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Mainsail   Listen
Mainsail

noun
1.
The lowermost sail on the mainmast.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Mainsail" Quotes from Famous Books



... with heavy weather from the south-west, that to have landed on either island would have been out of the question. So we bore up under Mull at one in the morning, tore through the Sound at daylight, rounded Ardnamurchan under a double-reefed mainsail at two P.M., and shot into the Sound of Skye the same evening, leaving the hills of Moidart (one of whose "seven naen" was an ancestor of your own), and the jaws of the hospitable Loch Hourn, reddening ...
— Letters From High Latitudes • The Marquess of Dufferin (Lord Dufferin)

... afterwards the vessel shipped a sea, the heavy spray from which came down through the main hatchway, and gave an unpleasant shower-bath to those below it, and Dick had to scramble as best he could out of the water which collected to leeward. The cutter, under close-reefed mainsail, stood on, heeling over to starboard for some time; then she went about, and directed her course towards the north shore. Once more she tacked in the direction she had before been going. The smugglers grumbled and swore, expressing very little confidence ...
— The Rival Crusoes • W.H.G. Kingston

... together on the edge, we waited, straining every sense, for the inevitable end. It was long, however, and to us it seemed like ages, ere the schooner suddenly appeared for one brief instant, relieved against a tower of glimmering foam. I still see her reefed mainsail flapping loose, as the boom fell heavily across the deck; I still see the black outline of the hull, and still think I can distinguish the figure of a man stretched upon the tiller. Yet the whole sight we had of her passed swifter than lightning; ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson, Volume XXI • Robert Louis Stevenson

... ten, the lookout in the crow's nest sang out: "Smoke—oh!" sounding upon his fish horn. The boatkeeper ran aft and lit a huge calcium flare, holding it so as to illuminate the big number on the mainsail. Suddenly, about a quarter of a mile off their weather-bow, a couple of rockets left a long trail of yellow against the night. It was the Cape Horner, and presently Vandover made out her lights, two glowing spots ...
— Vandover and the Brute • Frank Norris

... daughter,—of the father and his beloved child. With tears blinding her eyes, with tottering steps, Ruth passed across the gang-plank. A sailor drew it in, and unloosed the cable. The vessel swung with the tide from its moorings, the jib and mainsail filled with the breeze, and glided away. The weeping crowd upon its deck saw Ruth standing upon the wharf, her countenance serene, pure, and peaceful, with tears upon her face, gazing at the receding ship. Those around her beheld her steady ...
— Daughters of the Revolution and Their Times - 1769 - 1776 A Historical Romance • Charles Carleton Coffin

... afore the wind 'twas worse than ever. The way Phil see-sawed that piece of pie back and forth over the river was a sin and shame. He could have slacked off his mainsail and headed dead for the buoy, but no, he jiggled around like an old woman crossing the road ahead of ...
— Cape Cod Stories - The Old Home House • Joseph C. Lincoln

... with a sort of scared hurry when the master threw the wheel hard over and trod on the spokes with all his weight. As soon as the bellying mainsail began to flap, the three men let it go on the run. They kept up the jumbo sail, as the main jib is called; they reefed the foresail down ...
— Blow The Man Down - A Romance Of The Coast - 1916 • Holman Day

... as possible, in some well sheltered bay. Here soundings wouid be taken, and the vicinity thoroughly inspected. When the bay gave promise of shells and coral, a camp was made on the silver-like beach under the shade of the towering cocoanut trees. The mainsail was detached and carried ashore to serve as an awning. The large sheet-iron boilers were also landed. While two of the crew gathered wood and decayed vegetation for fuel, the others were busy erecting a crude fire- place with rocks, over ...
— The Story of Paul Boyton - Voyages on All the Great Rivers of the World • Paul Boyton

... want a pilot," by burning a blue light on the bridge, and bears down on the pilot schooner. The moon reveals enormous figures, with a heavy dot beneath, on the mainsail of the schooner. Over the rail goes the yawl, followed by the oarsman and pilot, whose turn it is to go ashore. The pilot carries a lantern, which in the egg-shaped yawl dances on the white wave crests up and down like a fire-fly. The yawl is soon under the steamer's lee, and a line ...
— The Harris-Ingram Experiment • Charles E. Bolton

... this we saw a few of the other vessels hoisting their sails; and then Captain Truck, Oliver, and I pulled and hauled until we got our mainsail set. The men then washed down the decks, though really there was no dirt to wash away, and we tried, as we had promised, to ...
— A Yacht Voyage Round England • W.H.G. Kingston

... though, and means to fight us," cried another. "See, he is hauling up the foot of his mainsail, but he wants to keep ...
— Westward Ho! • Charles Kingsley

... be vinegar-pots to be found in her larder, but they were kept behind closed doors and sampled only when she was alone. As she sat looking out to sea, Max's brain still at work on the problem of her unusual mood, a schooner shifted her mainsail in the light breeze and set ...
— The Tides of Barnegat • F. Hopkinson Smith

... day, we managed, despite a new hole in the old boiler, to steam out of hospitable Sinfir at 6:30 a.m. on the auspicious Wednesday, February 13. The appearance of the Mukhbir must have been originale enough: her canvas had been fished out of the hold, but in the place of a mainsail she had hoisted a topsail. We passed as close as possible to the islet-line of Secondary formation, beginning with Shu'shu', the wedge bluff-faced to south: the Palinurus anchored here in a small bight on the north-east side, between two reefs, and narrowly escaped being wrecked by a northerly ...
— The Land of Midian, Vol. 1 • Richard Burton

... fetched in close under the point, and gone about on the port tack—the next would clear—when the first shot struck her, cutting a hole through her jib, and I expected the wind to rip the sail up immediately; yet it stood. The breeze being dead on-shore, the little boat heeled towards us, her mainsail hiding the steerswoman. ...
— Old Fires and Profitable Ghosts • A. T. Quiller-Couch

... three varieties of fore-and-aft rig, the cutter—the racing rig par excellence—is of an appearance the most imposing, from the fact that practically all her canvas is in one piece. The enormous mainsail of a cutter, as she draws slowly past a point of land or the end of a jetty under your admiring gaze, invests her with an air of lofty and silent majesty. At anchor a schooner looks better; she has an aspect of greater efficiency and a better balance to the eye, with her two masts distributed ...
— The Mirror of the Sea • Joseph Conrad

... dark when her headsails ran down, she turned short on her heel, and her anchor bit into the sandy bottom on the edge of the outer reef; for it was too dangerous then to attempt entering the little bay full of shoals. After the last solemn flutter of the mainsail the murmuring voices of the Moorsom party lingered, very ...
— Within the Tides • Joseph Conrad

... mean the grace?" said honest Mrs. Blower, for the first time admitted into this worshipful society, and busily employed in arranging an Indian handkerchief, that might have made a mainsail for one of her husband's smuggling luggers, which she spread carefully on her knee, to prevent damage to a flowered black silk gown from the repast of tea and cake, to which she proposed to do due honour—"Does her leddyship mean the grace? I see the minister is just coming in.—Her leddyship ...
— St. Ronan's Well • Sir Walter Scott

... lived, and occasionally there were guilty approaches and rencontres, she in her boat, I in mine, both being slight clinker-built Montreux pleasure-boats, which I had spent some days in overhauling and varnishing, mine with jib, fore-and-aft mainsail, and spanker, hers rather smaller, one-masted, with an easy-running lug-sail. It was no uncommon thing for me to sail quite to Geneva, and come back from a seven-days' cruise with my soul filled and consoled with the lake and all its many moods of bright and darksome, serene and pensive, dolorous ...
— The Purple Cloud • M.P. Shiel

... lugger touched our weather side, at the same time lowering down her foresail and mainsail with no little noise and confusion; in a second or two there were thirty of their men on our decks, flourishing their cutlasses, and looking round with their pistols ready cocked in their left hands ...
— Poor Jack • Frederick Marryat

... them; but it has been often observed by those employed on the water that when it ceased blowing half a gale the sky at once became overcast, with damp weather or rain. This may all seem common enough to most people; but to those accustomed to gauge the wind by the number of reefs wanted in a mainsail or foresail it was not so; and the number of consecutive days when two or more reefs have been kept tied down during the last few summers has been remarkable—alternating at times with equally persistent spells of calm and fog such as we are now passing through. Again, ...
— The Storm-Cloud of the Nineteenth Century - Two Lectures delivered at the London Institution February - 4th and 11th, 1884 • John Ruskin

... in the lagoon, using only our engine to escape the coral traps. Past the ever-present danger, with the wind now half a gale and the rain falling again in sheets—the intermittent deluge of the season—the Morning Star, under reefed foresail, mainsail and staysail, pointed her delicate nose toward the Dangerous Islands and hit hard the ...
— White Shadows in the South Seas • Frederick O'Brien

... through it—without a sound, you understand—something a shade solider than the smoke and big as a cow, it looked to me. It passed from the weather side to the lee and ducked behind the sweep of the mainsail like that—" McCord snapped his thumb and ...
— Masterpieces of Mystery, Vol. 1 (of 4) - Ghost Stories • Various

... is most obvious in the smallest vessels, as cutters: and of those kept for pleasure, and therefore built for the purpose of sailing as fast as possible, without reference to freight or load, there are many the hull of which might be entirely wrapt up in the mainsail. It is of course very rarely, if ever, that a vessel carries at one time all the sail she is capable of; the different sails being usually employed according to the circumstances of direction of wind and course. The sails of a ship, ...
— The Illustrated London Reading Book • Various

... impatience. It wanted but half an hour of 'knocking off time'—and that half-hour would be time enough, for his watch to finish the scraping of the deck-house—but the wind waits on no man, and already the weather clew of the mainsail was lifting lazily to a shift. It was hard to give up the prospect of having the house all finished and ship-shape before the Mate came on deck (and then trimming yards and sail after the work was done); but here was the wind working light into the eastward, and the sails nearly aback, ...
— The Brassbounder - A Tale of the Sea • David W. Bone

... succeeded in stopping the leak, this was not accomplished until the mainsail had been carried away by the heavy sea, and other injuries sustained. It was a terrible time for all, and the crew, exhausted and overworked on insufficient food, were only held to their tasks by the captain and mates standing over ...
— All Aboard - A Story for Girls • Fannie E. Newberry

... though, and means to fight us," cried another. "See, he is hauling up the foot of his mainsail; but he wants to keep the ...
— The Junior Classics • Various

... ordered. It was Eric who obeyed and held on to the sheet Hrolfur himself untied the mainsail, whilst at the same time keeping hold of the sheet. I imagined Hrolfur must be thinking it safer to have the sails loose as it was likely to be ...
— Seven Icelandic Short Stories • Various

... a mile from the shore a small brigantine, stripped to a lower topsail, storm-jib, and balance-reefed mainsail, was trying to claw off shore. She had small chance, unless the gale shifted or moderated, for she evidently could not carry enough sail to make any way against the huge sea, and to heave to would be sure destruction ...
— Whosoever Shall Offend • F. Marion Crawford

... Mark, forgetting the officer in the elation of the boy. "Joe Dance will not let the Yankees overhaul him now. Look, he's getting the blacks to help haul up the mainsail. Then that prize is all right," he added, ...
— The Black Bar • George Manville Fenn

... masts over the side and herself out of water. We were then carrying the double reefed topsails, reefed courses, inner jib, fore and main topmast staysail, but the gale had so increased I gave orders to close-reef the topsails and furl the mainsail. I thought it better to run no further risk of dismasting her, as there was always a chance so long as they were kept standing. All hands were up reefing the main topsail and I had the wheel. I saw the black shadow of the mountains in the darkness towering ...
— The Shellback's Progress - In the Nineteenth Century • Walter Runciman

... jibs collapse And belly and tug at the groaning cleats, The spanker slats, and the mainsail flaps, And thunders ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. I., No. 3, January 1858 - A Magazine of Literature, Art, and Politics • Various

... by reaching the arm still further into the hollow behind our seat, it will grasp the storm mizen, a strongly made triangular sail, to be used only in untoward hours, and for which we must prepare by lowering the lug mizen, and shifting the halyard, tack, and sheet. Then the Rob Roy, with her mainsail and jib reefed, will be under snug canvas, as ...
— The Voyage Alone in the Yawl "Rob Roy" • John MacGregor

... already up, and the yacht drifting with the falling tide. A moment more and she spread a low treble reefed mainsail behind, a little jib before, and the western breeze filled and swelled and made them alive, and with wind and tide she went swiftly down the smooth stream. Florimel clapped her hands with delight. The ...
— The Marquis of Lossie • George MacDonald

... from the Carib word "boucan," a kind of gridiron on which, like the natives, they cooked their meat, hence, bou-canier. The word filibuster comes from the Spanish "fee-lee-bote," English "fly-boat," a small, swift sailing-vessel with a large mainsail, which enabled the buccaneers to pursue merchantmen in the open sea and escape among the shoals and shallows of the archipelago when pursued in ...
— The History of Puerto Rico - From the Spanish Discovery to the American Occupation • R.A. Van Middeldyk

... appearance in a critical situation;" for the CAPTAIN was at this time actually fired upon by three first-rates—by the SAN NICOLAS, and by a seventy-four, within about pistol-shot of that vessel. The BLENHEIM was ahead, the CULLODEN crippled and astern. Collingwood ranged up, and hauling up his mainsail just astern, passed within ten feet of the SAN NICOLAS, giving her a most tremendous fire, then passed on for the SANTISSIMA TRINIDAD. The SAN NICOLAS luffing up, the SAN JOSEPH fell on board her, and Nelson resumed his station abreast of them, and close alongside. ...
— The Life of Horatio Lord Nelson • Robert Southey

... to the Cove below. How they scamper along, eager to walk the deck of that trim little craft, the Falcon, anchored in the stream, and sitting like a bird on the bosom of the famed river. Wait a minute and you will see the mainsail flutter in the breeze. Now our rollicking young friends have marched past ruins of "chapel, convent, hospital," &c., on the beach; you surely did not expect them to look glum and melancholy. Of course they knew all about "Monsieur ...
— Picturesque Quebec • James MacPherson Le Moine

... make sail. Out wi' you, you blasted lubber, and lay aloft. Up wi' you, and loose that mainsail, and, when you've got it loose, furl it. I'll show you how I earned that money. Up wi' you, 'fore I give ...
— The Grain Ship • Morgan Robertson

... tide high, Captain Pomery found plenty of Water in the winding channel, every curve of which he knew to a hair, and steered for at its due moment, winking cheerfully at Billy and me, who stood ready to correct his pilotage. He had taken in his mainsail, and carried steerage way with mizzen and jib only; and thus, for close upon a mile, we rode up on the tide, scaring the herons and curlews before us, until drawing within sight of a grass-grown quay he let run down his remaining canvas and ...
— Sir John Constantine • Prosper Paleologus Constantine

... man weighs anchor in a little ship or a large one he does a jolly thing! He cuts himself off and he starts for freedom and for the chance of things. He pulls the jib a-weather, he leans to her slowly pulling round, he sees the wind getting into the mainsail, and he feels that she feels the helm. He has her on a slant of the wind, and he makes out between the harbour piers. I am supposing, for the sake of good luck, that it is not blowing bang down the harbour mouth, nor, for the ...
— First and Last • H. Belloc

... Cobham gave chase, easily captured her in the Bay of Biscay, and discovered there were forty Inquisition prisoners aboard. After rescuing the prisoners, the captain and crew of the Spanish vessel were then sewn up in their own mainsail and tossed into the sea, no doubt with such sententious expressions of godliness as was thought befitting to sacred occasions of that period. This ceremony having been performed, the vessel was scuttled, so that she might nevermore be used in trading with British sailors or any one else ...
— Drake, Nelson and Napoleon • Walter Runciman

... correct) that the Association for building the Pilgrim Monument at Plymouth should issue a pamphlet giving a picture of the "Landing of the Pilgrims, December 21, 1620," in which women are pictured, and in which the shallop is shown with a large fore-and-aft mainsail, while on the same page is another picture entitled, "The Shallop of the MAY-FLOWER," having a large yard and square-sail, and a "Cuddy" (which last the MAY-FLOWER'S shallop we know did not have). The printed description of the picture, however, says: "The cut is ...
— The Mayflower and Her Log, Complete • Azel Ames

... it'll be the very thing to catch it too. We can keep it spread out a bit wi' a hollow place in the middle, an' if it do rain, there then,— my boy, we'll ha' a pool big enough to swim ye in. Hurrah! it's sure to rain. See yonder. It be comin' nearer every minute. Let's be ready for it. Down wi' the mainsail. Let go the sheets,—an' instead o' spreadin' our canvas to the wind, as the song says, we'll stretch it out to the rain. Come, Will'm, ...
— The Ocean Waifs - A Story of Adventure on Land and Sea • Mayne Reid

... out of the storm. The gale drove us in and in to the centre of the hurricane. Somewhere around dawn on Sunday mornin' the wind decided to show us what it really could do. We were runnin' before the wind with a triple-reefed mainsail and not another stitch. "Why weren't we under bare poles," you asks? Because there was a sea chasin' after us with every wave looking like a whale out of water. We weren't lookin' to get pooped, any more than we had to. The mainmast went with ...
— The Boy with the U. S. Weather Men • Francis William Rolt-Wheeler

... enthusiastically, misunderstanding the look. "Wait till our mainsail's bent, an' she walks home with all her salt wet. There's some work first, though." He pointed down into the darkness of the open main-hatch between the ...
— "Captains Courageous" • Rudyard Kipling

... fresh gale in the evening at S.W. by W., which, being fair for the Portugal fleet, and the weather pleasant and agreeable, we heard the signal given to unmoor, and running in under the island of Si—-, we hauled our mainsail and foresail up in the brails, lowered the topsails upon the cap, and clewed them up, that we might lie as snug as we could, expecting their coming out, and the next morning saw the whole fleet come out accordingly, ...
— The Life, Adventures & Piracies of the Famous Captain Singleton • Daniel Defoe

... interested: "An' did they say he was as big as a cabin an' a ruff on him like the mainsail ...
— Connie Morgan in the Fur Country • James B. Hendryx

... orders the boys set sail, hoisting both the jib topsails and club topsails; in fact, cracking on every stitch. Hans grew weary again before the mainsail ...
— Frank Merriwell's Cruise • Burt L. Standish

... fair a breeze as one would wish to see, we were some of us astonished to see the captain giving orders to reef topsails. The royals were stowed, so were the top-gallant-sails, topsails close reefed, mainsail reefed, and just at 10.45 p.m., as I was going to bed, I heard the captain give the order to take a reef in the foresail and furl the mainsail; but before I was in bed a quarter of an hour afterwards, a blast of wind came ...
— A First Year in Canterbury Settlement • Samuel Butler

... to have her stores taken aboard to go to sea. And that was attended to next morning, and she was out for her trial trip the same afternoon. Everybody said she looked as handsome as a photograph going out, though all the old sharks, when they saw her mainsail hoisted for the first time, said she'd certainly have need of her quarter and draught to stand up ...
— The Seiners • James B. (James Brendan) Connolly

... jib. b. Jib. c. Foresail. d. Foretopsail. e. Foretopgallantsail. f. Foreroyal. g. Mainsail. h. Maintopsail. i. Maintopgallantsail. ...
— Two Years Before the Mast • Richard Henry Dana

... circumvented propensities. What humble, happy masterhood! Each dawn he rose from dreamless sleep and leaped into the surf as into the embrace of a new existence. Every hour of day brought some unfretting task or hale pastime. With sheath-knife and sail-needle he made of his mainsail a handsome tent, using the mainboom for his ridge- pole, and finishing it just in time for the first night of rain—when, nevertheless, he ...
— Strong Hearts • George W. Cable

... boom above his head, and the vast expanse of the mainsail, a tremendous canvas, even though reefed. He saw the straining, board-like staysails. He heard the harsh scream of the wind aloft, the vibrant thrumming of tautened stays, the banging of a block, the crash of boarding seas. Grim sounds, and an outlook to daunt a young man whose maritime experience ...
— Fire Mountain - A Thrilling Sea Story • Norman Springer

... me, if it hadn't a been for a great big nigger wench he had, called Rose. My! what a slashin' large woman, that was; half horse, half alligator, with a cross of the mammoth in her. She wore a man's hat and jacket, and her petticoat had stuff enough in it to make the mainsail of a boat. Her foot was as long and as flat as a snow shoe, and her hands looked as shapeless and as hard as two large sponges froze solid. Her neck was as thick as a bull's, and her scalp was large and woolly enough for a door-mat. She was ...
— Nature and Human Nature • Thomas Chandler Haliburton

... jetty. A livelier, stiffer, and drier little vessel of her size never was built. She jumped over the waves, as if the sea was a great play-ground, and the game for the morning, Leap-Frog. Though the wind was so high that we were obliged to lower our foresail, and to double-reef the mainsail, the only water we got on board was the spray that was blown over us from the tops of the waves. In the state of the weather, getting down Channel was out of the question. We were obliged to be contented, on this first day of our voyage, with running across to the Welsh coast, and there ...
— Rambles Beyond Railways; - or, Notes in Cornwall taken A-foot • Wilkie Collins

... let raise the mast and hoist the mainsail, and the wind filled the sail, and they made taut the ropes all round. But anon strange matters appeared to them: first there flowed through all the swift black ship a sweet and fragrant wine, and ...
— The Homeric Hymns - A New Prose Translation; and Essays, Literary and Mythological • Andrew Lang

... without a word, double reefed the cutter's mainsail and told Welch to keep as close to the ship's quarter as he dare. Wylie instinctively did the same, and the three craft crawled on in solemn and deadly ...
— Foul Play • Charles Reade

... now upon an income of $2000 a year, derived from boiling down fish into phosphates for the midland markets. He preserves, however, the habit and appearance of old days: that is to say, his chin is folded away under his lip like a reef in a mainsail; his cheek-bones hide his ears, so tusky and prominent are the former, and tipped with a varnish of red, like corns on old folks' feet; he has a nose which is so long and bony that it seems to have been constructed in sections, like a tubular bridge, and to communicate ...
— Tales of the Chesapeake • George Alfred Townsend

... again to that cockle-shell craft with its stone ballast and big brown mainsail, the boy was sent ashore and the two companions set out by themselves. By this time the sun had gone down, and a strange green twilight was shining over the sea. As they got farther out the dusky shores seemed to have a pale mist hanging around them, but there ...
— Lippincott's Magazine. Vol. XII, No. 33. December, 1873. • Various

... in wary sort, Haul down the mainsail, and attempt to wear; And would put back in panic to the port, Whence, in ill hour, they loosed with little care. — "Not so," exclaims the wind, and stops them short, "So poor a penance will not pay the dare." And when they fain ...
— Orlando Furioso • Lodovico Ariosto

... boat came and hailed the chief's vessel; he immediately hoisted his mainsail, and the fleet weighed apparently in great confusion. They worked to windward all night and part of the next day, and anchored about one o'clock in a bay under the island of Lantow, where the head admiral of Ladrones was lying at anchor, with about two hundred vessels and ...
— Great Pirate Stories • Various

... was she now, from the reef points on the great mainsail, luminous with the sunlight, and white as the wing of a gull, to the rail of the bulwarks. A crowd of men were hanging over the port bulwarks gazing at the island and the figures on the reef. Browned by the sun and sea-breeze, ...
— The Blue Lagoon - A Romance • H. de Vere Stacpoole

... another tack or two would carry her round the point, and there were reefs amid which she might possibly make her escape, when a shot, flying higher than the rest, struck the head of her main-mast. Over the side went the topmast and topsail, down came the mainsail, and the vessel's head paying off, in five minutes she was hard and fast on a reef. The frigate had, meantime, been shortening sail, and scarcely had the schooner struck, when she dropped her anchor in a position completely to command the ...
— Paul Gerrard - The Cabin Boy • W.H.G. Kingston

... time when the poor devil who has tossed and turned through the long hours of the hot night in fevered restlessness now from sheer exhaustion is just sinking into sleep, to be startled by the terrific bang above his head and the rush of the shell, like the tearing of a yacht's mainsail, as it speeds on its arched ...
— Impressions of a War Correspondent • George Lynch

... likewise adopted, in part, by Captain Price, of the Volcano; and in order to give to his ship a still greater resemblance than it already had to a merchantman, he displayed an old faded scarlet ensign, and drew up his fore and mainsail in what ...
— The Campaigns of the British Army at Washington and New Orleans 1814-1815 • G. R. Gleig

... much to go there," said I, and the captain, without comment, changed his course a little more to the eastward and let the reef out of his mainsail. ...
— The Country of the Pointed Firs • Sarah Orne Jewett

... continues. "After sunrise the strength of the wind increased, and the sea became still more terrible. The Admiral all this time kept his mainsail lowered, so that the vessel might rise from among the waves which washed over it, and which threatened to sink it. The Admiral followed, at first, the direction of east-northeast, and afterwards due northeast. He sailed about six hours in this direction, and thus made seven leagues and a half. ...
— The Life of Christopher Columbus from his own Letters and Journals • Edward Everett Hale

... lay at the wharf, a pretty little craft of six or eight tons, with a mainsail and jib. It was a delightful afternoon; a gentle westerly wind swept over a placid sea, and the sky was as clear as the mirror that reflected its exquisite blue. Greenleaf and Miss Sandford took their seats amidships, leaving the stern for the boatman. The ropes ...
— Atlantic Monthly Vol. 3, No. 16, February, 1859 • Various

... which their visitors brought them quantities of delicious watermelons. "Next day, August 3," says the journal, "the Indians, with their six chiefs, were all assembled under an awning formed with the mainsail, in presence of all our party, paraded for the occasion. A speech was then made, announcing to them the change in the government, our promises of protection, and advice as to their future conduct. All the six chiefs replied to our speech, each in his turn, according to rank. They expressed ...
— First Across the Continent • Noah Brooks

... could beat her. She was a clinker-built boat, about seventeen feet long, and her breadth of beam—that is, the distance across her from one side to the other—was great compared with her length. She was rigged like Frank's boat, having one mast and carrying a mainsail and jib; but as her sails were considerably larger than those of the Speedwell, and as she was a much lighter boat, the boys all expected that she would reach the island, which the young skippers always regarded as "home" in their races, long before ...
— Frank, the Young Naturalist • Harry Castlemon

... door of the galley, where the cross, sleepy cook was coaxing his stove to burn, a path of light lay across the deck, showing a slice of steel bulwark with ropes coiled on the pins, and above it the arched foot of the mainsail. In the darkness forward, where the port watch of the Villingen was beginning the sea day by washing down decks, the brooms swished briskly and the head-pump clacked like a great, ...
— The Second Class Passenger • Perceval Gibbon

... of the smugglers was to escape, and this they hoped to do if they could bring down the cutter's mainsail. The king's officer knew that he should have the smugglers safe enough if he could but make them strike; this, however, knowing that they all fought with ropes round their necks, they ...
— Michael Penguyne - Fisher Life on the Cornish Coast • William H. G. Kingston

... the corners of the islands and in very narrow channels, the inward drawing of the tide marked long, curved lines and illusive circles on the oily sea. The Spindrift was poised motionless on the surface of the water, borne slowly, almost imperceptibly, forward by the sweep of the tide. Her mainsail, boomed out, hung in loose folds. The sheet, freed from all strain, was borne down by its own weight, until the slack of it dipped in the water. Terns and gulls, at lazy rest, floated close to the yacht's side. Long rows of dark cormorants, perched on rocky points, strained their necks ...
— The Simpkins Plot • George A. Birmingham

... it ready to hoist as a square sail; the rest of the spars we lashed fore and aft on either side, while we cut up the mainsail and raised the gunwale a foot or more all round to help keep out the water. We also, as far as we could, covered in the after-part of the little craft. While we were thus engaged the boys were pumping and baling. This task was scarcely accomplished before the wind had blown us helplessly ...
— James Braithwaite, the Supercargo - The Story of his Adventures Ashore and Afloat • W.H.G. Kingston

... strain which had counteracted the pressure of her mainsail, the schooner flew up into the wind. The Indiaman held on her course for another length, and then her helm was put up, and she swept down across the bows of the privateer. Then the men leaped to their feet, the soldiers lined the bulwarks, and as she passed along a ...
— With Clive in India - Or, The Beginnings of an Empire • G. A. Henty

... quickly to my feet, to see what was the matter. Pont Grave was still ill, which prevented him from rising as quickly as he wished. I was scarcely on deck, when the barque was thrown upon the coast; and the wind, which was north, drove us upon a point. We unfurled the mainsail, turned it to the wind, and hauled it up as high as we could, that it might drive us up as far as possible on the rocks, for fear that the reflux of the sea, which fortunately was falling, would draw us in, when it would have been impossible to save ourselves. ...
— Voyages of Samuel de Champlain, Vol. 2 • Samuel de Champlain

... minutes we saw a distinct flash. The wind, which had been southeast, had now left us, and it was dead calm. We sprang aloft immediately and furled the royals and top-gallant-sails, and took in the flying jib, hauled up the mainsail and trysail, squared the after yards, and awaited the attack. A huge mist capped with black clouds came driving towards us, extending over that portion of the horizon, and covering the stars, which shone brightly in the other part of the heavens. ...
— Two Years Before the Mast • Richard Henry Dana

... You could rock in the hair-cloth chair by the water door, and join in conversation with more active persons mending seines upon the wharf; or you could dangle your heels from the work-bench, and listen to stories and debates inside, and look on Captain Philo sewing upon a mainsail. ...
— Five Hundred Dollars - First published in the "Century Magazine" • Heman White Chaplin

... possessed a teak-built four-oared gig which, being heavy and strong, I rigged with a jib and mainsail, besides adding six inches to her keel, when she proved to be a handy and seaworthy little craft. An iron framework could be erected over the stern-sheets and covered with a canvas hood, thus forming quite a roomy ...
— Life and sport in China - Second Edition • Oliver G. Ready

... through the surf," said Goring. The two men sprang in and pushed off, pulling me in after them. With mainsail and jib we ran out from the land and passed safely over the bar. Then my two companions without a word of farewell sprang overboard, and I saw their heads like black dots on the white foam as they made their way back to the shore, while I scudded away into the blackness of the night. ...
— The Captain of the Pole-Star and Other Tales • Arthur Conan Doyle

... my soul!' said he, wiping his brow with a huge coloured handkerchief as big as a mainsail, 'one night in such a furnace as that would have ...
— The Three Clerks • Anthony Trollope

... mainsail, by the squall so lately rent, In streaming pendants flying, is unbent; With brails refixed, another soon prepared, Ascending spreads along beneath the yard; To each yard-arm the head-rope they extend, And soon their ear-rings and their robans bend. That task ...
— The Poetical Works of Beattie, Blair, and Falconer - With Lives, Critical Dissertations, and Explanatory Notes • Rev. George Gilfillan [Ed.]

... having then only six mariners and six merchants in health. The 16th we had a great storm at W.S.W. by W. which came on about 6 P.M. and our men being very weak and unable to hand our sails, we that night lost our mainsail, foresail, and spritsail, and were obliged to lie hulling till the 18th, when we got up an old foresail; and finding ourselves now in the Channel, we bore up for the coast of England. In less than two hours the old foresail was blown from the yard by a spurt of wind, and we were again ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume VII • Robert Kerr

... ceased. The ship was coming round slowly; I held my breath in the renewed stillness of expectation; one wouldn't have thought that there was a single living soul on her decks. A sudden brisk shout, "Mainsail haul!" broke the spell, and in the noisy cries and rush overhead of the men running away with the main-brace we two, down in my cabin, came together in our usual position ...
— 'Twixt Land & Sea • Joseph Conrad

... jib, while others set the foretop-mast staysail in its place. But the wind was full of mischief; it seemed to be playing with the ship's company; it furnished one piece of work after another with dizzying rapidity. Hardly was the jib secured before the great mainsail ripped open from top to bottom, and in the same puff the close-reefed foretopsail split in two with a bang, from earing to earing. Now came the orders fast and loud: "Down yards! Haul out reef tackle! Lay out and furl! ...
— Overland • John William De Forest

... years ago that I stood on the deck of an incoming steamer, straining my eyes across a heaving sea, the horizon lost in the dull haze of countless froth-caps; we had slowed for a pilot, so the word came down the deck. Suddenly, against the murky sky-line, with mainsail double-reefed and jib close-hauled, loomed a light craft plunging bows under at every lurch. Then a chip the size of your hand broke away from the frail vessel, and a big wave lying around for such prey, sprang upon ...
— The Underdog • F. Hopkinson Smith

... now become beautifully fine, I thought I might attempt to get out some spare sails. I obtained what I wanted from the fo'c'sle, and after a good deal of work managed to "bend" a mainsail and staysail. Being without compass or chart, however, I knew not where I was, nor could I decide what course to take in order to reach land. I had a vague idea that the seas in those regions were studded with innumerable ...
— The Adventures of Louis de Rougemont - as told by Himself • Louis de Rougemont

... bright summer morning! Sheila sat in the stern of the small boat, her hand on the filler. Lufrath lay at her feet, his nose between the long and shaggy paws. Duncan, grave and watchful as to the wind and the points of the coast, sat amidships, with the sheets of the mainsail held fast, and superintended the seamanship of his young mistress with a respectful but most evident pride. And as Ingram had gone off with Mackenzie to walk over to the White Water before going down to Borvabost, Frank Lavender was Sheila's sole companion out in this ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science - April, 1873, Vol. XI, No. 25. • Various

... Stukely while he took a bucket and proceeded to bale. But the wind showed a disposition to freshen, careening the boat so steeply that, despite Stukely's utmost care, the water began to slop in over the lee gunwale, as well as over the bows; and at length they decided to take a reef in the mainsail, for Dick had no fancy for spending the rest of the cruise in an ineffectual endeavour to free the boat of water that came in faster than he could throw it out. This was done, and the boat resumed her headlong rush to the southward, until by the time that the ...
— Two Gallant Sons of Devon - A Tale of the Days of Queen Bess • Harry Collingwood

... entered the Straits of Gibraltar I verily thought she'd have sunk, For the wind began so for to alter, She yaw'd just as tho' she was drunk. The squall tore the mainsail to shivers, Helm a-weather, the hoarse boatswain cries; Brace the foresail athwart, see she quivers, As through the rough tempest she flies. But sailors were born for all weathers, Great guns let it blow, high or ...
— The Children's Garland from the Best Poets • Various

... Fresh Gales and Cloudy the most part of these 24 hours. P.M. got up the spare Mainsail to dry, it being Wet by the Water getting into the Sail room, occasioned by the Ship being very Leakey in her upper works. At 5 a.m. loosed 2 Reefs out of each Topsail, and saw the Land, which we judged to be Cape Finister and Cape Ortugal. ...
— Captain Cook's Journal During the First Voyage Round the World • James Cook

... quarter-deck by Rev. Mr. Rising, of Virginia City, old friend of mine. Spread a flag on the booby-hatch, which made a very good pulpit, and then ranged the chairs on either side against the bulwarks; last Sunday we had the shadow of the mainsail, but today we were on the opposite tack, close hauled, and had the sun. I am leader of the choir on this ship, and a sorry lead it is. I hope they will have a better opinion of our music in Heaven than I have down here. ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... letter's lineaments Though swollen to mainsail measure,—magically, I gather from your words; and on its face Are three vast seals, red—signifying blood Must I suppose? It moves on Dresden town, And dwarfs the city as it passes ...
— The Dynasts - An Epic-Drama Of The War With Napoleon, In Three Parts, - Nineteen Acts, And One Hundred And Thirty Scenes • Thomas Hardy

... prayer, and then felt so satisfied that our request was granted that I could not continue asking, and very soon went up again on deck. The first officer, a godless man, was in charge. I went over and asked him to let down the clews or corners of the mainsail, which had been drawn up in order to lessen the useless flapping of the sail against the rigging. He answered, "What would be the good of that?" I told him we had been asking a wind from GOD, that it was coming immediately, and we were so near the reef by this time that there was not a minute to ...
— A Retrospect • James Hudson Taylor

... went, showing her magnificent sailing qualities, for in a few minutes the boat was far behind, when there was a put from the cutter's side, but not to send a ball across their bows, for before the report reached the boys' ears a peculiar sound came overhead, and there was a hole through the mainsail. ...
— Cormorant Crag - A Tale of the Smuggling Days • George Manville Fenn

... hauling at the halliards of the after-mainsail and went to his assistance, while Coristine, doffing his coat, lent a hand to The Crew, when, by their combined efforts, the sails were all hoisted and the schooner floated away from the pier. The lawyer walked over the deck with ...
— Two Knapsacks - A Novel of Canadian Summer Life • John Campbell

... western horizon, had been stealthily creeping zenith-ward, and at the same time spreading out north and south, with a look in it that seemed to portend more wind; so, as a measure of precaution, I went to work, upon the conclusion of our meal, and shortened sail by taking down a couple of reefs in the mainsail, and a single reef in the little stay foresail which the boat carried. And, this done, I rearranged the royal in the stern-sheets as a bed for my companion, urging her to turn in at once and get as much ...
— The Castaways • Harry Collingwood

... their ships are made of bamboo, like matting. They do not use a yard on the mast, but raise the mainsail on the mast fastened to a pole as an infantry flag is placed on a pike; and the sheets hang down from the other side with which the sail is turned to this or that side, according to the direction of the wind. The sail is half the width of the ship, and the mast is large and high. ...
— The Philippine Islands 1493-1898, Vol. 4 of 55 - 1576-1582 • Edited by E. H. Blair and J. A. Robertson

... the other busied himself in attempting to unlock a large and much-dented cash-box. From on deck came falsetto cries and the creak and rattle of blocks as the black crew swung up mainsail and driver. Grief watched a large cockroach crawling over the greasy paintwork. Griffiths, with an oath of irritation, carried the cash-box to the companion-steps for better light. Here, on his feet, ...
— A Son Of The Sun • Jack London

... noticed fetch up, head on and square on, with the starboard bitt. His head cracked like an egg. I saw what was coming, sprang on top of the cabin, and from there into the mainsail itself. Ah Choon and one of the Americans tried to follow me, but I was one jump ahead of them. The American was swept away and over the stern like a piece of chaff. Ah Choon caught a spoke of the wheel, and swung in behind it. But a strapping Raratonga vahine (woman)—she ...
— South Sea Tales • Jack London

... simile and metaphor; both use a language of great flexibility;[11] for which reason we find that after the poet himself, the poor man speaks most poetically. Witness the beautiful description: "All to once the nor'easter springed out from the land, an' afore us could down-haul the mainsail, the sea wer feather-white an' skatting in over the bows." New words are eagerly seized; hence the malapropisms and solecisms so frequently made fun of, without appreciation of their cause. Obsolete has come hereto from the Navy, through sons who are bluejackets. ...
— A Poor Man's House • Stephen Sydney Reynolds

... know exactly what to do with it. Dan perched himself on the weather gunwale, his weight there serving as ballast to keep the craft from capsizing. Yet, even so, everything had to be done with the utmost skill, for, with the mainsail up, the least fluke in handling the boat would ...
— Dave Darrin's Third Year at Annapolis - Leaders of the Second Class Midshipmen • H. Irving Hancock

... which is the stick to which the upper end of the sail is fastened, is a broomstick. The boom, the stick at the bottom of the sail, was made of a rake handle with a broomstick spliced to make it long enough. Mother let me have a sheet, which I put down on the floor and cut into the shape of a mainsail. The wind was the cheapest power to be found, thus it was utilized; the three wheels were ...
— The Boy Mechanic: Volume 1 - 700 Things For Boys To Do • Popular Mechanics

... before the officer of the deck, 2d Lieut. Jas. L. Parker, remarked to me that he thought it looked a little squally to windward. I immediately passed over to the weather side, and as it looked a little darker than it had done, I ordered him to haul up the mainsail, and brail up the spanker, and directed the helm to be put up. These orders were promptly obeyed. Lieut. Parker took the mainsail off her, and had got the spanker about half brailed up, when the squall struck us. It did not appear to be very riotous, nor was ...
— The Medallic History of the United States of America 1776-1876 • J. F. Loubat

... and safety is on the other side of it; land and destruction on this—the attempt, the hope, the failure; then the stout-hearted, skillful captain would try one rare maneuver to save the ship, cargo, and crew. He would club-haul her, "and if that fails, my lads, there is nothing but up mainsail, up helm, run her slap ashore, and lay her bones on the softest bit of ...
— Love Me Little, Love Me Long • Charles Reade

... another burly young fellow in a blue guernsey, a fisherman, part owner of a little bit of a smack with a brown mainsail. The two stalwart young fishermen ran along the quay, and one of them dropped down into a boat that was chained to an angle in the quay-side, where there was a flight of slimy stone steps leading down to the water. The other young man ran off to get some of the boat's ...
— Henry Dunbar - A Novel • M. E. Braddon

... that it could be lowered when the wind was too strong. The dimensions of the sail as we made it are given in the drawing (Fig. 15). The top of the sail was lashed to a spar, which was connected by a short stick to another spar tied to the mainsail about eighteen inches lower down. The sail was strengthened with an extra strip of cloth along the lower spar, and the tie strings were applied in the usual way. The connecting stick, or topmast we may call it, was hinged to the lower ...
— The Scientific American Boy - The Camp at Willow Clump Island • A. Russell Bond

... Aunt Martha knows the truth. You just run up and tell Mrs. Stoddard all about it, Amanda," he answered; and, having sent his boat into deep water, the captain drew in his oars and began hoisting the big mainsail. ...
— A Little Maid of Massachusetts Colony • Alice Turner Curtis

... captives in a slave trader, exposed to the sun's rays by day, and the river damp by night, without protection.'[2] Still more used the Durham boat for the river journey. This famous craft was a large, flat-bottomed barge, with round bow and square stern. With centre-board down and mainsail and topsail set on its fixed mast, it made fair progress in the wider stretches. But on the up trip it was for the most part poled or 'set' along. Each of the crew took his stand at the bow end of one of the narrow gangways which ran along ...
— The Railway Builders - A Chronicle of Overland Highways • Oscar D. Skelton

... sped by the line o' the British craft; The skipper called to his Lascar crew, and put her about and laughed:— "It's mainsail haul, my bully boys all—we'll out to the seas again— Ere they set us to paint their pirate saint, or ...
— Departmental Ditties and Barrack Room Ballads • Rudyard Kipling

... can be there to-night, slick as a whistle. Remember the Barracouta, that old power-sloop we've taken so many trips in? I've had her overhauled this spring and a new seven-and-a-half-horse engine put in her; her jibs and mainsail are in first-class shape. You'll find her at my mooring near the steamboat wharf. My Bucksport dory has just been pulled up on the ledges and painted. You'll need another boat besides, so I've arranged with Sammy Stinson to let you have his pea-pod. She'll ...
— Jim Spurling, Fisherman - or Making Good • Albert Walter Tolman

... construction, and by the occasional aid of George was bringing the hull to a completed state. While this was being done, George was at work with the loom, slowly weaving out the fabric for the sails. As the mast had been stepped back over six feet from the prow, it was concluded to make a mainsail and a jib, a small triangular sail which is attached to the forwardly projecting jib-boom. The two sails would afford greater speed than a single sail, and that was one consideration. The other was, that with two sails the mast would not need to be so long, and the ...
— The Wonder Island Boys: The Mysteries of the Caverns • Roger Thompson Finlay

... following, as near as can be recollected, were the articles landed from the ship; (and the intention was, when all should have been got on shore, to haul the ship on shore, or as near it as possible and burn her.) One mainsail, one foresail, one mizen-topsail, one spanker, one driver, one maintop gallantsail, two lower studdingsails, two royals, two topmast-studdingsails, two top-gallant-studdingsails, one mizen-staysail, ...
— A Narrative of the Mutiny, on Board the Ship Globe, of Nantucket, in the Pacific Ocean, Jan. 1824 • William Lay

... gust of wind at that moment bellied his fold of the sail, and he forgot the dawning suspicion in an immediate tussle to reduce the disordered canvas. A few minutes more of desperate work and the mainsail was securely reefed; but these were supremely momentous intervals, during which the fate of the First ...
— Billy Topsail & Company - A Story for Boys • Norman Duncan

... And instead of a breeze he has sent a gale. Last night I saw St. Elmo's stars, With their glimmering lanterns, all at play On the tops of the masts and the tips of the spars, And I knew we should have foul weather to-day. Cheerily, my hearties! yo heave ho! Brail up the mainsail, and let her go As the winds will ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

... found a channel through which we could make but slow progress. The wind increased and blew terrifically all night, forcing the vessels to beat back and forth in the mouth of the straits, and we had a similar experience on the night of the 22d, running the gauntlet under reefed mainsail and jib through loose ice and in imminent danger of shipwreck. Next day the ice appeared somewhat open, and Captain Barry concluded to venture into the pack. When we got into clear water we worked up to the bulkhead of ice and passed Resolution Island. We were almost as glad ...
— Schwatka's Search • William H. Gilder

... you will see. When the wind is behind, each stiff quill at the end of the wing stands out by itself and is caught and driven by the blast; but as the bird turns round to face the gale, they all close up and form a continuous mainsail, close-hauled. And all the while the expanded tail is in play, dipping first at one side and then at the other, and turning the trim craft with easy grace "as the ...
— Concerning Animals and Other Matters • E.H. Aitken, (AKA Edward Hamilton)

... once to unfurl the jib. With a little canvas on her I believed the sloop could be wore 'round and headed into the wind before the waves sprang up. Perhaps it would have been wiser to have given her a hand's breath of the mainsail. However, before the bit of canvas bellied out and I had dashed back to the helm, the first wave broke over the ...
— Swept Out to Sea - Clint Webb Among the Whalers • W. Bertram Foster

... hands concealed as usual, stood by the capstern. "I fear, sir, we cannot carry the mainsail ...
— Mr. Midshipman Easy • Frederick Marryat

... heavy westerly swell, the Fram, light as she now was, surpassed herself in rolling, and that is indeed saying a great deal. This rolling brought us a little damage to the rigging, the gaff of the mainsail breaking; however, that affair did not stop us long. The broken spar was quickly replaced by a ...
— The South Pole, Volumes 1 and 2 • Roald Amundsen

... mile of the two ships—the NASSAU and the DAGGET—the newcomer backs her foreyard and hauls up her mainsail. A cheer rises from the ships. She wants to "gam," I.E. to gossip. With eager hands four boats are lowered from the two ships, and the captains and second mates of each are ...
— By Reef and Palm • Louis Becke

... the moon beginning to paint the clouds with leprous hues, and the great ring grew wider and wider, he looked at the mainsail, and wished the trouble over. At midnight there came a sigh; then a rattle of blocks, and then a big, silent wave came pouring along. Something was astir somewhere, and before long the Esperanza's crew knew what was the matter. The last ...
— The Chequers - Being the Natural History of a Public-House, Set Forth in - a Loafer's Diary • James Runciman

... avalanche of books descended upon me from the shelf overhead. Yet I slept pretty soundly. Once I was awakened by a tremendous noise outside—something like a gun going off. I afterwards found it had been occasioned by the mainsail being blown away to sea, right out of the bolt-ropes, the fastenings of which were immediately ...
— A Boy's Voyage Round the World • The Son of Samuel Smiles

... keep it spread out a bit wi' a hollow place in the middle, an' if it do rain, there then,— my boy, we'll ha' a pool big enough to swim ye in. Hurrah! it's sure to rain. See yonder. It be comin' nearer every minute. Let's be ready for it. Down wi' the mainsail. Let go the sheets,—an' instead o' spreadin' our canvas to the wind, as the song says, we'll stretch it out to the rain. ...
— The Ocean Waifs - A Story of Adventure on Land and Sea • Mayne Reid

... foresail and come to our anchor under jib and half-lowered mainsail. I sprang forward to take in the jib and carry it, with the foresail, to the locker abaft the ladies' cabin, when Captain Branscome sang out to me to be in no such hurry, but to fold and stow both sails neatly without detaching them—the ...
— Poison Island • Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch (Q)

... when about thirty leagues west of North Cape, and about the same latitude as the Bay of Islands, no land in sight, the wind rose so that they had to bring to, under the mainsail, but moderated a little the next day so that they could run in towards the land. Again it freshened up and blew a perfect hurricane, accompanied by heavy rain, and a "prodidgeous high sea," which caused the ship to go greatly to ...
— The Life of Captain James Cook • Arthur Kitson

... sheer off had the impudence to press another five of our men. That's how we reached to the chops of the Channel. Twelve good men pressed out of thirty-five; an eighteen-pound shot-hole close beside our rudder; our mainsail looking like spectacles where the Frenchman had hit us—and the Channel crawling with short-handed British cruisers. Put that in your pipe and smoke it next time you grumble at the ...
— Rewards and Fairies • Rudyard Kipling

... "For God's sake heave hard on that rope if you want to save yourselves!" saluted him as he gained the deck. Roaring wind, a deluge of rain, and pitch darkness held revel on the sea; but above the din was heard the dreaded sound of breakers close under their lee. The jib was split, the mainsail half-lowered, and the vessel running gunwale under. By vigorous and well-directed action, in which John Bowden proved himself to be one of those men who are towers of strength in emergencies, the head of the Buss was brought round, and the immediate danger ...
— The Story of the Rock • R.M. Ballantyne

... tore through the sails or rigging, but not a spar was touched nor an important rope cut. We could see some of her crew aloft reeving and stopping braces and ready to repair any damage done, working as coolly under fire as old man-of-war's men. But while we were looking, down came the gaff of her mainsail, and the gaff-topsail fell all adrift; a lucky shot had cut her peak halyards. Our crew cheered with a will. "Well done, Hobson; try it again!" called the captain to the boatswain's mate, who was ...
— The Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, 1995, Memorial Issue • Various

... racing yawl, A spare-rigged schooner sloop, Athwart the bows the taffrails all In grummets gay appeared to fall, To deck the mainsail poop. ...
— The Book of Humorous Verse • Various

... his squadron followed his example. Sir Richard Grenville, however, remaining to receive the sick men, was the last to weigh. The admiral and the rest of the fleet with difficulty recovered the wind, but Sir Richard, not being able to do this, was advised by his master to set his mainsail and coast about, trusting to the sailing of his ship. As the Spanish squadron was already on his weather-gage, Sir Richard utterly refused to fly from the enemy, declaring that he would rather die than dishonour ...
— How Britannia Came to Rule the Waves - Updated to 1900 • W.H.G. Kingston

... bank, just above the belt of silt and sand that divided it from the river. The two men turned for a moment, and watched her from the yacht's deck. She waited till the big mainsail went up, and the yacht's head swung round and pointed up stream. Then she began to run fast along the shore, close ...
— The Helpmate • May Sinclair

... starboard bulwarks were gone, and what added to my astonishment and filled me with fears and doubts was, that in spite of the pace at which she was approaching us and the dead calmness of the air, she had no other sails than her foresail and mainsail, ...
— Byways of Ghost-Land • Elliott O'Donnell

... the Spanish ship in the Bay of Biscay, after all resistance was over and the heat of the battle had cooled, he ordered his crew to bind the captain and all of the crew and every Spaniard aboard—whether in arms or not—to sew them up in the mainsail and to fling them overboard. There were some twenty dead bodies in the sail when a few days later it was washed up on ...
— Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates • Howard I. Pyle

... forehead those creases," I cry to my friend on the yacht, "I admit that the mainsail's in pieces And most of the sheets in a knot; But remember that if We go ponk on that cliff It's The Blare will be paying your nieces ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 147, July 29, 1914 • Various

... "monarch of all he surveyed," casting his eye up now and then at the trim of his canvass, but more frequently keeping it on me. Dick began to open his budget of chat, and I found him as full of fun as his mainsail was full ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction. - Volume 19, No. 535, Saturday, February 25, 1832. • Various

... captured the ship, and took out with the hooks [?] all that they deemed necessary of the wine and brandy, and all the silver and other things that had value, and tortured two Spaniards in order to learn whether there was more silver, and cut down the sails and rigging, except the mainsail, and turned the ship adrift with the men, excepting five or six whom they took with them, and among others ...
— Privateering and Piracy in the Colonial Period - Illustrative Documents • Various

... on a mainsail, the yard being seventy-one feet long, and reefyard sixty-six feet long, eleven inches diameter at center ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 829, November 21, 1891 • Various

... the gaff of the mainsail broke short off. We replaced it with the gooseneck from the gaff of the storm trysail, and the second gooseneck broke short off inside fifteen minutes of use, and, mind you, it had been taken from the gaff of the storm trysail, upon which we would have depended in time of storm. At the ...
— The Cruise of the Snark • Jack London

... jolly round corporation and smug rosy face which he used to present, he has of late become as shrivelled and shrunk as a frost-bitten apple. His scarlet gold-laced waistcoat, which bellied out so bravely in those prosperous days when he sailed before the wind, now hangs loosely about him like a mainsail in a calm. His leather breeches are all in folds and wrinkles, and apparently have much ado to hold up the boots that yawn on both sides of his once ...
— The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. • Washington Irving

... that had risen in the calm to indicate its approach, and then carrying them in sheets of spray aslant the furrowed surface, like snow-drift hurried across a frozen field. But the Betsey, with her storm-jib set, and her mainsail reefed to the cross, kept her weather bow bravely to the blast, and gained on it with every tack. She had been the pleasure yacht, in her day, of a man of fortune, who had used, in running south with her at times as far as Lisbon, to encounter, on not ...
— The Cruise of the Betsey • Hugh Miller

... side of the forecastle, and the mainsail, which was still drawing, concealed from me a certain portion of the after-deck. Not a soul was to be seen. The planks, which had not been swabbed since the mutiny, bore the print of many feet, and an empty bottle, ...
— Treasure Island • Robert Louis Stevenson



Words linked to "Mainsail" :   sheet, sail, canvass, canvas, main course



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