Margaret always writes the blogs and as I was looking over some older posts, I noticed Birds Eye View and saw that she didn't have the time to write that day.
In the photo, on the left side is my foot against the mast. Heron is directly below me and Southern Cross is in the foreground. Tiller's dinghy is tied to Heron.
I've been up mast before and this occassion was to do some repairs to our VHF radio which didn't have more that about a 2 mile range. These radios should be good for at least 10 miles or more. After checking to see if there was any interferance in the cable, I suspected the connection on the very top of the mast where the antenna is connected was the problem. With our neighbor Greg's help, we hoisted my 6'2" frame up to the top with a climbing harness and the mast halyard which we connected to one of my large self tailing winches.
It was a slow but easy ride to the top and I had some tools with me. After dismantleing the antenna I discovered a bit of corrosion in the connection. With some sandpaper, file, WD 40, and about an hour's work, I was ready to put it all back together. I then yelled down to Greg and asked him to try the radio. When he came back out from the navigation station he said he had just spoken to Tow Boat US out of Ft. Pierce. That was 15 miles away!!
The trip down was pretty easy and I had no concerns being up 50' overlooking my vessel and the rest of the anchorage. Pretty nice view from up there.
The only problem I had once I got down is that I lost most of my feelings in my legs and feet as the straps on the harness cut into my legs. Instead of resting and waiting to let the circulation to come back, I began jumping around the boat finishing some other projects and then torn a leg muscle which left me lame for about 3 days. It was very painful but fortunately, no permanent damage. I will stick to the bosun chair on the next ride up to the top, or better still, send Margaret up the next time!