The line you see in the photo is called a sea painter. It is attached to our rescue boat and run forward to a bit. It stays permanently attached to the bit so that if you launched the boat you'd have a means of staying alongside the vessel - as well as something to grab onto when you return to the vessel. It doesn't get any more nautical than that - ballast water and a sea painter!
The difference between these photos and the photos I posted last time is that I'm taking them from the bridge - So I'm about 100 feet above the action. The second big difference is that it was really, really windy! This leads to my favorite photo of the day!
If you want to view older photos or get a brief description about why we exchange ballast water you can read my previous post at http://nautiemermate.com/?p=39 - someday I'll learn how to make links look prettier.