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X is for Xebec: Courtesy of 17th Century Shipping #atozchallenge #blogging #writing

Like the rest of the participants on the A to Z Blogging Challenge, it was tough to come up with an X word that would not be used by every other participating blog. Good thing I write fiction with historical elements or this would have been a really boring Xylophone post 😛

You may be wondering at this point, “What ‘s a Xebec?” and “Did she make that word up?”

The short answers are a ship, and no, I didn’t.

Let me elaborate a bit 🙂

From Wikipedia: A xebec (play /ˈzbɛk/ or /zɨˈbɛk/), also spelled zebec, was a Mediterranean sailing ship that was used mostly for trading. It would have a long overhanging bowsprit and protruding mizzen mast. It also can refer to a small, fast vessel of the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries, used almost exclusively in the Mediterranean Sea.

Xebecs were similar to galleys used by Algerian Berber corsairs and Barbary pirates having both lateen sails and oars for propulsion. Early xebecs had two masts; later ones three. Xebecs featured a distinctive hull with pronounced overhanging bow and stern, and rarely displaced more than 200 tons, making them slightly smaller and with slightly fewer guns than frigates of the period.

The protagonist in Call of the Sea, Jashir, the notorious pirate, captains a Xebec.

From CALL OF THE SEA:

“Sails to the stern, Captain!”

The call from the crow’s nest jerked Daniel’s attention toward the topmast and the crewman pointing behind them.

Captain Winters lifted the spyglass, peered through it. “Lateen sails, no colors. Looks like a xebec.” Lowering the glass, his gaze swept to Daniel. “All hands at the ready.”

“All hands at the ready!” Daniel shouted across the deck of the brigantine. “Step handsomely, men!”

The Captain rested a hand on Daniel’s sleeve. “Take the helm, Daniel. I want you at the wheel if there’s to be a fight.”

Daniel nodded, looking to the man he’d grown to admire. “Aye, Captain.”

I bet you feel supremely educated now, don’t you? Okay, maybe not, but at least I managed to come up with a somewhat informative X day posting. Only two more letters to go (is that the finish line I see ahead?)

See you tomorrow 🙂