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Sailing with Nine of Cups
A New Commitment to Daily Blogging & the Mast
01 December 2010 | Opua
Looking at the last time I posted a blog, I'm ashamed of myself. Really! The goal was to post something everyday and when we're at sea that seems easy. But when we're on land, sometimes I ask myself "What happened today that I can write about?". Then two days go by without a post and then a week and now a whole month. So...a new commitment to try to post every day. We'll see how long it lasts. I figure on the days when there's only boring stuff to report, I can add a cruiser joke or catch you up on stuff that happened that I forgot to write about in the past month.

Actually lots has been going on. First, the mast is STILL not on the boat. Re-reading my last post, it was supposed to be painted the next day. Well, it never got painted until mid-November and David has been re-rigging it ever since. It seems that all the demon gods of mast un- stepping conspired to delay this project in many ways.

We opted to sand the mast ourselves instead of having it sandblasted. This, we thought, would save us considerable $$ and be easier on the mast. We received lots of advice from many different people. "Don't sand it all the way down to the aluminium in the areas where the paint is in good shape, just rough it up", some said. The painter, however, said "If you don't sand it all down, all the way, it won't come out right and I won't be responsible!". we sanded it all down. The painter left on holiday and his first lieutenant stopped by and said "Why did you sand down the good parts all the way to the aluminium? It really wasn't necessary." Well, so it went. Misdirection, bad direction, conflicting direction...we finally got it completed and then came the acid wash, the alodine wash, the sanding, the filling, then sanding again, then the sanding guide coat, more sanding, filling and fairing, never seemed to end. David worked daily 7am-7pm to prep it properly. He'd been working with the mast propped up on sawhorses beside the paint shed. It only fell off the sawhorses once! Finally, the painting day came. They moved the mast, boom and other bits into the paint shed, did their magic and the results were great. Thank goodness. Now to put it all back together again!

The re-rig is, of course, is a major commitment unto itself. We have digital photos of each part of the mast, location and orientation of hardware, etc. Each stainless bit and piece including all the wire, had to be cleaned and then polished before re-installing it. I sat on the dock for three days with a toothbrush applying Grunt (a Kiwi acid gel product that we highly recommend) to the long lengths of wire shrouds and stays and associated hardware. David decided the mast should be re-wired (radar, radio, lighting, wind instruments, etc) and of course, all new halyards. Then a winch needed replacing and various other bits of hardware. It seemed a good time to modify the whisker pole track which we've never liked in its current position and why not add lazy jacks now? Bit by bit, the parts are disappearing from Cups' salon and appearing on the mast. Whew!

We're getting near the end, I think. I've determined that not much more can possibly be replaced or added, but I've been wrong before. Stay tuned for the continuing saga. And then we can talk about the deck work....