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Towards midnight of the 20th June, the wind increased so much, that we had to lay our ship a-try all night under her main-course.
A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 09 Arranged in Systematic Order: Forming a Complete History of the Origin and Progress of Navigation, Discovery, and Commerce, by Sea and Land, from the Earliest Ages to the Present Time Robert Kerr 1784
chained_bear commented on the word a-try
"...where they lay a-try, perhaps with a kedge out ahead..."
--P. O'Brian, The Commodore, 275
A Sea of Words lists this word under L for "lie a-try," also "lie try," "lie by." "In a gale, where the ship could not run before the wind, sufficient canvas was set to keep her head about six points from the wind, coming up and falling off, and maintaining enough way to maintain steerage." (p. 275)
March 18, 2008