The View

Our sailboat has a mast! And, the best part, that mast is now in the boat where it belongs! All of a sudden, she looks like a sailboat. Lots of wiring goes in through the mast to send data from way up there to the navigation panel on deck – wind speed and direction and radar being some of the most important. The wind vane, used to measure wind speed and wind direction, is connected on the very top of the mast and the cable runs all the way down inside the mast and connects to the network box in the boat which is wired to the instrument panel. Shockingly, these things are not waterproof. On a boat. Know how I know?

Dean, our friend that is an amazing engineer and boater (and overall fantastic guy), came down to Sint Maarten with husband to help with the million projects that needed to be completed to get Marionette seaworthy. One of these tasks was to install the wind vane. While he has lots of boating experience, he has no experience on sailboats. Since this would likely be the one and only opportunity Dean would have to go up a sailboat mast, he either volunteered or got volunteered to go up and install the wind vane. Installation was about 90% complete when the vane broke at the base and dropped into the Caribbean Sea. Dean, also a diver, got down the mast, grabbed a mask, and hopped in the water and got it. Unfortunately, these are not waterproof, so we had to buy a new one.

Dean was able to get out of Sint Maarten, despite many travel restrictions, on Thursday. Since husband can belay and I cannot, I was now going up the mast to reinstall.

Now, I am a bit of an adrenaline junky. I spent years doing obstacle and endurance races and paddling white water. The more challenging the better! About 5-6 years ago, during an obstacle race, bestie and I were up on a really high slide. Maybe 50 or so feet? I got the biggest lump in the pit of my stomach and turned a particularly horendous shade of green. We went down the slide anyway (bestie holding my hand), but from that moment forward, I have had a mild fear of heights.

But, it needed to be done, so I strapped into the boatswain’s (pronounched bow-suns) chair – which is a device that looks like something between a rock climbing harness and a swing – and was hoisted up the mast, roughly 60 ft up. I was pretty nervous, but the view!!! I could see the whole island!

Totally worth pushing past the fear for that view. I was only up there about 15 minutes clipping zip ties and installing the little mouse looking receiver (left) and feeding about a million feet of cable down the mast and to our electrician who was down below. It was windy and the boat was rocking and it felt like I was up there for an eternity.

The threading at the end of the mouse receiver is missing an adapter piece (which is what caused the first one to fall to an untimely and expensive death). This little guy? I am thinking maybe a Christmas ornament….

3 thoughts on “The View

  1. Glad to see you’re getting up in the world… one way or another, Jana. Good job, kiddo! I bet you’re pretty happy with the result!
    Love, Dad

    Liked by 1 person

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