Monday, January 9, 2012

Six Degrees of Freedom

According to shipbuilders and mariners, there are six different motions a floating vessels can make.

Rolling – the oscillating movement of a vessel from side to side

Pitching – the rise and fall of a ship on calm to moderate seas.

Yawing –The back and forth movement of ship caused by a high seas in a confused state.

Heaving – The rise and fall of a vessel in high seas.

Swaying – The side to side swing of a ship in moderate seas.

Surging – The propelling of a vessel in a sudden forward movement when powerful waves hit the vessels stern.

It’s the nautical name for these six movements that intrigue me: 

Six Degrees of Freedom 

Reminding me that:

 no matter how rough be the sea we navigate,

no matter how difficult it may be to keep our bearings

 as life rolls, pitches and yaws, our footing heaving, swaying and surging beneath us,

All we need do to keep our freedom

Is to

Not sink.


  1. I'm bailing water as fast as I can :)

  2. It's the not sinking that gives me the problems!

  3. There ought to be a seventh - smooth sailing!