What Does a Sailor Never Clean?

What Does a Sailor Never Clean?

Getting Nauti Asks: What Does a Sailor Never Clean?


OK, Getting Nauti fans, because you love nautical trivia as much as we do, we’re going to start this blog posting with a quick little pop quiz. If you correctly answer all the questions we’ll give you a free, all-expense-paid trip to Sanibel Island, Florida, where you can relish in all sorts of nautical adventures.


OK, not really…but you WILL earn our respect (which is worth at LEAST as much, right?)


Right, so take this quick quiz and give yourself a gold star should you get them all correct. Or just bask in the glory of your nautical trivia expertise by hitting friends with these questions next time you’re out on the water or otherwise engaged in Getting Nauti-style fun. No doubt that your less-nautical minded friends will fail the quiz and you can revel in the glory of your superior nautical intellect.


Here goes:


  1. What is the U.S. Navy’s drink of choice?
  2. While the U.S. Navy is fastidious about cleanliness, what is the one personal item never cleaned?
  3. What was America’s first officially proclaimed “National Drink,” and what American drink of choice did it replace…in a somewhat nautical fashion?
  4. What item that most American adults hold in their hands every day was invented back in the Neolithic Stone Age, that is about 10,000 BC?


What’d ya think? Can you give yourself a gold star?


Let’s see:


  1. We’re guessing you answered “rum,” because so much of your nautical acumen has likely been developed by reading our blog. No doubt that you read our Feb. 3 blog, “Rum for your Life—Getting Nauti’s Primer on the Nautical Drink of Choice,” which may have led you to believe that rum was the nautical drink of choice. And it is. However, and unfortunately for U.S. sailors, the U.S. Navy bucked long-held naval and nautical tradition in 1914 by banning alcoholic beverages on U.S. naval vessels.


WRONG! Rum is incorrect!

Yeah, ouch!


Ok, so the correct answer would be coffee. And we here at Getting Nauti cannot conclusively say that the transition happened overnight, as the written history on the issue seems to be lacking (no doubt due in part to national Prohibition efforts that followed the naval ban a few years later) . However, history indicates that coffee was well entrenched as the navy’s drink of choice by World War II. In fact, by the late 1940s, it was believed that the U.S. sailors were drinking the equivalent of 58,000 pounds per day, enough to “float a 157 foot [amphibious landing craft].

I love coffee

Coffee! <3


  1. If your military is going to insist upon wearing white uniforms, as the U.S. Navy does on certain occasions, then everything better be exceptionally clean, lest a smidgeon of dirt or grime sully one’s uniform. And all indications suggest that the U.S. Navy takes the mantra of “cleanliness being close to God” the most serious of all the services. That is, with the exception of one’s coffee mug. Not washing one’s mug has been traditional in the U.S. Navy since, well, naval personnel weren’t allowed to drink rum. In U.S. Naval parlance, that unwashed mug is called “seasoned.”

A "seasoned" mug 

A "seasoned" mug


  1. America’s first Continental Congress proclaimed coffee to be the foundling country’s drink of choice in 1774. This, a result of the Boston Tea Party, during which New England patriots (not the five-time Superbowl winning football team) dumped tons of America’s then drink-of-choice—tea—into Boston Harbor.


Get this "not coffee" outta here!


  1. OK, so not a nautical answer, but it does fit into the general theme—the answer being a “mug,” which you likely hold every day with your morning coffee. Not sure if those Neolithic folks were actually drinking “coffee,” but archeologists do date the mug back to 10,000 BC.

 1,800 year old drinking vessel

This vessel is brand new, historically speaking, at 1,800 years old


Not that you need a millennials-old mug with which to enjoy your daily mug o’ Joe, because you can enjoy that coffee seasoned with a bit of nautical influence courtesy of Getting Nauti’s line of mugs. Available in 11- and 15-ounce size, you can drink your coffee with Getting Nauti’s Jolly Roger, Kraken, Marlin, Yellowfin Tuna or Love for Sailing themes, and be just as nautical as any U.S. Navy sailor. Just be sure to let that new mug season over the months and years ahead if you truly want to be Getting Nauti like a sailor.  




Rum for your Life: https://www.gettingnauti.com/blogs/news/rum-for-your-life-getting-nauti-s-primer-on-the-nautical-drink-of-choice


“float a 157 foot [amphibious landing craft]: http://www.seabeecook.com/cookery/cooking/good_coffee.htm


“seasoned:” http://www.navyhistory.org/2013/11/dont-wash-that-coffee-mug/


An enjoyable repast from politics and cat pictures. Now I am retired my household skipper insist on washing the mug.

Rob on

I like what I’ve seen and what I’ve read. Keep it up!

Russ Dicken on

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