Helm orders in those days were in reference to 'tiller' commands. When a tiller is turned right the ship will move left e.g.Why does every story about the collision say that Murdock called for a turn to starboard when a turn to port is why she was damaged on the starboard side?
It had nothing to do with any object. It is simply a command to the helmsman to put the tiller all the way over to the starboard (right) side. To do that,the helmsman turn the wheel counter-clockwise all the way.I think the phrase "Hard a' starboard" means that there is an object approaching the starboard side t