Up the mast before breakfast

The adventures of Skipper Splodge and mack
Ian Cheek
Wed 29 Sep 2010 12:09

Alison came to wake mt this morning, I was concerned that i had over slept and has missed my watch, but no, the wind was now at 20Knots, and all hands were needed to get the cruising chute down, before it blew off. Oh and it was still dark to add to the fun.


We discussed several plans as always, then set to, to get the chute down.


Well that was where things started to go wrong. First off we wanted the sails out main and head , then to go heave to, to take the power out of the chute. Well we couldn’t go heave to, so plan B to take it down behind the headsail, by which time one of the sheets had worked its way free from the clew of the sail.


Far to much pressure in the chute meant the crew (I’d taken up residence behind the wheel a much safer place to be) were struggling to get it down. Much shouting, and the chute had been recovered. Richard and Frans got a little wet working on the foredeck, when we started to take a few waves over the bow. I explained atthe debrief, that a learning point from an experience hand, is to be behind the wheel and not on the foredeck.


It was at this point we saw that the block used to hold the cruising chute halyard at the top of the mast had come down as well, which was not good.


So it was up the mast for me at first light to see what the damage was, not to serious, and easy to fix, if only we had the spare parts. More things for me to bring out when I fly back. We now need a new block, halyard exit plate, and a halyard guide, and a very very big rivet gun to put it all back together, all of which we don’t have.