Bowline · Stopper Knot · Clove Hitch · Rolling Hitch · Cleat Hitch

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“We shall beat to quarters, gentlemen.”


Bullet Points:

** Here come the Russians, getting ready to propel President Trump to victory — destroying our democracy. Those darned Ruskies. Mother Jones weighs in…  They’re not communists anymore. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was dissolved on 26 December 1991 by Declaration № 142-Н of the Soviet of the Republics of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union, formally establishing the dissolution of the Soviet Union as a sovereign state and subject of international law.

** Americans were shocked by Canada’s approach to COVID lockdowns. Trudeau’s continued presence as a shot caller is as odious as America’s Pedo Joe/Ho. We ask ourselves how this could be. (Jim G—here) Still, more from Jim on tourism requirements levied in Missouri and Texas—without taking on Canada again.

** Chappelle discusses that first sleepover at a white friend’s house. (for those offended, every third word is ‘nigger.’)

** Global warming/cooling and cooking the books in Australia. Come on, guys. All you need to do to forestall immediate extinction is to give the government more money.

** I was texting with a guy who visits this blog (you know who you are), nameless hereafter, for this bullet point. He works for a part of the government and has to deal with DEI issues at work, which includes nearly endless mandated training. When I worked for the government, there was some EEO-mandated training in the Navy, but not much, and it didn’t impact what I did or my chain of command. When I worked for the district attorney, there wasn’t any DEI/EEO B.S. That was a long time ago, and now the world has changed. I may live another ten years or not. I’m no longer young. Thus, I can be a keyboard commando, write about the world’s evils without choking back stuff, and accept what they feed me at work or toss the career. Today, I work, but I don’t have to.  I’m not in the wedding cake business, and much of what I do is outside the US. I can tell people to take a flying f*ck without much blowback. If I didn’t work another day in my life, I’d be fine. My point in this mini-rant is that sometimes you have to suck it up and ignore me and my snark. Earning a living and putting food on the table comes ahead of some distasteful things. Hopefully, there is light at the end of the tunnel, or maybe a train is coming at us.

** For Klaus – it’s said that a man could get rich on reward money.

** Peterson discusses your right to infantile consumption.

** Why are any documents about the 9/11 attack classified? If top secret information is information that, if disclosed, could pose a grave danger to the United States – what sort of grave danger is being withheld from public scrutiny? I’m waiting.

** Florida rules? yeah, baby!


From the Days of Fighting Sail


Some circumstances can cause a ship to lose its mast. A mast break can result from strong winds during a storm and act on the masts, sails, rigging, and spars, causing them to break. Also, too much mast compression due to over-tightening of the rigging and g-forces due to swell and rocking of the boat can lead to a mast break. Or hits during a battle can lead to mast breakage.


Defense of the moles of Havana, British ships in the Seven Years War before Havana, by Rafael Monleon Torres (1843- 1900) A dismasted ship in the front 

This does not necessarily affect the ability of the ship to stay afloat but rather the ability to move with sail power. Often, the vessel’s hull remains intact, upright, and seaworthy. However, it can be immediately life-threatening if a mast falls on the crew or crew members in the rigging position. But it can also be dangerous directly after the fall because parts of the mast, rigging, and sails can still be on the ship and thus still slip into the water afterward, dragging sailors with them. Therefore, it must be ensured that these parts are removed as quickly as possible to eliminate these sources of danger.


HMS “Iris” dismasted by the French Frigate “Citoyenne-Francaise” 13 May 1793. Thomas Luny, date unknown 

Suppose calm has returned, and the ship has had the opportunity to anchor safely. In that case, the large stocks of ropes, canvas, and even spars for ordinary and extraordinary repairs have been anchored, and any remaining mast has been used to create a jury rig with which to proceed. If safe anchoring was not possible and other ships were nearby, the ship could be towed to another location for repairs.

A Message in a Bottle

A Message in a Bottle is very special today, and the curiosity to find out what the writer had left behind is particularly significant. Usually, it was a nice, happy message. Unlike today, the messages back then were not happy ones. The news should begin with the Greek Theophrastus, who put small messages in the amphora and asked for a reply from the finder to study the movement of water. Christopher Columbus is also said to have put a message to King Ferdinand in a small barrel when he feared sinking during a storm in 1493. Unfortunately for him, the messages never arrived, but he himself survived the storm. In the 16th century, Queen Elizabeth I also proposed introducing the office of the uncorker of ocean bottles. His task was to collect all the bottles and open them because there was a belief that spies tried to send secrets this way.

On 28 September 1875, the schooner Maria Helena under the command of Captain Arend B. Schumacher (1837-1913) was caught in a hurricane while sailing in the Skagerrak. The ship sprung a leak, and before it capsized, Schumacher wrote this message and a farewell letter to his family. All his men drowned, but he himself saved himself on the cabin roof. A few days later, he was rescued by a Swedish brig, and a few days later, a fisherman found the bottle and sent it to the German embassy in Oslo, which forwarded it to the family.

Translation of the message:

Dear Sara and the children. I am writing these lines in the last hour of my life. It is Tuesday, 28 September, at 1 a.m., a gale from the WNW, and our ship must have sprung a leak due to heavy seas. We pump all night with all our pumps, but we still have 4 feet of water in the hold. We want to try to get to Sweden. But little hope. May the good Lord have mercy on us. I am confident. Dear parents, do not leave my wife and children. Farewell. – Photo by me- IMM Hamburg

Messages in bottles were written as SOSs or calls for help from shipwrecked sailors or sailors in distress hoping for help. If such a message was found, it had to be handed in immediately to the local authorities, who took care of everything else and forwarded the message to the consul, who then decided whether help was necessary.


Another message from the late 19th century:

Dear Parents, 3 Feb. (1898)9 am. We are in a highly critical situation & we don’t know if we will survive the same. Yesterday, we had a collision with the Hamburg barque Poncho, which hit us in the stern & caused two holes below the deck. As a result, we could no longer continue our voyage because of the extremely high seas before the wind & had to turn the ship both ways during the night to such an extent that the collision bulkhead between Provisions Room No. IV was damaged by the seas pushing in & No. IV room ran full of water. We are now only dependent on the pumps & the question is whether they will be able to cope with the water. There is still an NW storm & high seas; a steamer is nearby, but it cannot help us in the high seas. Take this as the last message. Farewell, may heaven protect us. Your son T. Breckwoldt on board the Hamburg steamer Karnak. – The young man survived the accident, unlike the crew of the Poncho. – Photo by me- IMM Hamburg

However, emigrants or inhabitants of very small islands also send messages in bottles. They would add some money or tobacco in the hope that the finder would pass the message on to the person on land.

The sending of messages in bottles became particularly popular in the work of Edgar Allen Poe, MS. Found in a Bottle, 1833, or Charles Dickens’ A Messages from the Sea, 1860. this even caused a real bottle craze, as people hoped to receive nice replies from abroad.


Identify the Aircraft



Tough one






52 thoughts on “Bowline · Stopper Knot · Clove Hitch · Rolling Hitch · Cleat Hitch

  1. Identify the Aircraft:
    1. Vought V-173
    2. TBD
    3. TBD
    4. JB-17G testing Wright Typhoon T35 turboprop

    1. What’s this TBD business, AI? I realize that it’s early in the morning and the system may be compiling or something…so far, so good.

      1. Frankly, I think that the interwar aircraft are the most difficult to ID. Fewer were produced and companies like Blackburn (obscure at the best of times) chuncked out prototypes that they tried to sell around the world. I was going to put the Lincock III in Nationalist Chinese livery up to be ID’d, but Blackburn only made one or two of them. The Chinese were dumb enough to buy one. The Japanese passed but there are photos of them flying the Lincock for testing purposes and they were smart enough to say no. So it didn’t end up on the line up. Such are my thought processes.

  2. Bowline
    I learned to tie bowline and other knots at church youth group. Taught by local farmer who was an Australian Navy Commando in WW2 and spent over two years behind Japanese lines with a radio.

    Can not imagine how much courage it took to go on what were for most of them one way missions. He did say in one of the few times he talked about it that people who believed in God held up better than “tough guys”

    1. Nobody likes to think that they’re being sent out — as a decoy or as a sacrificial goat, but it happened often enough. Give you a bogus story so when captured, you’ll break and tell the lie. I’m not saying that happened to your friend but there were Australian coast watchers sent out “to be caught” without knowing that was the real mission. War is hell.

        1. A feller of my acquaintance once suggested that the outcome would have been different if the Alamo had a back door and what I suggested back to him was also “kind of rude” as well as being anatomically impossible. In my defense, I did offer to assist if he found the maneuver difficult.

          1. Lubrication makes the problem easier to tolerate, even if you are a “filthy beast”

          2. Thinking about this brought up a long buried memory.

            During my Army hitch (mid 70’s) a new-to-us Spec/5 transferred into our Small Arms Repair section. One Frank Hammons, a decent fellow and straight arrow, although perhaps not the most sophisticated. My buddy and I, still being members of the Spec/4 Mafia, took to randomly looking at him sternly and uttering the above line, “All of them Frank!” and then returning to our present task. He would just smile wryly and shake his head, not getting the joke. He never asked, and we never told him.

            I hope he did get it one day, and remember my buddy and me, with a smile and a proper epithet.

  3. In my formative years it was possible for the light at the end of the tunnel to be Luke the Gook with a flashlight and an AK, but that’s somewhat less likely these days.

  4. Yeah me. I identified all aircraft, #3 being difficult. You’ll just have to trust me. (Not to spoil for others)

    I learned three methods of tying a bowling. The first being the rabbit in and out his hole and a lap around a tree. The second, literally on the run, your two hands each holding a part, shake one round the other, pull the bight through the bight. Apparently the Navy way. The third, a one handed affair; make a bight, stick your hand through to grab the standing part, then a twist, a shake, some magic, voilá! Commercial fisherman at Dutch showed me that.
    Clifford Ashley’s Book Of Knots shows a handy doubled bowline.
    My most used stopper knot is a figure 8 with one extra turn, cinched tight that the knot capsizes.

    Another danger presented by a loose spar is it pounding a hole through deck or hull. Modern rigging being wire, a set of bolt cutters is kept easily accessible.

    On passages on the N and S Pacific, I tossed many a note in a bottle. Never any replies. Probably washed up on isolated beaches as so much flotsam nee’ jetsam.

    (The autocorrupt on my phone is for the birds. Proof reading the proof reading. Rrgghh)

  5. That movie is just one great scene after another really. The knots i used daily as an arborist primarily were the taunt line hitch and figure eight
    the clove hitch and the bowline and running bowline and variations on a bite.
    Oh and Peck played a pretty good Capt.Horatio Hornblower too.

  6. “Message in a Bottle”…and here I assumed you were going to do a Costner movie review…instead we got a terrific treatise on the subject from real life. Gives one pause.
    The Florida Sheriff minces no words…good: “…save taxpayers monies, shoot the perp if you feel threatened. Oh, and we have courses every Saturday if you’re interested.” A real man, not some weak DEI/Woke/manbun/skinny jean wearing pansy….all business, as it shiuld be. MrsPaulM had a conversation with our [now retired] sheriff, “Use hollow points, I have 350 sq miles of territory to cover and I may be an hour away.” Yup…local law enforcement know who’s who and can trust saying those things to the right people.
    Australia- When demented woman and weak men get to places of power the lies just pour out of them like breath in order to keep the peons on their heels. Man-made Globalwarmingclimatecoolingchange is such a joke yet I know smart people who adamantly believe paying more (carbon??) axes will change the earths climate. Can’t fix the galactically stupid.
    I see yesterdays ship has lowered it sails while at berth up the tributary…nicely done.

    1. See Ed, typos galore…”axes”…”taxes” (…and a few others LL can add to my ever-growing faux pas list, moving my bunk even further from the re-education camp stove.)

      Someone posted a few sentence test where letters were removed, backwards, etc…and said “if you can read this it had to do with higher intellect” as your brain would fill in the blanks and rearrange letters to make it readable. I could easily read it, so I’m either smart or so addled I can read half statements with ease…yet!…I still can’t see through the semi-veiled lies of “Our Betters”, altho after 43 years (of my 63) of listening to these bums I’m getting better at the game, although I’m at the point of less tolerance/deference that anytime they open their mouths I know it’s a 98% lie.

    2. The Larimer County Sheriff’s Office is a good bunch of people. WSF tells me the Weld County Sheriff are good people, too. SLW grew up in Long Beach, and didn’t understand the significance of Counties vs Cities, and how important the Sheriff’s are in non-city areas.

        1. A great deal of what the sheriff of a county does depends on the size of the county population, the size of the jurisdiction, and the particular state. In some states, there are state police agencies that are very powerful and do a lot of the heavy lifting in unincorporated areas. Counties are small in size, staffing, and budget and lack specialists to perform more complex tasks. East Coast counties can be geographically tiny. Texas has 254 counties, more than any other state in the United States. The counties range in population from just over 100 people in Loving County to more than 4.6 million in Harris County. The job of the sheriff’s departments vary widely. So does the pay and training.
          In some areas, sheriffs (and police) are not state officers and only have law enforcement authority in their physical jurisdiction. In California, all peace officers (city, county, and state officers) are state officers and have jurisdiction anywhere in the state. That is why California POST pays for and oversees training everywhere in California. It’s not one size fits all.

    1. Having been subject to the insanity of the 1% I’m guessing there are a lot of Marvin Heemeyer’s out there by now.

        1. For sure We The People have plenty of firearms for our personal protection, and The Tyrannical Reprobates have underestimated (until they read this)…and I believe is potentially more important…we have a lot of welders and scrap items that can be fashioned as we see fit.

  7. ” They’re not communists anymore.” The folks at Mother Jones are likely disappointed with that fact.

    1. Don’t worry, the folks at Mother Jones are still flying the Hammer and Sickle high and proud.
      – Kle.

  8. The shot of Gregory Peck as Captain Hornblower is extra appropriate. The first Hornblower novel describes the process of replacing a mast; first with a makeshift repair, and later with a more thorough one. In other books, Forester mentions “sheer hulks”, ships specially equipped for placing masts in other ships while in harbor.

    1. Watching Leo over at install the mast, let alone having a local Port Townsend (WA) company fabricate it and the top mast, unreal amount of work and effort to get it raised with a crane let alone manpower while afloat. And…the rigging and lines were unbelievably extensive for a gaff rigged sailing vessel (lines and rigging and everything else are also amazing to watch them make in the “old way” with modern materials but a nod to the originals). There is an inherent beauty to it all.

  9. We always did a message-in-a-bottle ceremony after a successful launch. The customer would write a message, and seal it in a bottle along with some launch memorabilia and a $20 bill for the finder. At least one was found by a child on some South Pacific island, and they wrote back to us. The child was sent a large box of goodies, books, pins, stickers, patches. posters, and other trinkets.

    1. And there is now a cadre of zampolits present at the Naval Special Warfare Command, groups and teams (different echelons) who applaud all that. If you don’t openly endorse abomination, there is an assumption of toxic masculinity on your part (toxic being the point) and a failure to embrace new military doctrine — you can go now. And many do.

  10. I love this post and I love its positivity.

    Rolling gloriously into June.

    Speaking of June, just imagine the Russkies actually winning and ABOLISHING sex-change mutilation surgeries and KNOUTING pop bands like P Riot into a gulag.

    What. A. Total. Catastrophe.

  11. Why are any documents about the 9/11 attack classified?

    Because then they’d have to admit who gave the orders not to shoot down any of the attacking planes before they hit their targets. Maybe the same guy who gave the orders to stop paying attention to what the Japanese fleet was up to. Also, where did the gold in the vaults below the building go? Maybe the terrorists were cover for thieves, like the movie Die Hard.

    what sort of grave danger is being withheld from public scrutiny?

    That it was a Republican party fundraiser; Shrub could be a war president, and Happy Days Are Here Again for the MIC.

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