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Sailing Slang and Jargon

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After hanging out with San Diego sailing enthusiasts, Martha picked up several bits of slang and jargon. Catenary describes the desirable curve of an anchor chain, from Latin catena, meaning “chain.” A chain that is not pulled up correctly runs the risk of forming castles, irregular piles of links that require untangling or descastling. The route along the coast of Baja California going south from San Diego is usually pleasant and known as the Baja ha-ha (which is also the name of a well-known regatta), but traveling in the opposite direction, from the tip of the peninsula, can be grueling and is known as the Baja bash. One must always be on the lookout for a BOSS, or “big old steel ship,” and sailors approaching their home port like to say they’re nearing the barn. This is part of a complete episode.

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