Up the Mast Again

With Tropical Depression No. 9 in the Southwest Gulf (perhaps soon to be Tropical Depression Hanna), I was thankful for a calm morning with flat seas in the mooring field. It’s always easier to climb the mast when the water is flat rather than swinging back and forth.

Cloudy Morning

Cloudy Morning

After listening to the morning Dinner Key Mooring Field Net on our VHF, we gathered together the tools and accessories to ascend the mast. When we stopped to anchor in Buttonwood Sound off Key Largo en route to Miami, our anchor light didn’t work again. We used the portable light we have for backup that night, but I needed to check out the problem. Our wind direction indicator is also not working (since leaving Key West). So, I also wanted to investigate the wind indicator atop the mast.

Strapped in and Ready to Ascend

Strapped in and Ready to Ascend

After strapped into the Boson’s chair, I told Cindy that I cancelled my life insurance policy. One can never be too sure when one’s life is in the hands of one who has significant financial interests in the outcome. 🙂 This tactic proved effective as I survived the 65 foot ascent up the mast and the following descent. It turns out that I had used the wrong kind of bulb for the anchor light last time. There are two types of bulbs: one with offset pins and one with pins which are directly opposite each other. Well, I had the wrong one, and one of the pins sheered off. I replaced it with a correct bulb and now we are ready to anchor again.

Perched at 65 feet

Perched at 65 feet

Beatitude from atop the mast. Can you find Cindy?

Beatitude from atop the mast. Can you find Cindy?

Found!

Found!

Cindy with my life in her hands!

Cindy with my life in her hands!

I couldn’t really see anything wrong with the wind indicator except that the wire was stretched very tightly from the base of the indicator to where it goes through the mast. There may be some chafing there. I basically just took some of the tension off the wire and we’ll see if this does anything to rectify the situation. On the way down, I also resecured the SSB antenna to the port shroud.

Looking East over the Mooring Field from atop the mast

Looking East over the Mooring Field from atop the mast

Looking West over the Mooring Field from atop the mast

Looking West over the Mooring Field from atop the mast

Miami from atop the mast

Miami from atop the mast

Hanging on to the spreader to resecure the SSB antenna

Hanging on to the spreader to resecure the SSB antenna

In only three days, we’ll be back in Lakeland for another work marathon. I’m hoping the tropical weather in the gulf stays south of us as it seems to be forecast to do at this time. It is supposed to merge with a front and dissipate somewhat as well towards the end of the week. We have been blessed with a lack of tropical storms so far this year. Only a little longer to last until the season is over.

Tropical Depression Nine

Tropical Depression Nine

4 thoughts on “Up the Mast Again

  1. I don’t know how you can climb that high! You da man! The pictures were gorgeous from on top! You can really tell how high you are when you asked where Cindy was! She looked so little from up there!

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