The Cleat Hitch is a special knot, used to secure a line to a cleat. Besides being secure and reliable, its other important trait is that it can be untied under load. To tie the Cleat Hitch
Begin with a full turn around the base of the cleat in a passing under both horns, as in A below. The cleat can be approached from either side but the correct side is the side where the line goes under the farthest horn without touching the base of the nearest horn.
Start a figure-eight pattern across the top of the cleat, passing under the opposite horn and then back across the top of the cleat, as in B.
Finally, finish off the Cleat Hitch by passing the bitter end under the line, as in B, and pulling tight, as in C.
To ensure that the hitch can be released quickly when departing the dock, be sure not to continue wrapping the line around the horns or the base of the cleat. If you approached the nearest horn first, the line can get pinched and be harder to remove.