This weekend, sailing along close-hauled, I was watching the wind direction indicator, and was amazed at my ability to keep the boat exactly on the right course. While congratulating myself, some doubt began to creep in. Am I really that good? Able to track even the slightest wind shift? Then I noticed that the wind vane was missing from the mast head. Cue ego deflation. Some plus-sized bird must have sat on it and broke it off. So it wasn't my ability after all - without the vane, the sensor was reporting a constant wind direction.
So now I have to make a trip up the mast, to the mast head. You probably have had to do it too.
|Jane watches me, up at the top|
I've written about mast climbing before, but I've never gone into the gear I use.
|Both ascenders on the |
halyard - ready to climb
To climb, I stand up in the foot loops and raise the seat ascender. Then I sit down in the seat and raise the footloop ascender. In this way, there is always on ascender clamped on the halyard - most of the time there are two, except when one is being moved. Ascenders are impossible to release when there is tension on them, so it is not possible to release the wrong one by accident.
|Interlocked loops |
bracing against the mast
|Where's the vane?|
Update: I am making a new vane.