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18 April: What are you saying? (Scotia Arc Expedition 2013)

By: Dr Nerida Wilson, Category: Science, Date: 23 Apr 2013

After fishing on the north side of South Georgia for a couple of days, we decided to move around to the south side.

 

18 April: What are you saying? (Scotia Arc Expedition 2013) #3

Nerida Wilson & Greg Rouse © Australian Museum

Which sounds easy in theory, but in practice takes more than 14 hours. But for the first time, the fog has lifted and we can actually glimpse the beautiful mountains on the island.

We have also had a lot of albatrosses hanging around, happily trying to eat the remains of the trawl that goes overboard again. After doing a few trawls, with lots of shrimp, large anemones, and more mud, we decide to move on to our second area, Shag Rocks.

Meanwhile, we have been discussing the nautical origin of many sayings. For instance, do you know where the saying “let the cat out of the bag” came from? These days we use it to mean that someone told a secret that they shouldn’t have, but the original meaning was a little different.

One of the ways discipline was maintained on a ship was using the cat o’ nine tails (a nasty nine-tailed whip). So when the cat was let out of the bag it meant someone was going to be disciplined.

In the same way, ‘seeing the Captain’s daughter’ meant having an appointment with the cat o’ nine tails as well. Youch. Lucky all the folks on this trip are very well-behaved!