I cannot understand the meaning of the "stream" word in the following particular usage example. In my dictionary it has a lot of translations, but all of them somehow related to the "flow" word. So I would be very grateful if anyone could have helped me with this.

This excerpt is from the wikipedia article HMS Tiger (1849):

At around 6 a.m on the 12th she grounded on the shore about five miles south-west of Odessa. She fired guns to attract the attention of the other ships, without result. She then launched her boats and STREAMED her anchors in an attempt to re-float herself, and also jettisoned all but one of her guns to lighten the ship.

And I cannot understand what did they do with the anchors. Did they jettison them or cut off the cables or drop into a stream or simply use them as normal?

So could anyone please tell me this?

Thank you very much.

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Stream anchors seem to be a particular kind of anchor, used when a ship is in a narrow place with a significant current.

There is a reference here to using a set of stream anchors to enable a boat to move upstream by hauling on lines attached to those anchors.

My guess is that a set of anchors were positioned so that ship could attach lines and haul itself into deeper water.

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  • 6
    I think "to stream an anchor" is a different thing in 1849 than to "deploy a stream anchor" in 2015 – mplungjan Mar 9 '15 at 12:25
  • +1 I was in the middle of answering - warping on is the term used for moving a boat by setting anchor(s) and then pulling in the anchor, but if the anchor is fixed the boat moves toward the anchor. Stream anchors are 'spare' anchors that can be used for just this purpose because they are not normally fastened to any particular part of the ship. – Frank Mar 9 '15 at 12:28
  • More context. – user98955 Mar 9 '15 at 12:31

According to some texts on the net, I suspect that one would stream an anchor by letting it run out behind the boat to for example keep the nose up as in this example:


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I get a picture of a grounded boat that drops the anchors so when the sea is buffeting the boat towards the shore when the waves hit it, the anchors drags it back into deeper waters instead of pushing it higher onto the shore

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