display | more...

On a sailing ship, the quarters of the crew were in the forecastle, which is the part of the ship that is in front of the foremast.

So, William Henry Dana's book Two Years Before the Mast is about his two years as a common sailor. You could speak of a common sailor as a foremast hand, or jack tar, or as shipping before the mast.

The forecastle - spelled and pronounced "focsle", is a fairly uncomfortable place, known to be the leakiest part of the ship.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.