands off Peru. Supplies were effectively exhausted in the 1870s; many Maine ships and captains worked the guano trade.
  • The area of ocean from Cape Cod to Cape Sable, defined by the shores of northern Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, and parts of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
  • A gyre is a system of ring-like ocean currents that rotate clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere. This one exists in the Gulf of Maine.
  • A warm ocean current flowing north from the Gulf of Mexico, along the east coast of the U.S., to the southeast coast of Newfoundland, where it forms the western edge of the North Atlantic Current. Benjamin Franklin published the first map showing the location of the Gulf Stream in 1770. The current can either help or hinder a ship by 70 miles per day, depending on the direction of travel. Franklin announced his findings in a letter to a French scientist in 1785. He noted that one can tell if a ship is in it by measuring the water temperature; the Gulf Stream is much warmer than the ocean water on either side of it.
  • Edmund Gunter

    1581-1626. English mathematician who in 1620 published trigonometric tables with logarithms. His scales, which could be used to multiply numbers using dividers, were invaluable to the seafarer who called them "Gunters." This was published in 1624 in his Description and Use of the Sector, the Crosse-Staffe and other Instruments. The Gunter scale is the basis of the slide rule.

  • Pronounced gun’l. The upper edge of the side or bulwark of a vessel.

  • Fish offal or waste including skin, fins and guts; a term extended to include garbage on board fishing vessels.
  • A widely-distributed mineral consisting of hydrous calcium sulfate that is used especially as a soil amendment and in making plaster of paris and cement.