If you are a fan of the Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin novels as I am you may wonder what the depth sounding calls "by the deep" and "by the mark" signify as the depth is always express in fathoms (standardized as 6 feet, originally the hand span of the person on board with the largest span from fingertips of one arm to the other.)
The excellent web site at http://www.navyandmarine.org/planspatterns/soundingline.htm not only explains the meaning but explains how to construct your own lead line. The page is from the site of the Navy and Marine Corps Living History Association.
The Navy and Marine Living History Association, Inc. (NMLHA) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation dedicated to the promotion of an awareness of America's nautical history and to the support of our living history member units who portray the sailors and marines of the many countries that played a role in the formation of our country in the period 1750-1900.
There is a lot of fun stuff on the site. There is also a great calendar to reenactment events.
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