(For those not well-versed in nautical terminology, fore is front and aft is back.)
Brace yourself for impact... U.N.S. ships are not, strictly speaking, built like nautical ships. Both ends can be the fore or the aft -- it just depends on which direction the ship is moving. Naturally, this means that in tight maneuvers, the midshipman you send aft to your cabin is going to run both fore and aft, because halfway through his run down the hall you reverse course, and now he's running in the other direction. But he's still headed to your cabin, and believe it or not, he knows exactly where he's going.
Clearly, then, the first time Ennesby spied Athens, she was drifting "knobby end first" (note the highly technical terminology). Now she's moving "jagged bits first."
Don't ask what happens when she moves sideways. It's hard to tell starboard from port when there's no port in sight and there are stars everywhere.
Addendum to Note: The author reserves the right to change the dialog in today's strip and subsequently remove this footnote should it become too freakin' difficult to keep the story consistent going forward. Err... aftward. Whatever.