Well, I'm happy to say, the mast lowering went off without a hitch. It was a nice slow, controlled procedure that was never really very scary. And, we're no longer mast-lowering virgins.
With the mast down, it was really easy to attach the mast steps up to the spreaders (the cross-piece about halfway up the mast). I could do that from the deck of the boat or out on the bowsprit. However, the rest of the steps had to be installed from off the boat and that mast was WAY up in the air.
Although it was Saturday and the yard was closed, Steve, the owner came out in the afternoon to haul a power boat. While talking to him I said that I wished I was 12' tall so I could reach the mast from the scaffold that you can see in the photo. He said that he thought he might be able to help. Next thin you know, he's towing this insanely tall scaffold deal over to our boat. It can be moved by hand but it takes a bit of muscle and finesse.
However, this rig worked great for allowing me to get up close and personal with the upper end of the mast. Even though we spent a good 4 hours visiting with our friends Dave & Suzanne who dropped by from Scapoose, I was still able to install all the steps and even do some initial inspection of the rigging and lights
Tomorrow I'll finish inspecting the rigging and try to fix the wind speed indicator, which turns like crazy but doesn't seem to send a signal to the meter in the boat. We also may be able to take advantage of having the mast down to install the components of our headsail roller-furlers.