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to shoot


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A verb with more than one nautical meaning. A navigator is said to shoot the sun, or any heavenly body, when he takes its altitude with a sextant. A sailing vessel is said to shoot, or fore-reach, when she luffs into the wind and makes distance to windward. A fisherman, when using a drift net or purse seine net, shoots his nets when he lays them, but the word does not apply when fishing with a trawl. When a naval gunlayer's shots were very wide of his target, he was said to be shooting the compass.

Subjects: Maritime History.


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