Sailors love jargon. They don’t call the front of the boat “the front”, but “the bow”. They call the back of the boat the stern. The kitchen is the galley, and the toilet is the head. Sailors will tell you that the toilet is called “the head” because on old sailing ships, that’s where you went to relieve yourself- to the “head”, or front, of the boat. “Wait a minute,” the logical person protests, “You just said the front of the boat was called the bow, not the head.” The sailor will reply, “Look, I don’t care where you go, just make sure you wash it down afterwards!”
So, when your boat is hauled out on land, you don’t say “on land”, you say, “on the hard”. I asked Capn Nautologic why that is, and he said, “I don’t know,” then thought for a moment and postulated, “Because the ground is hard?” Hmmm….
I have another explanation: that life on a boat out of the water is hard. Actually, “inconvenient” would be a better description, but saying that your boat is “on the inconvenient” takes too many syllables. (more…)