Thursday, 14 May 2009


I was still lazing in bed while SWMBO was making coffee this morning. Suddenly she burst into the bedroom and shook me from my groggy haze to sobriety. Get up NOW! The mast is falling off the boat!

Last night the winds were quite furious, and I remember waking in the night and thinking it sounded awful out there. On nights like that I am so thankful I have a good house and all the trimmings, and truly feel sorry for those who don't. Hail, rain, thunder. The full fury of nature had descended on us in the night, and now here was SWMBO looking urgent, desperate.

I shook my head to clear the fog. "The mast fell off?? It can't fall off. I've lashed it to the deck." Since Iris is still in winter trim in the driveway, the mast is down, lying fore and aft, lashed to the bow pulpit and a frame on the transom. Tied down like that, it has nowhere to go.

I got up, and looked out the window. Sure enough the mast was dangling from the front of the boat, held in place by only the frame on the transom and one of the lifelines. NOW I was awake.

When I put the wood back on the boat with PU1 on Sunday, I had taken the green tarp that was keeping things dry, and folded it in half, wrapped around the mast, and bungeed it to the side of the boat. I had also untied the mast where it sat on the bow pulpit. In our hurry to get to dinner, I hadn't re-tied the mast to the pulpit.

The wind direction last night had used the tarp as a sail, and the power of the wind against the 100 square feet of well secured tarpaulin was enough to pull the mast off the bow pulpit. Now things were looking quite precarious out there, and the wind was still pulling at the mast trying to wrestle it from the boat.

I ran outside and got the tarp free of the mast, then quickly ascended the ladder, and went up and secured the mast to the bow pulpit. While I was up there I noticed that I have a combination steaming/deck light, something a bunch of guys on the Catalina forum have been discussing as a great upgrade. I never realized that I had one before. I guess now I need to look into why it isn't lighting up. Another project...

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