Windvane On (sans rudder)
In between doing a little more fairing and painting below the waterline, today’s major achievement was getting the windvane (minus the rudder) re-attached. The unit is quite heavy, I can lift it by myself but there is no way I could lift it up to the transom. Here my ’handy billy’, a general purpose block and tackle, came in, well ... handy. Amongst other things I use it to tension the boom preventer when running down wind and it is also the Cunningham downhaul for the mainsail (sorry for the jargon). This time I attached it to the pushpit (the rail around the stern) and hoisted it most of the way up into position. Here is where single handing keeps you thinking on land as well as at sea, and fit. As I could not hoist it all the way into position I then had to rig another line to hold it in place, then go down the ladder to reposition the tackle to a lower point on the windvane, then climb back up the ladder, haul it up a bit more, back down the ladder to position a bit of rag to stop it scraping the new paint job, back up the ladder, haul in a bit more, back down the ladder, put the lower bolt in …
then back up the ladder, swing the windvane vertical and locate the bolt in the upper bracket … and so it goes on. This got me as far as having it in position but from there I still had a lot of adjustments to make including getting the two side struts located and bolted which requires crawling into the lazarette and wriggling up into the small space inside the transom, getting a nut on, securing it with a pair of vice grips, down the ladder, tighten that bolt … anyway as you can see it involved much ladder climbing. Unfortunately the windvane rather ruins Sylph’s elegant transom (my humble opinion) but there is no way I would leave port without it, especially as I have no auto helm.
Despite all this running up and down, which I have to do quite a bit of anyway while on the hard, it really was a beautiful peaceful day. Being a Saturday the local industry which normally hums along as a steady background noise was absent, the yard was bare and all was quiet, the sun was shining, the air was still, and the temperature was mild. As I pottered around with the warmth of the sun on my face and soaking through my overalls I could not help but feel how wonderful it was to be alive.
All is well.
Soaking up the sun, hey that is my job! We could have a demarcation dispute on our hands here Skipper, but I guess there was just about enough to go round today. I get my sun in under the dodger. I am less likely to get trodden on by the Skipper running around all over the place, and the low northern sun angles just nicely in under its lid. Hmm, the skipper actually sounds … happy. Disgusting! Obviously he is not suffering from tuna deprivation. Still, all things considered, it isn’t too bad I suppose. Lots of sun and lots of … zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz