A rare sighting of Willie on the job. Although there is a serious workplace safety issue on the bark Wanderer - it appears that Willie is forced to do repairs on the ship while hanging by nothing more than his toes. The least the captain can do is give him a drink.
Tom Sawyer's traverse is defined in the Naval ceremonies, customs, and traditions:
An old term that meant the course and movements of a "soldiering" (no reflection on the Army) sailor to kill time, such as frequent trips to and long stays at the scuttle butt and in the head, part of the art of work dodging. An American variant of the British phrase "Tom Cox's Traverse," meaning "up one hatch and down another."