• The side of the sail against which the wind is blowing. The vessel might be described as being on a port tack or a starboard tack.

  • On a wooden ship, the upper part of a ship's stern, sometimes a railing. It would serve as a mounting place for a taffrail log to measure speed.
  • Type of mechanical or patent log that used an impeller and a stiff line that when spun read directly on a dial mounted to the taffrail. It could be would give instantaneous distance from when the log's impeller was launched and/ or speed depending on the log.
  • To convert hides into leather by soaking them in a bath of tanbark or synthetic chemicals.
  • Tabiteuea
    Possibly refers to “Tabiteuea,” an island in the Gilbert Islands, now called the Republic of Kiribati. The islands straddle the equator in the Pacific Ocean, lying north-south.
  • Tea

    History of Tea in China: Tea comes from a shrub, Camellia sinensos, whose leaves, buds, and internodes are made into a beverage by infusion with boiling water. Legend has it that tea was discovered in ancient China over 5,000 years ago, when an emperor decreed that drinking water must be boiled for health reasons. As his servants followed this order, some leaves fell into the water from a nearby bush and flavored the brew, creating the first tea. In 800 A.D., the Chinese scholar and philosopher Lu Yu wrote the first book on tea--a vast work codifying various methods of cultivating and preparing tea in China. Later, tea was introduced to Japan by a returning Buddhist missionary/priest who had seen the value of tea in enhancing religious meditation in China. The Japanese Tea Ceremony became an art form.

    Europeans and Tea: Portugal was the first European nation to drink tea. They had a superior navy and were the first to gain trade rights in China. In 1560 a Jesuit missionary brought tea to Portugal. The Dutch were next, and Dutchman Peter Stuyvesant brought the first tea to America, introducing it to the Dutch colony New Amsterdam (later New York.) When England acquired this colony, they found the colonists in this small, remote area drank more tea than all of England!

    England soon became devoted to tea. The John Company, later merged with the East India company in 1773, was granted a monopoly on all commerce with China and India, including importation of tea. Thus, the price was kept high, and this led to difficulties for Britain. Tea importation rose from 40,000 pounds in 1699 to an annual average of 240,000 pound by 1708. Afternon tea became popular in England, and it still is today. The hostess often served tea in fine porcelain from China. English coffee houses began to serve tea instead. They were called "Penny Universities" because for a penny a man (no women allowed) could have a pot of tea, read the newspaper, and converse with friends. The coffee houses specialized by occupation--some for attorneys, some for authors, some for military personnel, etc. One house was owned by Edward Lloyd and was patronized by shipowners, merchants, and marine insurers. This shop was the origin of Lloyd's, the worldwide insurance firm.

    The Boston Tea Party: In June of 1767 Parliament levied a "tea tax" on the American colonies. This was the culminating insult to many colonists, who resented other taxes imposed by the English. The colonists rebelled and began to openly purchase tea from competitors of the British. In 1773 England passed the Tea Act, granting the British permission to sell tea directly to the colonies withoug going through colonial merchants. This kept their prices lower than the colonial merchants' prices for their tea, which was smuggled in from Holland. Thus, the British eliminated the middleman and pocketed the difference. They counted on American women's passion for tea, but throughout the colonies women pledged not to drink English tea until Americans were granted their full rights. By December 16, 1773, relations had deteriorated. The colonies demanded that the British remove the tea tax. American dock workers refused to unload tea from British ships. The British Governor of Massachusetts demanded that the tea be unloaded and the people pay the taxes. Men from Boston, dressed as Indians, threw hundreds of pounds of tea into Boston Harbor. In retaliation, the English closed the port of Boston and Royal troops occupied the city. After the Revolution, Americans were free to trade directly with China, and to procure their own supply of tea, as well as other Chinese goods.

  • British merchant vessels that carried tea from China to England in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
  • The optical instrument that makes distant objects appear larger, and therefore nearer. It works by using a combination of lenses with different powers, or by reflection from a mirror .
  • and What I Saw There

    A temperance novel by Timothy Shay Arthur, published in 1854, that helped demonize alcohol. It was made into a movie in 1931.

  • English sea atlas published from 1671 to 1803, initially by John Seller who was appointed Royal Hydrographer in 1671. These were intended as working charts. The Fourth Book, first issued in 1689 covered North America and Canada.
  • Seats or braces across a boat on which rowers may sit.
  • The alternate rising and falling of the surface of the ocean and large bodies of water such as bays and gulfs that are connected with the ocean. Tides are caused by the gravitational attraction of the sun and moon occurring unequally on different parts of the earth. Each day there are two low tides and two high tides. One high tide is higher, and one low tide lower, than the other.
  • A mill that operates on the water power generated by the incoming and outgoing tide flow. There were many tide mills in Maine.
  • A large island grouping at the southern tip of South America. It is separated from the mainland by the Straits of Magellan. The southernmost point in Tierra del Fuego is Cape Horn. Tierra del Fuego means "land of fire."
  • Ton
    In shipping, ton is a unit of volume. It is derived from a cask that held 252 wine gallons which would hold approximately 2100 pounds of water. A register ton, which measures ship volume, is 100 cubic feet; while a freight ton is 40 cubic feet. As a unit of mass, a long ton is 2240 pounds, a short ton 2000 pounds, and a metric ton 1000 kg. The only time this is used with shipping is to describe the ship's displacement or weight, something done with naval vessels and pleasure craft.
  • t'gallant
    The square rigged sail immediately above the topsail. The topgallant is set from the top of the topgallant mast. A staysail set on a stay running forward and downward from the topgallant mast is called a topgallant staysail.
  • The sail set, in square-rigged ships, on the topsail yard next above the course and second in ascending order from the deck. In fore-and-aft rigged vessels a topsail was set above the mainsail.
  • A name for the trade winds which blow from southeast or northeast depending on hemisphere.
  • trades
    Steady, regular winds that blow in a belt between approximately 30 degrees north and 30 degrees south of the equator. They are caused by the action of the sun on and near the equator in heating the atmosphere and causing it to rise. The heavier air to north and south comes in to fill the vacuum thus caused. In the southern hemisphere the trade winds blow from the south-east and in the northern hemisphere from the north-east. They are called trade winds because of the assistance they gave to merchant ships around the world in the days before steam.
  • Carved and sometimes gilded boards that lead aft (towards the rear) from the stem. Trail boards helped support figureheads in old ships. Sometimes they decorate the bows of sailing yachts.
  • The crosswise timbers in a vessel bolted to the sternpost which creates a flat or square stern.
  • An old and approximate means of making out the course made good by a ship during a watch. It is a circular piece of wood marked with the points of the compass, with eight holes bored in each. Eight small pegs were attached to the center of the board, and each half hour one of the pegs was put in a hole on the compass point on which the ship had run during that half hour. At the end of the watch the mean course could be calculated from the positions of the pegs.
  • Tables that provide solutions to right triangles. They give the navigator the distance and the rhumb line course needed between any two points of known latitude and longitude. If one starts at a known location and keeps track of distance and direction sailed, the position of the point of arrival can be seen by inspection without computation.
  • trawl line
    1. A line, sometimes over a mile long, anchored and buoyed, and having hanging from it many closely-spaced lines bearing baited hooks. 2. A great net shaped like a flattened bag for towing on the bottom of the ocean by a boat.
  • steam trawler
    Formerly a term used for vessels that set line trawls, it has come to be the universal term for any fishing boat or vessel that tows nets. Dragger is the common New England term. The first trawlers were steam powered, but as soon as large enought internal combustion engines became available in the years after World War I, they converted and all new trawlers had gasoline or diesel engines.
  • The treaty ending the Opium Wars between China and Great Britain in 1842, resulting in China being forced to open more ports to western trade.
  • The Treaty of Paris of 1763 ended the Seven Years or French and Indian War. By its terms, Canada became a British colony. The Treaty of Paris of 1783 ended the American Revolution and granted America independence.
  • The treaty between the United States and China, granting the same rights to the U.S. as Britain received under the Treaty of Nanking.
  • trunnel
    Commonly pronounced "trunnel" or "trunnels"; wooden spikes or pins, often made of locust wood.
  • A bridge, usually over marshes or low points in land, for railroads. Usually made up of many short spans.
  • A trade route that involves three points: cargo from A delivered to B, then cargo from B delivered to C; cargo from C brought back to A.
  • A city and seaport in northeastern Italy. It is the capital of an Italian autonomous region.
  • A large power hammer used in metal working. The hammer is raised by water or other power, then allowed to fall by gravity.
  • One of the salmon family, it is chiefly a fresh water fish with several species. Some can be anadromous and found in salt water.
  • The direction of the North Pole from any place on the earth's surface, through which all meridians of longitude pass on maps and charts. The true North Pole differs from the magnetic north pole, which is constantly changing position. If using a magnetic compass, correction must be applied to find True North. The difference is known as variation.
  • The direction of the South Pole from any place on the earth's surface, through which all meridians of longitude pass on maps and charts. It is the direction that the sun is from the observer at local noon or when the sun is highest in the sky.