Boats as they lie in the harbour are always in motion: buffeted by winter storms or rocked by gentle summer breezes. In a large port you will find every type of ship and boat imaginable: tiny sailing boats and super-yachts; container ships carrying manufactured goods from across the world and bulk carriers transporting raw materials like coal or iron ore. In amongst them bustle the ferries, back and forth with their passengers and vehicles. You may even see a cruise ship, a new generation of luxurious floating hotels, the largest ships on the seas.
If you are lucky you might be a passenger on one of these ocean giants, strolling along the deck in the sunshine accompanied by cries of seagulls circling in the blue sky overhead. Your exercise each morning will be a bracing promenade forward along the port or lefthand side of the ship towards the bows and back along the starboard or right side, finishing up at the stern. As you look over the rail you will see the portholes below, the small circular windows in the hull of the ship. Here are the cabins offering passengers an excellent view of the sea; hopefully, it will be calm tonight. Fenders are attached to the sides of the ship to protect it when coming alongside the dock and lifeboats hang above the upper decks in case of emergency.
The word POSH has its origins in colonial days when people travelled to India via the Suez Canal and the Red Sea. To avoid the heat, passengers reserved a cabin on the shady, port side of the ship on the outward passage and for the same reason a starboard cabin on the way home. When passengers booked their tickets the clerk wrote POSH beside their name, for “port out, starboard home”, indicating those who could afford this luxury. This term became a synonym for people with money, influence and standing. It is still used today to describe anyone or anything that is in a class above the rest. (eg. That’s a very posh dress you’re wearing today; are you going somewhere special?)