"...her chair installed at the leeward end of the taffrail and her feet resting on a cheese of wads placed there by William Honey..."
"'Why is it called a wad of cheese?' she asked.
"'A cheese of wads, I believe, ma'am,' said Jack. 'Cheese because it is a cylinder like a tall thin Stilton, and wads because that is what the cloth is filled with.'" —Patrick O'Brian, The Truelove, 213 and 214
The aforesaid wads are those used in the cannons to hold the powder and shot inside.