K

K flag K As a flag, or flashed in Morse code, -0-, it means, ‘I wish to communicate with you’. In the phonetic alphabet it is Kilo, pronounced ‘key-low’. Kedge…

L

L – Lima If someone flashes this at you in Morse code, .- •• it means, ‘You should stop your vessel immediately’. For radio-telephone work it is Lima, with the…

M

M – Mike (phonetic) Two dashes in Morse code, and means, ‘My vessel is stopped and making no way through the water’ in the International Code. Mike in phonetic M…

N

N – November (phonetic) Means ‘no’ or negative when made as a single-letter signal. Dash dot in Morse code, and November in phonetic. Nacelle A word deriving from the Latin…

O

Oscar (phonetic) As a single-letter signal, means ‘Man overboard’. It is three dashes in the Morse code, and Oscar in phonetic Oakum Teased-out fibres of old hemp rope which are…

P

P Flag P, the Blue Peter, is one of the best-known flags ashore and afloat. Its principal meaning when flown by a ship is, ‘about to proceed to sea ‘.…

Q

Q Flag The single-letter signal means, ‘My vessel is healthy and I request a free pratique’. The Q flag is flown on entering a foreign port, or returning home from…

R

Romeo (phonetic) Romeo in the phonetic and .-. in Morse. No meaning in the International Code. Race A fast-running stream or current, usually caused by the tide and occurring where…

S

Sierra (Phonetic) Sound signals – One to starboard, two to port, and three astern. The single letter S means, ‘My engines are going astern’, thus matching three hoots nearly (and…

T

T – tango T – tango 1) The single-letter signal means, ‘Keep clear of me, I am engaged in pair trawling’. This is an important signal for pleasure-craft skippers, and…

U

U – Uniform U – Uniform The single-letter signal is one that every skipper should know because it may be of some importance to him. If U (dot-dot-dash) is made…

V

V – Victor V – Victor V Signalled by any means, this one letter tells the world, ‘I require assistance’, Compare with W, and also note that this is not…

W

W-whiskey W-whiskey As a single-letter the signal means, ‘I require medical assistance’, and could therefore be one worth committing to memory. The Morse code .- – may be made by…

X

X (X-ray) X (X-ray) The single letter, which may be signalled by any means, conveys the message, ‘Stop carrying out your intentions and watch for my signals’. In phonetic it…

Y

Y (Yankee) Y (Yankee) Means ‘I am dragging my anchor’, and that could be very significant if you yourself should be lying astern of a large vessel making Y. The…

Z

Z (Zulu) Z (Zulu) As signal it means, ‘I require a tug’. But when shown by a fishing vessel (which you will recognise by her lights or shapes), it means,…

Harmattan

An easterly wind which occasionally blows during the dry season (December, January, February) on the west coast of Africa, coming off the land instead of the more normal wind which…