I was assigned to to Sea and Anchor Detail while serving on the USS Cocopa (ATF-101) in 1971 and 1972. As a young commissaryman seaman, I was the fantail phone talker on the 1JV circuit.
Even though I became proficient in nautical terminology, I don't recall the Cocopa's mooring line handlers ever tying a rat tail stopper. After looking the term up, I learned that it's a "line used to hold the mooring line while it is being secured to bitts."
Click here to read my knot tying chef article from 2009.
YOKOSUKA, Japan (Jan. 28, 2011) Culinary Specialist 3rd Class Brandon Troublefield passes a rat tail stopper on a mooring line aboard the U.S. 7th Fleet command ship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19). Blue Ridge serves under Commander, Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 7/Task Force (CTF) 76, the Navy's only forward-deployed amphibious force.
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Fidel C. Hart.
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