Up the mast

Wed 8 Aug 2012 05:16
The anchor bulb blew!

So Phil got to try out our mast steps. 

They lie flat against the masts so that they don't catch on halyards and they don't add windage to the boat, but they unfold to allow one to climb up. 

Of course Phil wore a climbing harness and was attached to a halyard (tied on, not shackled on, in case the shackle breaks), which I, and my able crew, Richard, kept tight as he climbed up and eased out as he climbed down. But with the steps he was able to pull himself up, rather than us winching him up, and lower himself rather than all his weight relying on a few turns around a winch drum for friction and just me holding the end of the line as he came down.

It's a long way up. 63 feet, 19m 20cm to be exact. 

I couldn't get all the mast in the pictures and still stay on the boat. But here's the view from the top once he got up there:

Phil was very glad that he had to go up in calm weather at anchor, not in mid Atlantic in a gale. I was very glad it was he who went up and not me!