The morning of the 8th dawned with clear blue skies, winds less than 10 knots and the swell was also less than 2 meters. If I had of planned this I couldn’t have gotten better conditions for building a jury rig. I knew this was going to be a long day, so I had my fill of a hearty breakfast of porridge and got prepared to finish setting my new mast. After rounding up all the tools I would need I climbed on deck to get started. The sun was beating down on me and so I even put sunscreen on for the first time this trip... Slip Slop Slap.
I had finished clearing the decks off yesterday, so today was all about running the guide ropes that I will need to hoist the mast. I also needed to angle grind off the torn weld marks at the base of the boom so that I would prevent the boom from doing more damage to the hull. This was the first task that I started with and ended up with me covered in metal shavings but the job was a success and I now have a boom that is a smooth as a baby’s bottom.
I also needed to drill out the shackle attachment point for the old topping lift point. At the moment, it would only allow me to put a small to medium shackle in the hole however this was going to be the place that I attached my backstay, running backstays and side shrouds, so I needed to make sure that this was going to be strong. So, I drilled out the hole to make it large enough to fit one of my large 10 Ton shackles.
Once that was done the next step was to start running all the various ropes. I had 2 running back stays, a back stay, 2 shrouds on that top shackle and then attached to the old main sheet point I was running 2 running forestays, a forestay attached to the baby stay strong point, 2 more shrouds for extra sideways control and the jib halyard, I was using the 2nd reefing line for my main sail halyard. So, lot and lots of ropes. This took the better half of the day as I needed to make sure that each rope ran clear and was not catching or fouling another rope. I also needed to make sure that I had thought of everything as I was not wanting to have to lower the boom again just because I forgot something...
Lastly, I ended up rigging a light at the top of the mast. This was just a deck light that I bought before I left and never had the chance to wire it up, so I rigged this just on the front of the mast so that it would shine down to the deck and help to make me more visible as i near traffic lanes. I ran a long length of cable to the deck and in through one of my vents and finished with it plugged into a 12 socket allowing it to stay lit all the time. I have emergency navigation lights on-board but these are battery operated and would not give a ship enough warning to avoid me so, I feel a lot safer with the extra lighting.
Finall,y it was time to hoist. I had so far been working since sunrise and the sun was an hour from setting so there was no time to waste. With lots of grunts, I hauled the boom into position over the cabin top and tied off 2 of the shrouds to prevent it from falling off. I then needed too winch back on the ropes that I had attached at the base of my new mast to get the foot into position on the deck. This took over an hour as I winched cm by cm but finally the foot was in the correct position to try and step the mast.
Pulling in on the running forestays and the forestays it quickly became apparent that there was not enough leverage to hoist the mast from this position. S,o I ran another forestay from the top of the mast to the old forestay attachment point on the bow of the boat and as luck would have it, this was just enough of an angle to step the mast. Inch by inch my new mast was made and after another hour Climate Action Now once again became a sail boat. I was exhausted but ecstatic that I was able to get the boom in position and with the deep orange of a sunset I finally took a break.
A short while later I started to get the sails ready to be hoisted. On the first hoist, it quickly became apparent that they will not fit... I am using my storm sails but even then, they are too long for the height of my boom. I spent a further 3 hours trying to hoist them different ways but the result was the same. Eventually I admitted defeat and decided that I was just too tired to continue. The main engine is going well, so I went below to get some much needed sleep and left the sails to be tackled tomorrow. The sails need quite an extensive upgrade to fit. I have some ideas that I will test out this morning that should make them fit. I will keep you all posted. I am so excited that my baby will be able to sail again shortly.
Till Tomorrow, Goodnight.