from The Century Dictionary.
- noun A rope or chain used to confine the stern of a ship or other vessel to a wharf or quay.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
Perceiving at this time that a crowd of women had got hold of the stern-fast of the cutter, and were endeavoring to haul her on shore from the grapnel, we hastily tried to gain the boat.
Thrilling Narratives of Mutiny, Murder and Piracy A weird series of tales of shipwreck and disaster, from the earliest part of the century to the present time, with accounts of providential escapes and heart-rending fatalities.
And so the old crowd -- Harvey felt like the most ancient of mariners dropped into the old schooner among the battered dories, while Harvey slipped the stern-fast from the pier-head, and they slid her along the wharf-side with their hands.
We all got into the boat, except one man, who, while I was getting on board, quitted it, and ran up the beach to cast the stern-fast off, notwithstanding the master and others called to him to return, while they were hauling me out of the water.
Almost at the same moment, the mate let go the stern-fast, and the boat was free.
Ten minutes afterwards there was a cessation of paddle, paddle, thump, thump, the stern-fast was thrown on the quay, there was a rush on board of commissionnaires, with their reiterated cries accompanied with cards thrust into your hands, "Hotel des Bains, Monsieur."
With some difficulty on account of the surf, our seamen succeeded in getting the things that were on shore into the boat, together with all the men, except John Norton, quarter-master, who was casting off the stern-fast.
The boat was laid alongside -- the relentless Gascoigne caught up his boat-cloak as the other officers rose to go on board, and rolling it up, in spite of the earnest entreaties of Mr Biggs, tossed it into the main chains to the man who had thrown the stern-fast, and to make the situation of Mr Biggs still more deplorable, the first lieutenant was standing looking into the boat, and Captain Wilson walking the quarter deck.