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Steady as she goes

Posted by Probe on May 07, 2007

In Reply to: Steady as she goes posted by Victoria S Dennis on May 06, 2007

: : What does "steady as she goes" mean? I found it on a crossword. It referred to a ship, if that helps.

: It is a instruction from the captain to the helmsman of a ship, to keep the ship heading steadily on the same course regardless of gusts of wind or cross-currents. (VSD)

From navigational point of view it's not absolutely correct since there are several definitions of the term "course" depending on the available references. When in the open sea the only reference for a helmsman is only a compass which does not show actual course of a vessel vis-a-vis, for example, ocean's bottom or a shore-based object. Consequently the helmsman may follow an established course according to a compass only and the actual trajectory of the vessel's movement will be influenced both by the wind and the current.
When in vicinity of the shore the helmsman may be given some shore-based objects as references for keeping the vessel on a certain course and in this case he will take into account both the wind and the current.

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