Monday, July 01, 2013


Today we examine another obscure nautical term -- orlop. On sailing ships (especially warships) of four or more decks, the lowest deck was called the orlop. Because this deck was below the water line it did not carry any cannons or guns. Consequently this area would not be cleared for battle. That made it an ideal location for storage of valuable or dangerous items. Cabins and storerooms on the orlop were typically locked...the perfect place for the purser's and surgeons items.

During battle the orlop deck was the safest place on a warship. Naturally, wounded sailors would be brought there to be tended to by the surgeon.

The origin of the word orlop is a bit murky, but it comes from Middle Low German and Dutch, meaning to "run over." Maybe the orlop deck was "running over with blood" from sailors who were wounded in battle!?!

This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is a photo gallery of past July 4th parade photos. You can read it here:

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