Up The Mast!

On January 24, 2010 I went to the very top of the mast for the first time. The mast is 50-feet high. This is as high as a 5-story building.


Rick and worked together to get me to the top of the mast. I was in a boson’s chair with a halyard connected to my harness.

As I worked my way up the mast steps, Rick used the wench to keep the halyard taught.

When I reached the top, I used a messenger line (aka rope) to pull a canvas bucket up to me. The bucket held cleaning supplies to clean the mainsail track (the sail slides up and down the track), McLube to lubricate the track and a cleaning rag.

One end of the rope was connected to me and the other end connected to the bucket. When I was at the very top, somehow, the rope got all fowled-up in the mast steps. I couldn’t go down until I untangled the rope! I wished with all my might that Rick could fix it for me! He always fixes what I foul up!

To calm my panic I asked for help and wisdom to see the solution. I listened and my prayer was answered and slowly I was able to untangle the rope. It took me over 20-minutes to get the rope free.

After the rope was under control, I looked around and noticed some zip ties holding the radar reflectors to the shroud were broken. I used the messenger line to lower bucket down to Rick. He put a handful of 10-inch zip ties in the bucket and I pulled the bucket back up to me. Within a few minutes, the radar reflectors were securely attached.

I cleaned and lubricated the mast as I worked my way down. When I got to the spreaders, I discovered the rope had wrapped itself on the outside of the cap shroud. The cap shroud is at each end of the spreaders (white cross pieces) under the radar.

Our messenger line is made up of two ropes tied together. Rick was able to untie the rope and swing one to the outside the cap shroud and free it from its tangle.

When the messenger line was free, I was able to continue cleaning and lubricating the track.


Question: Was I scared as I look?
Answer: Yup!
Comment: And darn proud that I worked through the fear and cleaned and lubricated the track. I earned extra credit for securing the radar reflectors!

To view the photo album for this post, click on the camera,

4 Responses to “Up The Mast!”

  1. kyle on February 22nd, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    Oh my gosh!
    Look how high that is! Thats really amazing. Hope fully you don’t have to do that every day!

  2. Lynn on February 26th, 2011 at 7:22 am

    Hi Kyle,
    It is about 50 feet in the air, the height of a 5-story building. I should go up once a year to clean the mainsail track. Hugs, Grams

  3. Tom McFerran on December 5th, 2011 at 7:21 am

    Scary stuff, although I was at one time in the British Navy. BTW Lynn, thanks for your comment re my poems about Pauline.


  4. Lynn on December 5th, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    Hi Tommy,
    This year I almost lost Rick more than once, so I have some idea of the sense of loss you must feel. The way you express your love for Pauline is so genuine I am often brought to tears.

    The love you two shared is rare in deed. She is beautiful in spirit and life.

    To find out what we’re talking about, click here:

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