Running a new jib halyard, take two!
11 April 2021 | 09 22.025'N:79 56.642'W, Shelter Bay Marina, Cristobel, Panama
09 22. 025 N
79 56.642 W
Weather; hot and humid, wind n/a, waves n/a
I was not impressed with Gerry this morning as he announced that he needed to go up the mast for the second day in a row. When I asked why I was even less impressed, he told me that we were going to be running the jib halyard for a second time as he thought he had made a stuff up by threading the halyard over the spinnaker block at the top and not through the jib block. The effect of this is that the angle of the line going out to the top of sail wasn't going to be quite correct, it would work, but not optimally.
Take two. We started out much earlier this morning, before it got too hot and humid. All the same equipment was gathered up plus the camera, a mallet, a screwdriver and some Loctite. We again ran over the plan, which was going to be slightly different as the spinnaker block that he had run the line through yesterday is located on the outside of the mast whereas the jib block that he should have used is located just inside the mast. To get the halyard over this block was an upward motion from where he would be clinging to the mast and then he would need to have the line roll around the block to give it the downward motion towards the deck and the exit plate. It sounds simple but in reality the trying to get it to roll around the block was going to be a nightmare. Gerry thought that a weight on the leading edge of the halyard would give it enough rigidity to roll around and over the top of the block so we have a piece of chain that we use when we need to weight something down. The piece of chain needed to be attached to the halyard and I overrode Gerry's suggestion of taping it on as in the case of it coming apart we would lose the chain to the inside of the mast, never to be seen again, plus we only have the one piece of chain. Out came the sewing kit and Gerry put a few large stitches through the chain and the end of the halyard, making it one continuous bit of line. Now came the hauling up the mast bit yet again. Once he was in position at the top of the mast he tied the top bit of the halyard securely to the mast so that it wouldn't fall down to the deck and then hauled the length of halyard that I had so patiently fished for yesterday along with the attached piece of chain back up to the top of the mast. I was now waiting at the base of the mast ready to repeat my fishing expedition of yesterday - I was in for a long wait! As the block that he was trying to pass the weighted halyard over was only partially visible outside of the mast, he was having to poke and wiggle to get the chain over the top of the block and it wasn't working. After several attempts and a shortening temper he finally decided that he needed my fishing hook to poke in the hole and force the chain over the top of the block and asked me to attach it to the sail end of the halyard and he would haul it up to use - all very well but what was I going to use to fish through the exit plate and drag the halyard out? A short discussion and he said once that the line was over the top of the block he would send the hook back down to me on the sail end of the halyard. It sounded like a recipe for disaster - I could just see the hook wrapping around the mast steps, the standing rigging or worse still, ending up in the water but despite my misgivings it worked out OK. Gerry managed to prod the chain over the top of the block and gravity dragged the halyard the rest of the way. The hook was lowered back down to me without any problems and I began fishing inside the exit plate for the end of the chain. I managed to hook it fairly quickly and pulled it out through the exit, dragging the halyard behind it. I then tied off the bitter end so it didn't disappear back up inside the mast and then returned to my spot in the cockpit to let Gerry backdown the mast. On the way back down he stopped off at the first set of spreaders to tap a retaining pin in a little further and also to put some Loctite on the screw that holds in the outer tip that we had replaced in Cartagena which looked like it was loose but in fact wasn't. Having done these other jobs it was time for him to descend to the deck and run the newly run halyard through the jammer and tidy up. Job finished, time for a cold drink, pat on the back and a sit down before jumping in the shower. For now Gerry is happy with what we have done, only time will tell if another trip up the mast is on the cards! I almost forgot to mention that Gerry took a few photos from the top of the mast looking out over the marina and the Panama breakwater - they are in the gallery along with a few photos of the mast, halyard, exit plate and jammer, in case you are wondering when you check it out, the orange halyard is for the staysail. The covers for the cockpit enclosure were on Gerry's list next, he put them in place along with the awnings to try and keep the air conditioner from being the only way to keep the interior cool and finally he replaced the flooring in the lazarette over top of the auto pilot which has been sitting out waiting for the repair to be complete but will need to be out of the way for when we get moved off of the quarantine berth early in the week.
I made a lime cheesecake (AKA snot pie in my family) whilst he was busy doing these last things as I had a bag of limes that needed using, I can't wait for it to set - I have a need for something sweet.
I had Gerry draw a diagram of the mast head with the blocks etc. to try and make it easier for you to visualise what I have tried to explain - see the photo of his diagram, I hope it makes it clearer than mud! We had a surprise knock on the boat a short while ago and Gerry went out to see who it was, returning with a bag with 2 pineapples and a water melon, a surprise gift from our agent, gratefully received. I know I have a recipe for a watermelon soup somewhere - it is far too big for us to finish before it rots on us! We are currently relaxing for the rest of the afternoon, I think Gerry is examining the backs of his eyelids whilst I type this update.
I dread to imagine what jobs he is dreaming up for tomorrow - we all wait with baited breath!