Posted in OffTopic: not in NYHarbor by bowsprite on 2013/05/30


In my well-worn copy of The Book of Old Ships, by Henry B. Culver, beautifully illustrated by Gordon Grant (Garden City Publishing Company, Inc, NY © 1935), it says this name may have come from the generic Turkish word “fulk,” meaning a ship.  The Catalan felouques had “masts inclined well forward, and had on each side of the stem, a painted eye after the style of those which ornamented the prows of the ancient Egyptian and Greek ships. The lateen sail with its high pointing whippy yard is much better suited to the lighter and dryer winds of the south than to the heavier airs of the northern seas.”

The “Gold & ambergris…” quote is from Patrick o’Brien. Ambergris is found in the guts of the sperm whale, it smells like poop when fresh, but ages into a sweet scent and was used in perfumes. It made Melville muse that “fine ladies and gentlemen should regale themselves with an essence found in the inglorious bowels of a sick whale.” Store High In Transit!

2 Responses

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  1. tugster said, on 2013/06/01 at 18:49

    ambergris storage place . . . kinda like “fueling under copper kettle” . . .

  2. mageb said, on 2013/06/02 at 13:00

    Just delightful. You spoil me with words and images. Thanks.

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