“Very good, sir," replied Frank Adams; and, after the necessary interval of heaving the log-ship over the side to leeward and counting the knots on the line while the fourteen-second glass held by the quartermaster was running out, he sang out "She's going nearly ten, sir.”
“The first mentioned is only used in light breezes; and, as Bob Ricketts showed us by careful manipulation, reeling off bights of the line and keeping the slack loosely in his hands, the thing to be particular about is to heave the log-ship over the side clear of the ship, and see the glass turned as soon as the bunting mark is reached, denoting that all the "waste" has run out.”
“He gave old Ricketts a lot of trouble before he remembered to put in the pin prior to pitching the log-ship overboard; though without this it could not float upright, and was as good as useless to gauge our speed.”
“To ascertain this, in addition to taking the sun at noon and noting the attitude of certain stars at night, the log was hove every hour; and each of us learnt in turn to fix the pin in the "dead man," as the log-ship is styled -- the triangular piece of wood, with a long line attached, by which the speed of the ship is ascertained.”
“It must be understood that this line is divided into a certain number of equal parts, each of which bears the same proportion to a mile, which thirty seconds do to an hour, and therefore, as the log-ship remains stationary in the water, according to the number of these proportions dragged through, while the sand is running, so is shown how many miles or knots the vessel is going through the water.”
“The first part of the line is called the stray-line, and its object is to allow the log-ship to settle properly in the water, as well as to take it clear of the eddy.”
“I then took the log-ship in my right hand and hove it.”
“To assist in stopping the whale's downward course, drogues were now bent on to the line as it ran out; but they appeared to have little more effect in impeding his progress than a log-ship has in stopping the way of a vessel; and yet they have, in reality, much more, as every pound-weight in addition tells on the back of a racer.”
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