Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Dolphin of a different kind - abc

Not what you were expecting

We are dipping into d for abc


Not your usual kind of dolphin is it? Until fairly recently I would have referred to this as some kind of wooden structure sat in the harbour for the seagulls to eat and poop on(not at the same time of course) and the cormorant to hunt for cornered fish. Well both of those still happen but there is more to this structure than that. So what is it?


A dolphin is usually a wooden structure consisting of a number of piles driven into the seabed in a normally circular upright pattern and bound together with wire rope as I have found out. What is it used for though? They are used as part of a larger dock structure or landing port. It is also used as a navigation tool too on a very minor level. The aim is for fixing vessels to a particular body of water to make ready and secure for loading of goods and materials once berthed alongside it. As the harbour is I am proud to say still a working dock (albeit a small one) I can now see and understand the need for this little kind of dolphin as more than just a bird pooping perch. Not sure the birds see it that way though.


To discover more delightful d's dive into here.

41 comments:

Mara said...

It sounds better than the word 'tetherpole' used in the Netherlands!

Gail's Man said...

Wonder why it's called a dolphin? Think giraffe is more nearer the mark.

Ackworth born said...

well you learn something new everyday,

Jon, Ramsey said...

So it has a purpose, not just a crapper for the birds?

Brian Miller said...

interesting...i wonder how it came to get its name...

anthonynorth said...

This sounds like technology and nature working in harmony. At least, the birds will think so :-)
An informative post, as always.

Babooshka said...

Brian - I have no idea. Hoping someone can fill us in on that one.

Reader Wil said...

Thanks for your visit! I learnt something new: a dolphin is also a cluster of wooden poles in the harbour! That I didn't know!

marley said...

Really interesting post B (not that your post aren't normally interesting!) I've learn't something new today.

Chuck Pefley said...

Obscurity does become you -:)

Chuck Pefley said...

and from the dictionary:

3- a bollard, pile, or buoy for mooring.
4- a structure for protecting the pier of a bridge or other structure from collision with ships.

Gaelyn said...

I believe we call them pilings. And dolphin sounds so much nicer. Of course the birds still poop on them no matter what they're called.

Sylvia K said...

Always learn something new and interesting from your posts, Babooshka, plus you always make me laugh! Great shot!

Enjoy!
Sylvia

Babooshka said...

Ah Chuck- That must be protect from a swinging bridge obviously. That makes perfect sense.

James said...

Lol, the gulls look so nice in all of their poop filled glory. The dolphin looks more like a seagull throne. :-)

Sistertex said...

I had no idea there was more than one type of dolphin. Great post! I enjoy learning about these sort of things. Thank you!

So it's come to this... said...

Very intersting! great shot too I love the reflection.

Buck said...

Never thought about why they're called dolphins. Nautical terminology is strange and wonderful.

Before WWII, Japanese used dead whaled as fenders for large ships (so the story goes anyway) and when whales became scarce, they asked the Yokohama company to come up with an artificial fender. These large fenders are called Yokohamas to this day.

Wooden fenders extending from a quay, pier or dock are called camels (beats me why) and tend to be used for vessels with sloping sides like cruise liners which would hang over the pier unless held off with camels.

The OED tells me when these words were first used, but not why and I can't find my Chapman's right now...

Your EG Tour Guide said...

I've heard them called pilings...but I like the your term better. Now, how can I slip this bit of trivia into the conversation at the next family gathering? ;-)

Tumblewords: said...

I'd never heard of this 'dolphin' although I've seen any number of them. Thanks!

Hildred and Charles said...

I'm with James, - I always thought those structures were built for the gulls to preen on and look picturesque, - kind of a tourist attraction.

Petrea said...

A Babooshka classic, both the photo and the description.

Alexa said...

I grew up on the water, and should have known this—but you have taught me something new today. Thanks. Now if you could just do something about all the bird poop . . .

uncleawang said...

We seldom see Dolphin in our ocean but in the zoo we have Dolphin having a show..

Janie said...

I had never heard of this kind of dolphin. Very unique D!

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Not what I was expecting at all but a great D nonetheless.

ArneA said...

a wooden structure consisting of a number of piles driven into the seabed in a normally circular upright pattern and bound together with wire rope

No not what I had expected, but that´s why ABCW is so intriguing

Kim said...

Well I never knew that.

RuneE said...

You taught me a new word too! I have only heard of the swimming kind :-)

Small City Scenes said...

Thanks for the info. I always wondered.....
And i think Seagulls can eat and poop and squawk all at the same time. MB

Babooshka said...

SCS- You are right about seagulls multi tasking, and the noise.

Autumn Belle @ KDP said...

I too learn a new word today.

Julie ScottsdaleDailyPhoto.com said...

very educational today. who knew?

Paula Scott said...

I never knew there was another meaning to the word! Thanks! Very fascinating.

Roger Owen Green said...

add me to the list of newly informed.

Jackie said...

Hey, you learn something new every day. This reminds me of the seagulls in "Finding Nemo".

Anonymous said...

Dolphins look a little wooden.

laxeylass said...

I never knew that.

jay said...

Well, there's something I didn't know! I have seen those things though. I just thought they were bird pooping stations. LOL!

david mcmahon said...

I didn't know that ....

Mojo said...

So that's what those things are called. I never knew. I figured you had a Dolphin sailboat (an even smaller version of the Sunfish boat so popular here in the States).

Cool shot!

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