Wednesday, January 15, 2014

January 14, 2014 mast climbing

This morning, I helped raise Dave up the mast again.  He wanted to run another line to the top of the mast.  This one was a whisker pole topping lift.  Once he was up there, he remembered that he also wanted to work on the VHF antenna, but he didn't take the right tools with him.  So that will be another trip.  He had to connect two lines by knotting them together and then taping them to make a smooth surface to pull through the mast.  The first one is the messenger line  that is inside an entrance hole in the mast.  The area where the two lines connect always gets hung up somewhere.  We had to pull the line back down to me.  Then I had to use a lighter to melt the end of the thicker line to make it thinner.  Not being a smoker, I am "lighter challenged".  Plus it was windy.  He also told me I had to spit on the ends for it to work right.  Then later he told me that was just for giggles.  We finally got it to work its way through the inside of the mast to the top.    

One other complication.  We have a tool called a WenchRite that helps turn the wench with a motor.  We had it charged and  ready to go, but no juice.  So I turned the wench by hand and hauled Dave up the mast.  It seemed easier than the first time I had to do that in Alabama.  But that night, my left bicep was pretty sore.  All I could think of was torn rotater cuff and how horrible everyone says the recovery is.   Dave took apart the WenchRite.  The motor casing had cracked and something electrical had burnt up.  The company said to send it in and they will decide if it falls under the warranty.  In the meantime, Dave thinks he can climb the mast with jumars, a device he had from his rock climbing days. 

This had to be a morning project because there was a prediction of rain in the afternoon.  As soon as Dave said he was finished and I could bring him down, I turned around to face the north and saw a big black wall of clouds moving towards us.  I didn't think I could lower him fast enough. 

Later that afternoon, I could hear a guitar playing softly.  I noticed a guy on a boat near us was sitting in his cockpit playing.  I sat outsider reading and thought of our son, Pete.  I miss hearing him play guitar and singing.    

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