Cryptic crossword

As a lowly landlubber who didn’t know his port from his starboard or a hagfish from a highwayman’s hitch, setting sail aboard the good ship Adlard Coles Nautical last month, I confess, was a nervy experience.

However, any symptoms of seasickness have long since passed.  Days and weeks have sailed by and, slowly but surely, I’m learning the ropes thanks to a hearty crew who’ve been good enough to guide me through some basics… so long as I put my back into swabbing the decks!

So, as a show of appreciation to them for agreeing to take on another pair of hands on their voyage through the high seas of nautical publishing, I thought I’d post a few cryptic clues to keep them – and you – entertained.

Click here to have a go… though you might want to have a look at the hint below before you do.

Navigation: Some of the more savvy among you will realise that – no matter if they belong to either fact or fiction – all of the answers are connected by the same nautical theme.

And don’t fret if you’re still all at sea by the end of the week; all will be revealed at the bottom of our next blog post.

Happy head-scratching!