Exploring the Back Yard

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Sailing under the Chesapeake Bridge Sept. 2017

September 29, 2017

    The delivery cancelation freed us up for the rest of the month.  Now we could spend an additional week sailing.  First to nearby St. Michaels, then back across the Bay and under the Chesapeake Bridge to the Magothy River for a brief layover at anchor nestled between Dobbins Island and Little Dutch Island, followed by what would most likely be a beat against the wind up to Baltimore.  Baltimore would mark both our furthest point north to date as well as our first endeavor to sail into the port of a major city, which sounded excitingly intimidating.  On the charts, it looked like a frightening collage of markers and buoys.

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St. Michaels sunset
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At anchor on the Magothy River

Wind was hit and miss throughout the week but the overall weather was certainly with us.  For being the end of September, I think we have been lucky to experience autumn days that seem more reminiscent of the summer than anticipating the upcoming winter.  Surprisingly few trees along the shore have begun to change color; it seems to be a much slower process here.  Maybe it’s just been a long a long time since we saw that entire process happen…fall of 2008, just before we left the Pacific Northwest, would have been the last time we saw the trees change color from beginning to end… it certainly didn’t happen in Borneo!  Or maybe we just didn’t slow down enough and take the time to really appreciate the whole process until now.

After getting our first taste of simply meandering around under sail and dropping anchor for a day… or two… or three… wherever the impulse suited us, no interaction with other people outside of the occasional exchange of a wave of the hand and a smile, we emerged from the isolated serenity and solitude of the Wye and Magothy Rivers and sailed north for our first rendezvous with a big city.

On the chart, Baltimore Harbor (or apparently Bal’more as many Bal’moreans prefer) appeared to be a confusing and treacherous navigational maze of markers, buoys, and shipping lanes… certain disaster for the unfamiliar sailor.  In actuality, sailing under the Baltimore Bridge (I’m not sure when the rush of sailing under a bridge wears off but I hope not too soon) and into the harbor turned out to be a piece of cake.  We dropped the sails and motored past gargantuan rusty cargo ships tied up alongside the docks and $100+ per night marinas housing floating fields of fiberglass.

With a quick reference to the Waterway Guide to the Chesapeake (a gift from Dena and James, who also happen to be contributing editors) and a set of coordinates texted from Dena, we anchored between two marinas.  As a bonus, we were only about 100 meters from the public dock.

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“Private Dock – No Exit” 

     We had already been joking much earlier about taking it a bit personally when residents of these fine communities we were visiting posted signs telling us, by name no less (!), to stay off their dock!
     Understandably, people with private docks and those paying for slips don’t want just anyone using their property (most people would get fairly irate if a random motorist parked in their driveway). Nonetheless, that situation sometimes creates quite a challenge for the liveaboard sailor who relies on a dinghy for any shore excursions.
     In a remote location, landing ashore by dinghy may place you on a romantic and picture perfect mile long stretch of white sand beach… but in a city in the U.S. it generally places you in someone’s back yard.
     Annapolis has adopted a very boater friendly approach by constructing public docks at the end of every street which provide an easy shore access and location to safely tie off your dinghy. Other places have fewer public docks to access or none at all, sometimes resulting in a stealth deployment dinghy maneuver requiring a quick one person drop-off or pickup without tying off on a dock posted with a No Trespassing sign… tricksy.

 

We really wanted to sail all the way to New York City – we could think of nothing more iconic than sailing under the Brooklyn Bridge and past the Statue of Liberty; but we’ve come to accept that it’s just not in the cards this year.  Leaving any earlier wasn’t feasible (even now I think we’re marginal in our capability to make a coastal run than takes us at all offshore) and now, the winds are starting to turn consistently unfavorable to sail that course.

So Baltimore it is.  In fact, I would imagine that Baltimore is the first place that would come to mind for most people who couldn’t get to New York but were looking for a close second… hmmm.  When Kris told our good friend Ewan (from Wales working at Scuba Junkie Komodo) that we were sailing to Baltimore, Ewan replied “Oh ya, I watch The Wire… that’s like the murder capital of the world!”

But that’s a bum wrap for Baltimore.  We had no attempts made on our lives during our entire dinghy ride around the inner harbor (possibly the homicidal portion of Baltimore’s population prefers to work ashore) and I thought the mile and a half walk from the community dock to Sip and Bite (a recommended diner we were told was a mandatory stop) was a rather pleasant affair along a very clean boardwalk.  I’m sure other sections of Baltimore are not as prudent to visit.

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Sip and Bite Cafe

The one land excursion was quite enough for me; though Kris, who seems to get a bit more stir crazy if she doesn’t get off the boat regularly, managed to do a much more respectable walkabout around the harbor.

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Our only encounter with the surlier side of Baltimore happened from the vantage point of our own deck, when one of the many dockside fishermen casting a line into the water accidentally made an errant cast that got tangled in a line tying the dinghy to the sailboat next to us.  The quite strange guy on the boat had a quite normal response of what the fuck?  Though he actually spent about fifteen minutes untangling the line, the verbal exchange back and forth left for some tension in the air… no guns… and about 100 feet of water between them… no big drama.

After a few days, it was time to pull up anchor and head back for the Magothy River en route to Annapolis to rendezvous with my folks.  My only complaint with Baltimore was the amount of garbage that came up on the anchor chain!

It was like we were back in Semporna again, dredging the bottom of the channel… slimy plastic bags, garbage and rotting shirts.  Only now, that trash was stuck to our chain and anchor.

Hundreds of years of serious industrial use had not been kind to the bay;  I could not imagine eating one of the many fish that people along the dock and boardwalk were constantly reeling in.

Also embedded was the dreaded Chesapeake mud we are becoming so familiar with.

Now, granted we have very limited experience to draw conclusions from, but I wanna go on record as saying I believe the bottom of the Chesapeake Bay is made up of some pretty unique material!  Sandy, silty, clay ranging in color from deep gray to black – with a consistency somewhere between baby shit and wet cement – is the very composition which seems to give us an absolutely solid anchor hold every time… but its also the same stuff that voraciously sticks to the chain and anchor!   If we were in the tropics, the sand would simply fall off the chain and anchor being brought up, but here they emerge from the water covered with an incessant coat of mucky sludge.  Once on the deck, or worse yet in the chain locker, the mud gets everywhere.  On your hands, it seems more like grease than dirt.

We are fortunate enough to have an electric windlass (to deploy and pull up the anchor chain) as well as a saltwater deck wash system (a pump that brilliantly routes saltwater from outside the boat to hoses both at the bow and stern).  I’m going to be the first to say that if that makes us less salty or bigger sellouts – then I accept that label wholeheartedly.  Cause I’ve watched the guy who hoisted the chain by hand and washed it off a bucket at a time… and I wouldn’t trade places with him for a minute.  He gets, and deserves, all the credit that can be heaped on him, but I’ll still take the windlass and hose any day!”

So, after the relatively simple (thanks to the electric windlass and deck wash hose I couldn’t imagine being without) though still arduous task (in that, compared to other locations, is was pretty damn disgusting from a garbage standpoint) of raising and de-sludging the chain and anchor, we were back underway, headed south to the now-familiar overnight anchorage behind Dobbins Island at Magothy, and on to civilization – Annapolis to meet my folks and then attend a boat show!

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Getting ready to raise anchor in Baltimore Harbor

 

Wide Open Calendar

 

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September 21, 2017

     A few days after arriving on the Wye River we received notice from Dave that the delivery we were scheduled to crew on at the end of the month had fallen through.  It was a bummer in that it would have given us our first taste of offshore sailing, something we would really benefitted from.  It turned out that the 42 foot Amel, which was going to be brought down to be shown in the Annapolis Boat Show had sold, and the new owner wasn’t interested in showing his boat.  Oh well… it is what it is.

 

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The up side of this was that we now had over a week more to sail around the area before meeting up with my folks, who were flying over from Washington State to visit us and our new home.

Occasional arguments had begun to flare up with the pesky Yamaha outboard which, at its own discretion, begun choosing random moments to shut down.  On more than a few dinghy explorations, we found ourselves temporarily adrift after the temperamental Yama-mama decided it was time for a break.  

If we couldn’t manage to get the outboard going again, then out came the oars and it was back to manual propulsion just like the old days!  The only successful tactic ended up being the removal of the whole stinking fuel filter – seemed to run perfectly fine again after that.  Go figure!  Definitely a temporary fix… but better than rowing.

 

…What It’s All About

September 19, 2017

     After two days at anchor in a spacious bay with no one around, outside of the occasional small boat or fisherman passing by, simply chilling out aboard Exit, just the two of us… away from it all… another one of those this is what it’s all about feelings started settling comfortably in.

We lifted anchor on a gamble that the boat which had occupied the secluded bay we had passed by on our way upriver had moved on and it paid off.  After a bit of wrestling with exactly where we should position Exit before dropping the anchor, we were nestled in an even more serene and cozy spot than before.

We were rewarded with bald eagles flying above and perching on nearby trees, large cranes and herons hidden at the water’s edge, as well as crazy jellyfish pulsating just beneath the surface of the water.  When Kris spotted a stingray gliding slowly around the bay we hopped into the dinghy and rowed around as the ray, whose graceful motion immediately reminded us both of the eagle rays we so often saw while diving in Southeast Asia, slowly circled us.

Drinks in the cockpit… cheese fondue for dinner… Triumph’s Hold On playing in the background… popcorn for dessert… definitely… this is what it’s all about.

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Popcorn the old fashioned way

Another Anniversary

September 15, 2017 

     Lacking the daily rituals of a particular work schedule or having things happening on specific days, the calendar has a strange fluidity about it.  Could be Wednesday… could be Saturday.  No garbage pickup Tuesday morning to remember Monday night.  No darts on Thursday evening.  No TV series to hypnotize everyone gathered in the living room for a weekly prescheduled hour.  No lawn to mow on Saturday morning.  Sure, there are endless tasks to be done… but time, for lack of better way I can think of to describe it, just seems to set its own pace on a boat.  Yet, that having been said, there are still noteworthy moments in time when you just have to stop and take notice.

After six weeks of living in a gravel parking lot on the hard, we were now reaching our one month anniversary of living aboard Exit while she was actually in the water!  One month… so much we’ve learned about… anchoring, docking, getting up and down the sails (well… the mainsail and Genoa anyway – I’m still convinced the purpose of a spinnaker is to put fear into the heart of reasonable people!), trimming the sails, chart reading, weather monitoring, close-quarters maneuvering, systems maintenance… it goes on and on.  We’re still yet to have our first offshore sailing experience.  Nonetheless, we’ve spent 700 of the past month’s 720 hours aboard Exit – I hope it’s starting to show!

For our one month anniversary, we decided to pick up the hook in Back Creek, and head across the bay to the Wye River, just outside St. Michaels.  Our goal was to find some anchorages which offered a bit of fresh scenery as well as much more opportunity for seclusion… a view of the great outdoors surrounded by a forest of trees, rather than the beautifully manicured back yard of someone’s private waterfront property surrounded by a forest of masts!     There are only three things looming on the horizon:  helping Dave (the sailing sorcerer/mentor) complete the delivery of a sailboat from Connecticut at the end of the month for the Annapolis Boat Show, my parents arrival during the first days of October to visit us on our new home, and actually attending the Annapolis Boat Show which starts October 6.

Why go do a delivery on some other boat after just purchasing Exit?  We pondered this after Dave extended the offer at the end of our Annapolis/Norfolk journey, and came to the conclusion that, while we could easily stay busy every day aboard Exit, there were times when you just have to get off the boat… its kinda like never leaving the house.  Plus, part of the delivery would require some time offshore to shorten our delivery time… and offshore experience under guidance is something we can massively benefit from.  A non-paying gig but what the Hell… free food, accommodations, and great experience!  Dave is not only an excellent instructor and an encyclopedia of sailing knowledge, but he also has a story for just about every topic of conversation that comes up!

This leaves a week before we need to be available for the boat delivery.  So it seems an excursion to the Wye River would fit in perfectly as a quiet retreat, with some sailing time built in, before the momentum of activities picks up at the end of the month.

After going through a work-in-progress checklist of things to do/verify prior to raising anchor, we eventually got up the hook and found ourselves outside the marina; but not before Kris racked up yet another flawless docking maneuver at the fuel dock so we could top up our water, get some diesel… and, oh ya, never forget to get the poo pump-out whenever possible!

We made it to the Wye River without incident, and the winds even picked up enough to allow us the pure enjoyment of sailing silently solely under “free power”.  With endless anchorages, the idea was to head up the Wye East River and pick a spot along the way.

A number of possibilities were nullified by the last minute appearance of another sailboat with better timing, already tucked away in a sweet anchorage, hidden away from view until you were on almost top of the spot… doh!

We thought maybe we’d be ambitious and try for Pickering Creek, well up into the river.  At the time, I don’t think we fully appreciated just how limited the space we would have to maneuver actually was… while the creek itself seemed plenty wide, the charts we were using (both paper and GPS) indicated that the mouth of Pickering Creek funneled very quickly from an eleven foot depth into a narrow channel ranging between 8-10 feet deep.  The channel depth seemed fine as we already had our centerboard part way up so our draft was not more than 5-6 feet.  What may not have been adequately appreciated was the fact that outside of that safe channel remained about two-thirds of the width of the creek, which sat at a depth of five feet or less, invisible to us, outside of the contour lines on a chart or the actual number on the depth gauges in in front of us there in the cockpit.  Also disorienting, the fact that a channel running below the water rarely follows the exact same course as the shoreline, so you can’t simply stay in the center of the creek.  Too late, the realization set in to me (the very inexperienced helmsman), that this was a classic “flying blind under instruments alone” scenario… one which required more hours behind the wheel than I had!

Compounding the situation were the physical characteristics of Exit herself.  Now don’t get me wrong… she’s a beauty… but she’s also quite a big lass, and close quarters maneuvering is not her forte.

Maneuverability and steering are dependent on a lot of different factors.  A boat needs a bit of water going past the rudder to gain any real steering.  Some boats can utilize the water movement from their prop motion to gain steering but Exit, with her prop positioned further away than on some other boats because of her daggerboard, doesn’t have that benefit.  This equates to the boat needing to be physically moving to have any real steering capability.  Some boats also can utilize what is called “prop walk” in which the prop motion (either forward or backward) tends to pull the stern in one direction or another.  Not so with Exit… she takes a bit to get going and even a bit longer to get turning.  For Exit, another factor is the centerboard – something which gives us only a three and a half foot draft when it is up; but, when down it dramatically improves the steering (read as: makes steering possible).  So, realistically, we need a bit of centerboard down to hope for any semblance of maneuverability.

So… that centerboard takes away about fifty percent of the creek depth to work with but allows us to steer.  Just keep her moving…

The moment of panic set in as the depth gauges began dropping fast from 9 feet.. to 8… to 7… to 6… and not slowing.  Kris grabbed for the winch and quickly hoisted the centerboard… As I tried to bring Exit back into the narrow channel, the number on the depth gauge continued to drop… to 5 feet… then 4…

     …now I recall at Herrington Harbor North, just after splashing back in August, putting a marked line in the water to measure the depth with the intention of verifying the number displayed on those very gauges.  I told Kris, at the time, it seemed strange that the water appeared to be one foot deeper than the gauges indicated.  We both shrugged in one of many “I don’t know” moments and filed it away for a moment just like now…

     When the number went below 4 it was like being in a car on the ice with locked brakes – not much you can do cause now you’re just along for the ride… just the holding of breath as you wait for the sickening crunch!

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However, at 3.5 feet there was no sickening crunch… nor at 3 feet… thank goodness for that gauge discrepancy… apparently!  Then, at 2.5 feet, we felt and heard the now unmistakable sound of a soft bottom sliding along the underside of our hull!  We still had just enough momentum that we were able turn off the shallows… but it sure scared the shit out of us; we immediately hightailed it back out of the mouth of Pickering Creek and into what now seemed like much safer navigating space.

Thirty minutes later we we enjoying the quickly-becoming-a-tradition after anchor beers in the cockpit, having found our own private bay and anchorage on the Wye River.  Cheers to our day and especially a near miss on running aground… it really was just a soft skim!

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The Yama-mama Raised From The Dead

September 10, 2017 

     With the very much appreciated assistance of John Albertine who kindly taxied us around Eastport (the training captain who had earlier helped us understand many of the systems on Exit), we were able to round up everything we thought would be needed to fully resurrect our outboard.

The Norfolk trip had revealed a crack in the dinghy’s fuel container so that was already on the replacement list.  And, while the gas in the container had checked out clean and water-free, I had failed to consider the fuel line which ran from the container to the engine.  Rookie mistake… when I disconnected the small hose leading to the inline fuel filter to verify fuel was getting to the engine, what came out looked more like a latte than fuel.  Water had somehow or another worked its way into the hose and ruined the fuel.  Fortunately, it wasn’t pumped into the carburetor (at least I hoped so…) so I optimistically concluded we’d dodged a bullet there.

Whatever opening had allowed water into the hose also appeared to be preventing a good seal, effectively killing the suction in the hose.  Even the bulb failed to move any fuel… so a new fuel line was added to the purchase list as well as 5 gallons of fresh petrol, just to be sure.  Replacement spark plugs and a new fuel filter rounded out our arsenal.

After switching everything out, the moment of truth was once again at hand.  Only this time, the fuel was flowing.  First pull… nothing… shit!  Patience grasshopper…couple more squeezes on the fuel line bulb… ya… choke is out… ya… good connection on the fuel lines… ya… transmission is in neutral…second pull… the engine roars to life!  A cloud of white smoke… and… it keeps running!!! Aliiiiive Igor… it is aliiiiiiive!  

As a self-acknowledged possessor of two left feet combined with a sometimes challenged sense of balance, a victory dance in the dinghy was out of the question… but that made the moment no less glorious.

Lessons Learned

September 9, 2017

Important lessons learned today…

The Facts:

1)  Our holding tank (the tank that holds all the poo and pee) has a 50 gallon capacity.                             2)  We last pumped out the holding tank (a surprisingly less disgusting task than one might imagine) on September 1.

The Lessons:

1)  One needs to recognize that feeling great resistance in the handle of the toilet pump when trying to flush the toilet may be a signal that the holding tank is full.                                                                2)  Contents of said holding tank have no where to go once the tank is full except out the pump out port on deck and/or out the tank vent in the bow locker.                                                                 3)  Recognizing quickly that this undesirable process is happening only lessens the degree of disgust to be endured if the problem actually occurs (at least as disgusting a task as one might imagine)                                                                                                                                                4)  Eight days is too long between holding tank pump-outs!!!

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Locked In Mortal Combat With The Yama-mama

September 6, 2017 

     Lurking in the darkness of the starboard lazarette, that damn Yamaha outboard engine has become somewhat of a nemesis.  Semi-affectionately known as the Yama-mama, it was stowed away there before we set out for Norfolk and hasn’t been out since.

Prior to purchasing Exit, the previous owners had indicated that the outboard motor probably needed to be serviced.  Our understanding was that it had began making a bit of noise the last time they used it.  But not being able to even budge the starter rope proved to be the more immediately problematic issue.  Removing the spark plugs (to eliminate the resistance of any compression) yielded the same result… no movement at all.  Some disassembly verified that both the rotary mechanism as well as the neutral safety switch were not to blame.

This left the less-than-ideal likelihood that the pistons had actually seized up in the cylinders.  A few inquiries with far more experienced and knowledgable individuals led to the conclusion that this was a job for PB Blaster (a product I’d never heard of before but learned that #1 – is even more effective than WD-40 and #2 – costs less than half as much at Home Depot as it does at West Marine).  After a number of consecutive days of squirting shots of PB Blaster into the cylinders and then trying to pull the starting cord a day later to no avail, I temporarily had acquiesced defeat, and spitefully put the Yama-mama away out of immediate sight and mind.

That left human propulsion for the dinghy.  Now, I certainly don’t consider myself above the physical labor of rowing; however, I’m not so keen on the humiliation (not to mention the inefficiency) of traveling in circles, loops, and meandering lines as one tries to grasp the subtleties of actually doing it effectively!

With time, the comical visual appearance of a hopelessly confused and drunken sailor had begun to fade from my rowing technique and I was able to actually get from Point A to Point B in a fairly coherent, if not capable, manner.    Yet still, the obvious advantages of making peace with the Yama-mama had not escaped me.

After weeks of marinating in whatever magical juices make up the ingredients of PB Blaster, the outboard was released from solitary for one more attempt at rehabilitation.  Just for good measure, another shot of PB into the cylinders, and then out with the breaker bar.  The theory was that maybe the pull starter simply didn’t have the torque to break free seized pistons.  But a socket on the end of the crankshaft nut with a good amount leverage might do the trick…and Holy Shit…the crank shaft moved just a bit!!!

Another ten or so crankshaft revolutions with some shots of fogging oil in the cylinders and, boom!  The pistons moved perfectly…. a victory!

After verifying the fuel in the tank was clean, it was decided, what the Hell… might as well try to fire it up.  A couple of shots of starting fluid (I’m a big proponent of cans that squirt stuff that somehow makes problems go away…)…key in… couple of squeezes on the fuel bulb… choke out… and a pull on the starter cord… nothing.  But it sure felt smooth!  Another pull and… yes!  Houston, we have ignition!  And immediately… oh no… Houston, we have a problem…she sprang to life and then died!  Elation and then the crash… but it did run momentarily… there is hope!

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

September 1, 2017 

     Our mainsail fiasco left us with only one option… time to break out the Bosun’s Chair and go up the mast.  On the surface, this seemed like a rather straightforward, if not adrenaline inciting, task.  Climb the rungs installed on the mast while being hoisted via a winch in what amounts to a sort of  “directors chair without a wooden frame” connected to a halyard which already runs to the top of the mast.  Hmmm… pretty straightforward until you’re 30 feet up in the air and realize you’re less than half way there!

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Kris offered to go up but then, in a selfless moment of affection, offered me the honor while pointing out that “I needed a victory after yesterday.”  By about 45 feet up, I was no longer so certain of her generosity.

To add a further layer of safety/security to the climbing rungs and Bosun’s Chair being winched up on the Spinnaker halyard, I had an additional spare backup line around my chest which also ran up the mast.  Plus, I had attached to me a line to tie off the mainsail halyard if needed to assist in bringing it down.  We also decided that tying off the tools I was bringing up with me would be prudent – I definitely wasn’t keen on dropping a screwdriver through our salon window and Kris was even less keen on the prospect of potentially having to dodge out of the way of tools raining down from above!  Oh, and absolutely need to secure the camera… Hell, yes. I’ll be damned if I’m gonna go to top of this mast and not take some photos!

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Tie it like your life depends on it… it does.

Kris started grinding on the winch and hoisted me a few feet into the air to get a feel for things.  After clearing the boom I reached the first rung and began the slow climb.  As I went up a step, Kris painstakingly cranked the winch keeping the Bosun’s Chair halyard tight.  Then after tying off the line, she went to the other side of the mast, brought up the slack and tied off the second line, then returned to the first line and the whole process repeated again.  The first ten feet was no problem… Kris did most of the work on that.

The physical aspect of the climbing was not nearly as intimidating as the mental aspect of the height compounded by being on such a seemingly unstable pole.  While I should have been comforted in the knowledge that the mainsail under wind exerts far higher forces on the mast than the weight of an adult, the additional fact that the mainsail had come crashing down yesterday didn’t go unnoticed by this sometimes slow-on-the-draw cowboy.

At 50 feet, I had gotten past both sets of spreaders, the deck and steaming lights, the steel shrouds and rope lines all without getting tangled, dropping anything, or falling.  However, any movement Exit made in the water became more and more exaggerated as I got farther and farther above the deck… especially any side to side rocking of the boat.  I’m sure there are mathematicians who could easily define and calculate the geometry, calculus, trigonometry or whatever math explained what was happening based upon simple angles and height; but the internal equation that was running in my head definitively calculated the movement as a shitload (converts the same in either metric or imperial).

This nearly prompted me to yell out to a couple of passing paddle-boarders, “Hey, this is a no wake zone!”

As I reached the top of the mast, 63 feet in the air, I opted for the more insightful and memorable statement of, “Holy shit… this is way high up!”

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The mainsail halyard was just sitting at the top of the mast with a big ring at the end; a ring which thankfully had prevented the nightmare scenario of needing to re-run the entire halyard through the mast.  All it took was a pull (no additional line needed after all), and the main halyard smoothly descended to the deck.  Easy peasy!

We had also decided that, while I was up there, it made sense to try to straighten the wind indicator sensor, which appeared to have been knocked about 90 degrees out of whack (probably by some belligerent, rabble-rousing bird).  Basically, a wind vane with a paddle wheel oriented below it, it needed to sit at a certain angle to retrieve its’ data (wind speed and direction).  We had learned by experience that when the cockpit gauges give completely incorrect wind speed information and the close-hauled and overall wind angle gauges contradict not only each other, but also the actual wind in your face, then presumably your wind indicator sensor at the top of the mast was more than likely misaligned… sure as shit… this appeared to be the case!

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Wind indicator 63 feet up the mast

It turned a bit more easily than I would have liked; but, after turning it in the opposite direct and getting no resistance, I chickened out and stopped – fearing that if it was just press-fit in place, I may only make it more loose.  So I rotated it 90 degrees and called it good, relaying my third inspiring quite to Kris which was, I believe, “O.K.. get me the fuck down!”

 

Looking down from atop the mast 63 feet in the air certainly makes the “A-List”, but I wouldn’t  relish the thought of doing it every week.  Making the All Time Memorable & Inspiring Quotes List was my final comment regarding the Bosun’s Chair… It’s going to take most of the afternoon to dig these boardies out of my butt crack!  In addition to added safety, this contraption is a first-rate wedgie giver!

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Major wedgie…

     In the end, it was two steps forward and one step back. The following morning, as I was brushing my teeth, I looked up through the ceiling hatch in the forward head and I’ll be God-damned if I didn’t see that stupid wind indicator sensor at the top of the mast laying over back on it’s side again… Arrrrgh!!!  Looks like another trip up the mast is in my future.

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Bird’s eye view of Exit
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