Is there anyone who's familiar with nautical terms that can help me understand this?

Hi, down below is an excerpt from a popular novel. Atm I'm reading this particular chapter where everything happens in the sea. It's full of nautical terms, jargons etc. I'm having a hard time trying to understand the following:

"Well hell, you stand outside the wheelhouse, you might get wet. Besides, sea-and-anchor detail might violate some union rule, right? Maybe your guy got run down, Kelly noted darkly."

Now here's a bit of background info to help build some context:

John Kelly, the protagonist is a sailor. He owns a 40 foot motor yacht. One day he was out just cruising about in the sea with his girlfriend, they were heading to an island some distance away but their journey is interrupted by a rainstorm. It was quite strong so they had to stop halfway through until it's over, so they anchored their yacht 'til the next day. However the next day he gets approached by the coastguard looking for a missing person on a small boat. Kelly explained that he saw a big freighter that was going quite fast, and was thinking that it might have sank that boat to which the coastguardsmen agreed. They were angry the fact that the freighter was going off its speed limit and then the above passage is spoken by Kelly. 

Here are my questions:

What die he mean by 'sea-and-anchor detai' ? What does that mean?

and what did he mean that it 'might violate some union rule' ?

Also, what does it mean that he noted 'darkly' ?

Thanks in advance

3 Answers

  • 8 months ago
    Favourite answer

    >Finds my copy of that book, to get more context<

    This whole sentence is meant as sarcasm / humour - 

    "Well hell, you stand outside the wheelhouse, you might get wet. Besides, sea-and-anchor detail might violate some union rule, right?"

    If the freighter they mention ran down another boat, it would be because no-one was properly on watch, looking out for other craft.

    Sea-and-anchor detail presumably means people working on the exposed deck of the ship, as lookouts may be.

    The implication is that people were being lazy or making fake excuses, like it would be against some (fictional) rule to go on deck and get wet. 

    "Darkly" means he was being serious, a grim manner while talking of the possibility of someone being killed, changing from the joking sarcasm before it.

    [For anyone else, the book is "Without Remorse" by Tom Clancy].

    • Mallone8 months agoReport

      Wow what a guess!

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  • 8 months ago

    Sea and anchor detail is a drill sailors go through to prepare for the possibility of a real emergency at sea. The mention of his "man" indicates there was someone employed by Kelly who probably was part of a union, and the gf accuses Kelly of caring more about union rules than taking steps to assure people's safety.

  • 8 months ago

    "Sea and anchor detail" is a naval term and refers to the duties that are involved in entering or leaving port. Requires the manning of multiple stations throughout the ship (ie. bridge, fo'csle, fantail, engine plant, after steering, secondary conn in dc central, and line handlers).

    "might violate some union rule":  Kelly is being funny.  He is implying that the freighter did not correctly man her stations.

    "Noted darkly":  Kelly is suggesting that the freighter collided with the small boat and its skipper was killed.

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