When sailors drop anchor, there are certain phrases and sayings that have become traditional occurrences aboard nautical vessels. These phrases are meant to alert other sailors on the boat and indicate that the anchor has been released and is holding the boat in place. Here are some common phrases that sailors say when they drop anchor.
“Anchors aweigh”: This phrase is one of the most well-known and traditional sayings used by sailors when they drop anchor. It is used to indicate that the anchor is being raised, and the boat is about to set sail. Many sailors believe that this phrase originates from the use of English longbows in the 16th century, when archers would raise their bows to indicate they were ready to shoot.
“Drop the hook”: This is a simple phrase that is frequently used when a boat is preparing to drop anchor. It is a verbal command that lets the crew know that the anchor is about to be released from the boat into the water below.
“Anchor’s down”: This phrase is used to indicate that the anchor has reached the bottom of the water body and is securely caught in the seabed. It is often accompanied by a hand signal, such as tapping the deck or shouting, to signal others on the boat that the anchor is set.
“Let her go”: This is another phrase commonly used by sailors when dropping anchor. It is a request to release the anchor chain slowly, to prevent the boat from jerking to a halt when the anchor hits the bottom.
“Hold fast”: This phrase is used to instruct the crew to keep a firm grip on the anchor chain or rope as the boat drifts back on the anchor. This phrase reminds the crew to be alert and ready in case of any issues with the anchor.
Dropping anchor is one of the most important maneuvers a sailor must perform while out to sea. Communication is key in ensuring that the process goes smoothly, which is why these traditional phrases and sayings are still used by sailors today. By understanding the language of nautical phrases, sailors can ensure that their experiences on the water remain safe, secure and enjoyable.