Knot Wednesday: The Bowline

One of the most useful knots to know for a marine scientist and generally anyone around boats.  The name derives its name from its often use in attaching a line from the bow of ship to the  leech, i.e. the outer vertical edge, of square-sail to prevent it from being blown inside out in the wind.

The bowline (pronounced “boh-lin”) forms a loop at the end of a line and is advantageous because it is easy tie and will not slip or loosen.  I like to further secure the working end, the end actively used in tying the knot, when a measure of additional security is needed with a cable tie.

Below is the video showing how to tie the bowline, but I remember it by the rabbit in the hole technique.  The working is the rabbit and the standing end is a tree trunk.  The first loop, the rabbit hole, is made near the end of the rope.  The rabbit comes up the hole, hops around the tree from right to left, and then back down the hole.  Done!

Dr. M (1720 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Assistant Director of Science for the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, created to facilitate research to address fundamental questions in evolutionary science. He has conducted deep-sea research for 11 years and published over 40 papers in the area. He has participated in dozens of expeditions taking him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses mainly on marine systems and particularly the biology of body size, biodiversity, and energy flow. He focuses often on deep-sea systems as a natural test of the consequences of energy limitation on biological systems. He is the author and chief editor of Deep-Sea News, a popular deep-sea themed blog, rated the number one ocean blog on the web and winner of numerous awards. Craig’s popular writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web.

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