September 9, 2012 by Last Star blog
Minor mid-morning Mutiny today…..
Well we had a visit from one of our friends last night and enjoyed a nice meal at a local harbor-side pub; a very nice evening. The evening started with a very severe frontal passage that caused high gusts and torrential rain but we were safe at our slip and nothing to worry about and we waited patiently munching on hummus and sipping some wine. The next morning we went to a local cafe that is recommended by a neighbor here and had an awesome breakfast with wonderful fried potatoes that would compliment any breakfast; saved a few for an omlette tomorrow.
Now our guest had to beat feet back to DC but we still had work to do so I asked Patricia to tackle another leaky hatch in the front that looked suspect. I did the lion’s share of the work on this one, toiling away outside removing all the offending “5200” (3M product that is awful to remove and evidently not effective at keeping water out; some call it Satan’s Glue). The window/hatch needed some refurbishing at the base and Patricia did such a fine job with the one in the aft head (bathroom) that I suggested she again put Bondo where the wood needed reinforcing. I’m not sure if she heard my suggestion as I was laying about in the cockpit watching the football on NFL.com but nonetheless I told her to “hop to” and get this done as there was still laundry that needed doing and she might make new friends at the Laundromat–it could happen. Well this brought about a little bit of rebellion about having to do work in these tight quarters with all the chemicals etc etc so I felt as the Captain/Admiral that it was necessary to quell this insurrection early and often; well as soon as my sandwich was served anyway. After an uneventful lunch I gathered the crew (of one) and told them that there was work in the rigging! This was met with a blank stare like many comments I make that are centered on a nautical theme so I pulled out the bosun’s chair. Again blank stare(s)–the cats were awake now so I’m counting them as crew. I explained to Patricia that the chair would help her aloft and that I would be happy to go up if she could raise me. So I quickly put on the bosun’s chair and suspended myself from it using one of the halyards. I was sitting comfortably about 18″ off the deck. Patricia proceeded to rig the halyard through various wenches and her little arms got all twisty, knuckles white, jaw clenched, feet braced, and I was still about 18″ off the deck. OK, guess who’s going up!* Now this halyard we are using is for the asymmetrical spinnaker and goes up to the top and is normally wenched from the mast but I needed a strong cleat and good footing to get her up the mast so I worked from the cockpit. The wench was not ideal but was two speed but not self-tailing so I had to work my butt off to get her up there. Ideally you’d have one guy grind while the other handles the line keeping tension and pulling. Not only did I not have any help but holding onto my beer during all this was proving to be a challenge. I found I could keep the line relatively secured by pinning it to the deck with my flip-flop and still hold onto my beer. Now of course Patricia went up the mast without all the necessary tools and I had to lower her down and repeat the difficult process. The decent was rather uneventful, a bit rapid according to some but fortunately assisted by gravity. I suggested she try and land on her feet next time but hey we are all learning at this point. So on the next trip up armed with her multi-meter and some black electrician’s tape the first mate was ready to get that spreader lamp working. Turns out after a rigurous analysis of the problem the lamp needs replacing. We’ll buy two as I suspect the other will go soon after and I’ll have it in reserve. Tomorrow I fear that Patricia will have to go ALL the way to the top to replace the anchor light. I want to use an LED for its longevity and low power consumption but we need the bulb first before we know what to buy. Two trips up the mast….I hope my arms are up for it.
* No animals were harmed in the making of this post and truth be told there was no beer and I had a hold of that line with about a 1200 psi “kung fu” grip, she wasn’t going anywhere–I bet I was more scared than she was, she just couldn’t see me trembling in the cockpit.