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Bill Thayer

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This webpage reproduces a section of

W. D. Puleston

published by
D. Appleton-Century Company, Inc.
New York • London

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!

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This site is not affiliated with the US Naval Academy.

Now You Know That

Answers to questions often asked by upperclassmen.
Authority: "Reef Points."

The Alma Mater of the Naval Academy is "Navy Blue and Gold." It is sung standing with bared head, and cap held over the heart.

The medley known as "No More Rivers" is composed of five well-known airs. The first is "Life on the Bounding Main," then the Naval Academy's own song, "No More Rivers," followed by "The Girl I Left Behind Me," "The Mermaid" — a famous old sea song — and "Auld Lang Syne."

 p243  Two royal graduates of the Academy were the grandson of King Louis Philippe of France and a cousin of the King of Portugal.​a

Sob Sunday is the name given to the last Sunday prior to graduation. On that army there is a special service held in the chapel for the members of the First Class and their relatives and friends.

Superstition has it that you will bilge out if you drop your rifle at infantry drill.

You will find much information in the dictionary, Boat Book, Ship and Gunnery Drills, Knight's Seamanship, and Soule's Naval Terms. Don't hesitate to refer to them often.

There are more than one thousand auxiliary motors in the U. S. S. Lexington and Saratoga.

Samuel Barron was a midshipman at the age of two years. He was appointed from Virginia.

To get a rat out of the lee scupper, bring the ship about.

The width of the Panama Canal determines the maximum width of a naval vessel.

Caliber is the diameter in inches of the bore of a gun, measured between the tops of the lands.

The only red, white, and blue buoy in the world is off Fort McHenry in Baltimore Harbor, and commemorates the spot where Francis Scott Key wrote "The Star Spangled Banner."

The United States Navy carried 1,720,360 soldiers to the front in the World War without losing a man.

Some of the ropes in the Navy are: man, hand, foot, grab, bolt, and jaw. It is lubberly to call any line a rope.

 p244  The masts of a seven-masted ship are: the fore, main, mizzen, jigger, kicker, spanker, and pusher.

Battle Lights are blue lights fitted about the ship at necessary points. They are for use in time of battle and are invisible at fifty feet.

Dead Light is a round glass port in a deck to admit light below.

The Lucky Bag aboard ship is the repository for misplaced belongings.

A raked mast or stake is a mast or stack slanting aft.

Rope Yarn Sunday is the Wednesday afternoon recreation period.

Stadimeter is an instrument used on the bridge to find the distance between ships.

The United States Navy has had only four fleet actions, but in every one it captured and destroyed every enemy ship.

No United States man-of‑war has ever mutinied or been in the hands of mutineers.

The Vulgar Establishment of Annapolis is the length of time between the transit of the full moon and the next high tide. It amounts to four hours and forty‑two minutes.

Veering of the wind is its change in direction with the sun, that is, from East through South to West, etc.

Backing of the wind is its change in direction opposite to the sun, that is, from West through South to East, etc.

To Haul to Windward (also called "hauling her wind") is to bring a vessel to the wind when sailing free.

 p245  Haul. A change of wind in the direction of the hands of a clock.

Hauled up. Changing course closer to the wind.

Ship with ready duty flies Roger from the foremast.

Thayer's Note:

a King Louis Philippe had several grandsons. The one who graduated from the Naval Academy was Pierre d'Orléans, Duke of Penthièvre; during his service in the United States Navy, his first cousin Pedro was King of Portugal. I suspect, but am not sure, that he accounts by himself for the "two" royal graduates.

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Page updated: 10 Nov 20