Loose lips sink ships is something I’ve heard said on one or more occasion thus probably why sailors hold a reputation of having the most vulgar and coarse language. They tend to be rowdy and are often involved in drunken bar brawls when they make port. Alongside being scandalous lovers akin to long-distance truck drivers, their devil may care attitude may be attributed to the fact that at a point in history almost a third of the crew on a ship was buried at sea. A dangerous occupation although one may argue a majority of them were on the run from terrestrial demons, perhaps all the fables of sea monsters did not point to the certitude that probably the devils were pretty adept swimmers.
A particular breed of sailors are the pirates of the Caribbean majority of whom were actually naval officers sanctioned by her majesty’s the queen of Britain government to loot Spanish vessels as privateers: a medieval trade war. On the surface, they seem a bunch of, but on close inspection, one finds that discipline is a core trait of the more successful companies, plus the benefits were equally shared in spite of rank as opposed to other official outfits that relied on wages thus spoils in the latter were skewed top to bottom.
The threat of violence is key to the code of honor among thieves. This is how criminals who by virtue are serpents are able to collaborate. It is not just the rudimentary use of brutality that poised one to higher ranks, but how far one is willing to go that is to say a scoundrel that merely used his fists to settle scores is less feared than one who resorts to cloak and dagger wars, but a more sinister villain has a clique so loyal as to do the dirty deeds for them without fear or hesitation. These sorts tend to be alpha males but even they from time to time get tested any glimpse of weakness doesn’t go unnoticed.
Aside from murder, a challenger to authority may be subjected to less fatal punishment or humiliation to humble them enough to be a productive adherent. Some crimes were punitive for example larceny, but acts of insubordination were remedied by flogging or starvation, maybe even shunning and demotion or rank.
One interesting, pardon me I meant horrendous form is keelhauling, where an offender was tied to a rope that was looped beneath the vessel, thrown overboard on one side of the ship and dragged under the ship’s keel( either of two parts: a structural element resembling a fin that protrudes below a boat along the central line; or a hydrodynamic element. These parts overlap). The culprit is either pulled from one side of the ship to the other, starboard to port perhaps or the length of the vessel from bow to stern if you like.
“mwenda tezi na omo, marejeo ni ngamani.” ~ KISWAHILI PROVERB.
The above-stated event resulted in a death sentence or torture so severe it permanently maimed. The bottom of the ship is covered in barnacles leading to lacerations and most probably drowning. Thus a sailor’s worst nightmare is a boat keeling over and a famous maritime quip after ‘shiver me timbers’ and snarling is the adage: the captain goes down with the ship. This is because his or her attachment to a man-of-war or floating bucket is supposed to be so strong that they were conjoined twins where one is buried in the other as a corpse and casket. This may, in fact, be in a line of the view that a commander must try all they can to win a battle while preserving the lives of his charges or in this case save the ship or ensure at least every person on board is off the vessel before they disembark. By so doing they retain the respect of their underlings, more so since persons sailing under the skull and bones black banner often tend to be damaged goods, neglected archetypes that lacked a father figure.
Of course, the opposite of losing a ship is gaining another one coupled with the promotion of rank to that of a Commodore which is bestowed on one with a fleet. What else would reward your second in command, a loyal first-mate than their own domain? My question to you is quite simple, are you captain of your ship yet? *BON VOYAGE!*
Via Sir Alan