Aannsha’s Blog #64 – Storm Lines, Red Dust and Drips

Securing storm lines

Harbour street flooded!

After last week’s huge wind where we relocated to the marina for four nights, and then seeing on Windy and Predict Wind apps that more wind was coming this week, I got a little nervous. I still clearly remembered the state of the harbour and how waves had turned the harbour road into a rubble-strewn river. If that was going to happen again with this blow, I didn’t want to be around. I also didn’t particularly want to spend another 340TL (AUD85) a night at the marina. It all adds up.

Baz went and had a chat with the harbour master who assured him that as the wind was going to be blowing from the east, there wouldn’t be too much fetch into the harbour itself, and our boat would be safe. So we decided to stay put. But not without securing A B Sea as best as we could.

Barry had noticed that the two stern lines which had only been looped around the rings on the dock before being tied to A B Sea were showing signs of wear where they’d been rubbing, so he decided to put bowlines in the ends and loop those through the iron dock rings before securing them on the cleats. He also thought it would be best to swap the two midship lines out for ones that made less creaking noises. Most importantly, he wanted to tighten up the lazy line (slime line) that was holding the front of A B Sea secure. Baz had noticed that the front of our yacht had been swinging a little too much from side to side and that was something he wanted to avoid when the wind increased.

As Baz has nominated me “Aannsha of the Incredible Knot Tying Skills Department”, I was the one to go on shore, tie the bowlines and throw the lines back to him so he could secure them back at the boat. Obviously we did this for all four lines (2 x stern, 2 x midships) and that went off without a hitch, if you’ll pardon the pun.

The final job was to tighten the lazy line. What’s a lazy line?

Slime line

This is a big fat sucker of a rope that is tied to a huge, secure chain that runs along the length of the harbour bottom. When you reverse (stern to moor) to the dock, someone on land passes you the end of the lazy line that’s attached to the dock. You then grab it with your boat hook and walk up to the bow of the boat, sliding the boat hook along the length of the lazy line until you’re at the forward cleat (the thing that you secure lines to on the deck of the yacht).

Why’s it called a slime line?

When you get to the part of the line that you secure to the cleat, you’ll see that it’s been lying at the sludgy bottom of the harbour in salt water for so long that it is all slimy. Nice. You can do a good job of getting brown silty stains on the boat and your clothes when you do this job. Ask Baz.

So that morning, obviously the slime line was already attached to the port cleat. Now as I’ve said, it’s a huge rope attached to a secure chain and our boat weights around 10 tonnes. Pulling up more of that slime line that was already under tension couldn’t be done by human alone. Human needed mechanical assistance.

Enter trusty winch. We have four of these on A B Sea and they help pull in lines.

But how to get the slime line that was attached to the cleat onto the winch? If we released it