the special sea and anchor detail

the special sea and anchor detail

Joined: October 10th, 2005, 8:42 pm

September 10th, 2009, 3:42 pm #1

For the information of all hands not currently assigned to the sea and anchor detail.

When the OD calls away the special sea and anchor detail, one reason is to moore the ship to a pier or another ship. This detail is performed by the deck gang (deck apes).
The ship is secured to the pier or another ship by mooring lines. Naturally, since this is the Navy, all of these lines have names and special purposes. This should give you a general layman's idea of what these lines are and what they do.

We often see the ship arrive at a port and within minutes the deck gang starts throwing lines from the ship to the pier. These are called heaving lines. The little ball at the end is called a monkey fist.
These light-weight lines are then tied to the larger lines called mooring lines. (Although I have been told that in the "old Navy" real Boatswain's Mate could throw the hawser from the ship to the pier.)

(see diagram)

1. Bow line: secures the bow to the pier
2. Aft bow spring line: Keeps the ship from drifting forward.
3. Forward bow spring line: Keeps the ship from drifting backward.
4. Aft quarter spring line: Keeps the ship from drifting forward.
5. Forward quarter spring line: Keeps the ship from drifting backward.
6. Stern line: secures the stern to the pier.
1 and 6 are also called breast lines, they control the distance from the ship to the pier.
Often fenders are dropped between the ship and the pier to keep the ship from actually touching the pier and prevent damage to the ship.

You may also hear the deck gang using terms like:
Hawser - a line over 5 inches in circumference.
Heave - to pull in
slack - allow to go out
take a turn - wrap the line one time around a bit to put it under tension
double up - run additional lines for strength.
secure - affix to the ship so it will not slack.
@#$%!@#%)*& - oops, something is bad wrong.

Working the deck while mooring is dangerous work. If you are not part of the detail you must stand clear.
If you want to observe the best location would be the observation deck on the O1 level forward the wheelhouse. Visitors on the pier must likewise stand clear. If one of these lines should part it can snap back to seriously injure or kill someone.


Last edited by FTG2 on September 10th, 2009, 8:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: June 29th, 2009, 3:44 pm

September 10th, 2009, 5:30 pm #2

Thanks Bob: Now this ole USAF type knows what the deck crew is talking about.
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Joined: August 24th, 2003, 10:08 pm

September 11th, 2009, 2:48 am #3

A couple of years ago, I was trying to understand some of this... your post is a great refresher! Although I understand a bit now, I don't think I could do the work these fellows do! Those lines are wet after being in the water and are HEAVY to haul in.
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Joined: November 21st, 2004, 9:28 pm

September 12th, 2009, 2:36 pm #4

For the information of all hands not currently assigned to the sea and anchor detail.

When the OD calls away the special sea and anchor detail, one reason is to moore the ship to a pier or another ship. This detail is performed by the deck gang (deck apes).
The ship is secured to the pier or another ship by mooring lines. Naturally, since this is the Navy, all of these lines have names and special purposes. This should give you a general layman's idea of what these lines are and what they do.

We often see the ship arrive at a port and within minutes the deck gang starts throwing lines from the ship to the pier. These are called heaving lines. The little ball at the end is called a monkey fist.
These light-weight lines are then tied to the larger lines called mooring lines. (Although I have been told that in the "old Navy" real Boatswain's Mate could throw the hawser from the ship to the pier.)

(see diagram)

1. Bow line: secures the bow to the pier
2. Aft bow spring line: Keeps the ship from drifting forward.
3. Forward bow spring line: Keeps the ship from drifting backward.
4. Aft quarter spring line: Keeps the ship from drifting forward.
5. Forward quarter spring line: Keeps the ship from drifting backward.
6. Stern line: secures the stern to the pier.
1 and 6 are also called breast lines, they control the distance from the ship to the pier.
Often fenders are dropped between the ship and the pier to keep the ship from actually touching the pier and prevent damage to the ship.

You may also hear the deck gang using terms like:
Hawser - a line over 5 inches in circumference.
Heave - to pull in
slack - allow to go out
take a turn - wrap the line one time around a bit to put it under tension
double up - run additional lines for strength.
secure - affix to the ship so it will not slack.
@#$%!@#%)*& - oops, something is bad wrong.

Working the deck while mooring is dangerous work. If you are not part of the detail you must stand clear.
If you want to observe the best location would be the observation deck on the O1 level forward the wheelhouse. Visitors on the pier must likewise stand clear. If one of these lines should part it can snap back to seriously injure or kill someone.


Now you know why Deck Apes Rule.
I am glad Bob explained what it is we do because mostly it is a mystery to us while we are doing it. But it sure if fun.
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Joined: January 21st, 2005, 9:59 am

September 12th, 2009, 5:21 pm #5

snipes move fuel around so that the engines can run to move the ship,and also so they can make electric power so the lights can be on so the deck apes can see to tie up the ship as per the drawing. I think the correct heading would be Snipes Rule.
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Joined: December 20th, 2006, 7:02 pm

September 13th, 2009, 6:37 pm #6

absolutely correct Jerry. I could not have said it any better. ROCKY
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Joined: October 10th, 2005, 8:42 pm

September 14th, 2009, 3:40 am #7

snipes move fuel around so that the engines can run to move the ship,and also so they can make electric power so the lights can be on so the deck apes can see to tie up the ship as per the drawing. I think the correct heading would be Snipes Rule.
The snipes make the ship go and the deck apes make sure it gets to where it is supposed to be going for its main purpose, which is to take the guns into battle. Gunners rule.

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Joined: August 24th, 2003, 10:08 pm

September 14th, 2009, 3:45 am #8

GATOR GALS RULE!!!!

(I know you guys will all agree as you have to live with your personal Gator Gals at home.. )
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Joined: December 9th, 2004, 6:55 am

September 14th, 2009, 5:14 am #9

Hey Seabat. I see where IU beat Western Michigan but I was busy on the ship and didn't catch the OSU score against USC. Can you update me?
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Joined: August 24th, 2003, 10:08 pm

September 15th, 2009, 3:51 am #10

Rub it in... lol... But gee, was it a good game! Didn't get to see all of it, but some...

How are ya? You've been so quiet, we had the Shore Patrol on the lookout for you....
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