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Able seaman (applied to both genders) is a low rank of crew member on board a ship.

Titty is named as Able seaman in Swallows and Amazons a title denied Roger due to his poor swimming skillsref req. Later Roger is promoted to Able Seaman of the Swallow (PP2) and Able Seaman of the Goblin (WD3).

The Ds are both promoted from apprentice to able seaman following the voyage of Teasel CCPostscript.

Bridget is temporarily promoted from Ship's Baby to Able Seaman while at the tiller of Wizard as Susan hoists the sail (SW21), in spite of being only half the age Roger had attained when he was promoted.

Titty and Roger are referred to as fo'c'sle hands (for the crew in the forecastle);

  • Susan says: Sit down, you fo'c'sle hands to Titty and Roger.
  • When Roger thinks there may be octopuses there were clear signs of panic in the forecastle (SA21).
  • "Bother you fo'c'sle hands" said the mate (SD3).

Later Dick, Dorothea, Titty and Roger are all referred to as brats (as against the elders (WH11):

  • Hullo, what's that brat trying to signal said Nancy (WH5)
  • Bother those brats said Peggy (WH12)
  • It's those two brats said Susan (WH18).

Mr Duck is usually self-effacing, and he calls himself an A.B. (Able seaman): I'd be glad to sign on as an A.B. (PD1).

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