The lines men are the persons who handle the mooring lines on the pier when the ship arrives, departs or shifts.
The process during arrival is that first a messenger line (a very thin line, easy to throw, usually with a monkey fist at the throwing end. The monkey fist is an elaborate knotted ball with a cork filling) is thrown onto the pier.
With this first connection the messenger line is tied to the mooring ropes and that is how the lines men pull the mooring ropes onto the pier and over the bollards.
Although originally this was purely a man’s job, there are increasingly also women involved in the line handler’s jobs.
But in Nisos Kerkyra, Greece (Corfu), the line handlers have a very special assistant. Her name is Sasha.
Sasha is a very happy hairy line handler who is very keen on catching the messenger lines when they are thrown onto the pier. The mooring ropes are a bit too heavy for her to handle … But she guards the messenger line and in the end does not like to even let go of it anymore.
As a dog lover it is a very happy diversion early in the morning upon arrival in Corfu to see the enthusiastic Sasha taking care of her messenger line and when all is finished she does not like to sit in the back of the line handlers truck, but runs next to the truck when they speed away from the pier.