- from the old French sonder, meaning to measure the depth.
Soundings are what the marine surveyors of the Coast and Geodetic
Survey obtained, day in and day out, all day long as small ships and
survey boats steered their lines to the rhythm of "On the next!
Stand-byyyy! MARK IT!'
members of the survey team would read the depth, measure the angles
to determine the position of the boat, and plot that position with
a three-arm protractor on the boat sheet and print the depth to boot.
Then the cycle would start again. Millions of soundings were obtained
this way to make the charts that led mariners safely to our shores
for the first century and a half of the Coast Survey's existence.
Then came the age of electronics.
the Coast Surveyors as they sound our waterways from Maine to Texas
and California to Alaska....
Pole to Sea Beam