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On a trireme, the oar pivoted on an upright, wooden peg called a tholepin.
The oarloop held the oar tightly against the tholepin.
But for answer he merely stared at her, and a moment later his starboard oar snapped its tholepin like a carrot, and hurled him back over his thwart as the boat ran alongside the _Albemarle's_ ladder.
I can step into the boat now, but when you have sixteen stone to drop on the top of a tholepin, I assure you it makes you cautious.