Tuesday, February 9, 2016

High Altitude Climbing

08 February 2016

On our first long cruise last season, within the first few days, our jib roller furling system got hung up with the genoa half out.  We could neither roll it in or out.  Once anchored, Jim used a friend's bosun chair and pulley system to go up to the top of the mast where he was able to release the stuck mechanism.  Apparently that convinced him that a) it was a good idea to have his own system for climbing the mast and b) he rather liked the view from on high.  So this past summer he spent some time at the local climbing gym in Rochester getting equipment and some instruction.   

First attempt, looking rather awkward!
He practiced a few times in our barn and then we headed down to the boat for real world climbing! 

Part way up and looking more coordinated.

The perfect opportunity presented itself. We have a wind speed and direction indicator that has not worked properly since we bought the boat. It tells us the wind speed, but not the direction that the wind is coming from - something that is decidedly helpful when sailing!! The indicator resides on top of the mast, so Jim thought this was a good reason to climb the mast and see if he could fix the problem or at least diagnose it.  So up he went.  It took a little while to organize the climbing harness, the bosun chair, the safety line, the climbing line, the ascenders, the gri gri etc. but up he finally went.  The only issue he complained about was just how hard the spreaders are and just how sensitive his shins are.  Next time he said he was wearing shin guards.

At the top

When he reached the top he discovered that a piece of the indicator had broken off.  It would have been a good idea to remove the whole mechanism or at least take a picture.  The failure to do either may just have been a subconscious rouse to ensure that he would have (get) to go up again!   Unfortunately the weather has not cooperated at all!  It has either been storming with very strong winds, raining or just plain cold.  So he waits.