Silly question that has been bugging me, this seemed like the best topic available to post it under:
On larger ships, there is often a large opening or even a balcony on which a crew member stands to through the heaving line. This platform is often rather far from the fairlead/chock from which the mooring line originates. This is often the case at the bow and sometimes for the stern line running to the center chock or offshore at the stern.
The question is, how do they run the heaving line outboard from the crew position to the chock to connect with the main mooring line? Do they drape the line down from the weather deck and hook it?
Hopefully this image uploads, it is a decent example, some cases I’ve seen are even more extreme.
Such a silly question, probably a simple answer. Thanks!
I never worked on a vessel with an enclosed bow but would imagine a messenger is rigged which remains in place between the various stations. You could always rig it each time by lowering it from the weather deck as well.
I’d always thought the platforms main function was for the Mate to keep an eye on the lines as they are coming in.
We had continuous messenger lines that ran from the chocks to where we could tie the heaving line to them at the platform. Had to replace them fairly often due to wear and tear, but it worked. Not sure how they do it on a “pretty” cruise ship where semi-permanent loops of line at the bow would probably be frowned on though.
That picture appears to be one of the new queens and not the QE2. Cunard built two more after the Queen Mary 2 which, if I’m not mistaken, was designed more as an ocean liner than a cruise ship. This looks like the Queen Elisabeth and I believe there is also the Queen Victoria.
One trick is to stick a boat hook (or similar) out the opening where the end of the heaving line is needed. Then from the deck above or from close by on the same deck toss the bitter end of the heaving line over it. The crew holding the boat hook pulls it in and retrieves the end of the line.
If the line is being passed from directly above just dangle the line down and the crew with the boat hook snags it.
Some ports use a line boat. The crew lowers the line to the boat and they tow one end to the pier. No heaving lines needed.