Sunday, April 24, 2016

getting wired: more time aloft

 These didn't just get on my floor by accident. They took a fair bit of ladder work before they reached the hard. I'm aware that my devoted reader will be quite bored by these pics- the gory entrails and shrouds that used to keep the mast perpendicular, but they are here because I have a deep-rooted love of interesting lines in composition, and because getting me to the top of the mast so often has me so far out of my comfort zone, I need to think that the effort has produced something worth saying, and at least for me, something worth looking at. 

I didn't fall off. Surely that is reason enough to celebrate with a picture.

The new pile above consists of an inner and an outer forestay, four side stays, and two sprit stays              (I call 'em whiskers). The trick was to detach the shackle pin at the top of the mast without letting go of either  the shackle or the old stay (using pliers) and lowering the old stay, retrieving the new one, pocketing the pliers (still without dropping the pin or the shackle), offering the new stay to both the mast band and the shackle, insert the pin then find the pliers again...all at full stretch while powerboats wakefully sped past below. And all while at the very top of the ladder, not knowing if my measurements had been accurate enough for a good fit. 

The dogs were happy I came back in one piece with something salty to smell. Six of the eight wires are up, but I've run out of lashing, so I'm having a beer instead.


  1. I am glad you didn't fall off, and if they make the boat safer, and more enjoyable... proceed!!!!!

  2. Heights! Um! I used to be a mountaineer, quite a good one, if I say so myself. However, I discovered recently in Barcelona on a hotel roof top garden....I couldn't go near the edge, despite the five foot parapet protection. I went to clear the gutters, up a small ladder....wobbled.
    For me it's an age thing.......I no longer like heights!
    Great post as always Robert. And I too am glad you didn't come back to deck with a bump. I enjoy your posts and would miss them very much
    Steve ­čśŐ

  3. Yep, age is in there as a factor....although mainly because (in the eyes of others) if you fall off something in your forties you have been prepared to have a crack at it, but if you fall in your sixties you are being stupid. Consequences of failure seem worse as time passes too. Fear won't stop me though if I assess the risks adequately and the benefits stack up. Thanks for the responses!