Week 4 - Day 7 - 873 days to go

Posted on: Sun, 2019/05/05 - 18:10 By: kevin.klop

Winter Harbour to Ucluelet. 22h 43m, 150.8 nautical miles (Part II)

We arrived at Ucluelet this morning and did our usual stuff after docking such as straightening out the boat.  We are at the “Japanese” dock, which is where the Japanese fishers had docked back before World War II. After that it’s resting, doing laundry, showering.

We’ll tackle repairs to the boat later today, although there is one repair that we can not put off.  We have to do something about the table since it forms part of the base for the instructor’s and my bed.  That means we’ll do some wood work or epoxying and will need a minimum of 10 to 12 hours of curing time for any wood putty or epoxy that we might use.  It has to get that amount of time before we can use the table for anything.

Later today we will also need to send someone to the top of the mast.  That requires breaking out the bosun’s chair. This chair is more or less a harness to which we attach a line that is normally used to bring a sail up.  We put someone into the seat and haul them up to the top of the mast so they can work.A boat at Ucluelet

When sending someone up in a bosun’s chair, it’s very important that you have a second line attached to the person so that if they tip over backward for some reason, or the chair breaks, or the line attached to the bosun’s chair breaks, you can “catch” them with the second line.  No sense sending someone to the top of a mast more than 20 meters in the air without a safety line if at all possible!

In this case, they will need to lower a weighted string down the inside of the mast where we’ll fish it out the proper hole, attach it to the remainder of the main sail halyard, and use the string to pull the halyard up the inside of the mast.

We sent the weighted string down the mast and fished it out on the first try.  I was in the midst of whipping (basically using a String to wrap the end of a line) the string onto the line when word came that we had to do it over as the string had not been fed through the proper block at the top of the mast.  I whipped the halyard, reattached the weight, and let them haul it back up.

Harbour viewThe second try took us quite a bit longer to fish the line through.  I think that the first time, the line came down the center of the hollow inside the mast and was easily captured by us.  This time, I think, the line came down against the rear part of the hollow, against the mast and was a lot harder to capture.  However, eventually it worked and we whipped the string onto the line, hauled it up, let it back down the outside of the mast, attached the shackle (a piece of hardware that allows us to relatively easily attach and detach the line to the top of the sail).

I found out later that the instructor didn’t really have much belief that we would be successful.  We showed him!

The completion of this was the last of our “major” repairs so the rest of the day is housekeeping stuff - showers, resupply, napping, eating.

Somehow my cell phone charger cable has gone missing, so I end up replacing it with a bright pink one.  My cables are slowly being replaced with garishly coloured ones that no one in their right mind will want to accidentally appropriate.

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