Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
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As several people have suggested these terms vary from area to area, and time to time. Obviously, seeing the terms used the context is important to a complete understanding of the correct translation. Like Noatom, I have used the terms, 'heading up' and 'bearing off' for nearly 50 years now.
To shed light on some of the discussion above, based on my experience, on a boat big enough to have orders passed to crew or a helmsman, the personal calling the helm would say, "prepare to bear off", The order that was then given to the helmsman would be "Bear away". The Helmsman would respond, "Bearing off" or "Bearing Away". The boat herself is said to have be "Bearing off" or "bearing down" meaning turning away from the wind.
My asssumption is that "Out of the Sack" comment was aimed at the 'off watch' or watch members who were 'standing by' and who were 'sacked out' in other words lying down.
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Curmudgeon at Large- and rhinestone in the rough, sailing my Farr 11.6 on the Chesapeake Bay