Test your knowledge of fun nautical trivia with a sailing focus. These are great questions for a long night watch or the yacht club bar. The answer to each question is given on the next page.
1. Your disabled sailboat has been taken under tow. When a fog bank rolls in, what sound signals should you make?
2. What is the origin of the phrase "son of a gun"?
3. What is the origin of the term "mayday" for an emergency call?
4. What percentage of ocean water is composed of dissolved salts?
5. Where on a sailboat are you most likely to find an angel?
6. You have been sailing south through day after day of heavy overcast and fog, and are thus unable to use your sextant to determine your latitude (and you have no GPS). How can you tell when you have crossed the equator?
7. Few people with ancraophobia become sailors. Why? What are they afraid of?
8. Every mariner knows the different between port and starboard. Hundreds of years ago, however, a different word was used to refer to the left side of the boat. What is it? Do you know the origin of these terms?
9. Is everything on your boat hunky dory? This phrase for feeling carefree does have a nautical origin, but it's not related to a small wood boat that is rowed. Where does the phrase originate?
10. Rum punch is a favorite among sailors when the sun is over the yardarm. There's a delightful little verse to help you remember the proportions of different ingredients in rum punch:
One of sour
Two of sweet
Three of strong
And four of weak.
Name the four ingredients that are sour, sweet, strong, and weak.