With most of our pre-cruise work completed on Island Bound, it was time to more thoroughly inspect the rig. This of course means going up the stick if the mast is stepped. If you're a sailor, sooner or later you'll need to make a trip to the top of the mast, either for inspections or repairs. Our (first) time is now!
The goal of the ascent was to retape the speader boots, install a portside flagline and inspect the shrouds, stays and sail track. We used our climbing harness (Black Diamond Alpine BOD) instead of a bosun's chair. The main halyard was used as the primary uplift and one of our two wire-to-rope headsail halyards was the back-up. A bowline knot was used to secure the main halyard to the harness, instead of using the shackle. The shackle was also connected as a precaution. We had to use the shackle on the back-up (genoa halyard) because it's wire-to-rope and can not be knotted. The main halyard was lead to a two-speed cockpit winch via a snatch block on the toerail while the second halyard was winched using one of the halyard winches on the mast. We attached all tools (screw driver, tape, rope, camera, multi-tool) to the harness with thin rope to prevent accidently bombing the deck below.
Erin was the obvious choice to wear the harness, as she's the lightest adult crew member and a capable climber. That left me on the primary winch and my dad at the secondary. My mom helped too by tailing the line off the primary winch. Everything went smoothly and no problems with the rig or our methods were found. If we ever have to go up while at sea, we'll add a tether around the mast to prevent the climber from swinging out and a helmut and lifejacket for impact protection.
Of course the coolest part about going up the mast is the pictures!