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Saturday, August 15, 2009

Up the mast and can the fish

Got a call from Englund Marine yesterday morning. Our rigging was
ready! I headed to town to get it, hauled it back to the boat, spread
it out on the dock and measured it to see if it was right this time.
Well guess what... IT WAS!

So my job during the afternoon was to climb the mast a couple times to
install the upper ends of the stays and then, after installing the
lower ends, start endlessly tweaking the turnbuckles to get the mast
to stand nice and straight without tightening the standing rigging so
much that it poked a hole through the top of the cabin. It was a
beautiful day and, with the new mast steps in place, climbing aloft
wasn't scary at all. Lulu tended my safety line from the cockpit and
it all went pretty smoothly. I did find a couple wee problems:
During mast step installation, I apparently lost the ability to count
and measure. I somehow forgot to install the last climbing rung on
the port side. This makes the 2 top rungs (the "standing" rungs)
pretty much inaccessible. I plant to fix that today. The other wee
problem is with the safety harness set-up. Having nothing else to
use, I just used my offshore safety harness. Well, I tell ya, I'd
sure hate to be hanging vertically from that thing for any length of
time. I'd probably strangle myself. So, I need to buy a rock
climbing harness on my next Portland trip. Today we'll use the steps
in combination with the bosun's chair to add the missing rung and to
do some tweaking on the ends of the spreaders. The main thing is, I
was very reassured to find out how natural and unscary it was to climb
aloft using mast steps.

When Lulu wasn't tending my safety line, she was down below canning
tuna. Decided to buy a tuna and try canning on the boat to see how it
will work out. With only two of us aboard, much of the meat from the
tons of huge fish we're going to catch would mostly be wasted. Only
so much fridge space and no freezer. So, she broke out our trusty
Presto pressure cooker and loaded it with 8 half-pint jars and away
she went. You have to process tuna for a LONG time (like an hour and
forty minutes after it reaches pressure) but she ran two batches
anyway. Could've canned 16 jars but we only had a dozen. That left
enough fresh tuna for a tuna satay over rice last night and who knows
what tonight.

Today's big job is to install both furlers. Not as nice out today as
it was yesterday but hopefully it at least won't rain on us. I'll try
to get some photos of the bosun's chair in action. This is the last
big job before we go back to Silverton for a week to get the rest of
the stuff done that we need to do there.

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