If you harden up, I believe you can lay that nun to starboard

Q- What is the translation of the term, “If you harden up, I believe you can lay that nun to starboard”?

This was a Harbor pilot’s advice to a schooner captain entering Boston harbor in 1830.

Translation: Sail closer to the wind and you can safely leave the red buoy to the right.

His directions were the cause of some consternation to the local Catholic priest brought aboard to bless the ship’s safe return.

Compliments of Maritime Trivia by Bret Gilliam

 

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