M . . . mast.  I love the wikipedia disambiguation pages, where a range of contexts for words like mast or masthead defies expectation.

Cornell sports its mast toward the stern; running lights there convey information about vessel size, type, and activity.

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Clearwater, a sloop, has a one mast topping out at about 110 feet.

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On City of Water Day, USACE Drift Collection vessel Hayward sports code flags on its mast and a sampling of collected debris on its foredeck.

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Pioneer, a schooner, has two masts, the mainmast topped out at just under 77 feet.

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Sandy Hook Pilots vessel Yankee has units (besides the radar and GPS) on its mast I can’t identify.

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Bunkering tanker Capt Blog‘s foremast carries a red flag, signaling fuel.

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So does barge DBL 76.  Mast height on Adriatic Sea is 85 feet, if airdraft equals height of the highest mast or antenna.  I fear I might be blurring a definition here.

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Volunteer, air draft of 114 feet and pushing DBL 105, meets Turecamo Boys assisting Seven Express out to to sea.

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USCG WPB67356 Sailfish, not surprisingly, carries mast gear not readily identified by a civilian like me.

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Miriam Moran, assisting with docking, keeps the upper portion of its mast safely lowered where flaring bows cannot damage it.

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Masts can signal information but of course sometimes signaling is optional or even undesired.  Masts allow things to be seen, but one has to know what should remain unseen.  An effective mast needs strength, and sometimes that means it is flexible.

Both submarines and whaling ships have masts.  For some good fun, check out this six-minute video of  a struggle between Captain Ahab and Moby Das Boot.

Also, just for fun:  How might you complete this sentence:

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All fotos by Will Van Dorp.  Send me your original sentence completions.

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