What's a fathom? - It's the unit of measurement for the depth of the sea or the lengths of ropes or cables. The word comes from the old English Word "faedm," which means "to embrace." It is a measurement based on a man's out-stretched arms, and is roughly six feet. As a measurement of distance, a "cable" is 100 fathoms. The saying, "I can fathom that," refers to a person being able to understand the depth of something, or to measure it.

Ever wonder why it was called disbursing? Purser = Paymaster. This comes from the medieval word, "bursar", who was the nobleman's keeper of the cash. Hence the word, "disburse", when referring to payments or salaries to the crew

Ships Log Book? In the old days, the only way to determine a ship's speed was to cast a small log secured to a line from the bow of the ship. The ship's speed was calculated using the marked length of the line and timing how long it took for the log to reach the stern. During each watch, the log was cast every hour, and the ship's speed and compass course was noted in a book so the captain could use it for his navigation.

Ever wonder where the word Khaki came from? - - It's a durable, impregnated cloth light brown in color and first used by the British Army as a uniform in the late 1800s. Derived from the Ghurka (Northern India tribe from the Himalayan Mountains) word for "mud". It has since become the distinctive uniform of Navy Officers and Chief Petty Officers.

Ever been on the Binnacle List? The binnacle list gets its name from the old nautical practice of placing the sick list on the binnacle (this was a covered stand on the ship's deck which contained the ship's compass and a lamp to enable the officer of the deck to check his course at night and in foul weather) each morning, so that it would be readily available for the captain. The modern binnacle list contains the names of crewmen suffering from minor complaints which would preclude employment on strenuous duty. Today, the Sick List is for hospitalized personnel.

We all went to Boot Camp but why is it called Boot Camp? This is said to have come from the days just after the Civil War. At the time, experienced or "true" Sailors did much of their work barefoot -- especially when scrubbing the decks. New recruits from the Midwest did not like doing it in this fashion, and would go ashore as soon as possible to buy a pair of rubber boots to protect their feet.