A young man who wants to see the world signs on to a steamship to be trained as a helmsman. He masters the classroom instruction, then starts his practical training on the wheel of the vessel. In his first lesson, the mate gives him a heading, and the young fellow holds to it. Then the mate orders, "Come starboard."
Pleased at knowing immediately which way starboard is, the young man leaves the helm and walks over to his instructor.
The mate has an incredulous look on his face as the helm swings freely. Then, rather gently considering the circumstance, he asks politely, "Could you bring the ship with you?"