19 May 2016

Re-rigging Days 14-21: Finishing touches

After Friday's excitement of getting the mast back on and the boat back in the berth, we take a break and go for a drive Saturday. Sunday weather is back to vile, so we hunker below decks tidying up.
Monday mate returns to Melbourne, and the ship's engineer achieves much in her absence. The rigger returns in the morning to go up the mast and make some final adjustments to the top of the furler, and further adjustments at deck level to the furler and the HF aerial. The engineer begins the task of reconnecting all the electrics, including putting a connector into the VHF aerial wire, as that has had to be cut. This continues into Tuesday, when he also re-attaches rope bags and winch handle holder to the mast. By the time the mate returns on Tuesday evening, nearly all jobs are done, almost everything has been put away and the boat is spic and span below decks.
Wednesday begins windy, but quietens just enough in the evening for us to tackle putting the headsail back on the furler. Captain does the preliminary steps of tying up the barberhauls and attaching the furling line to the furler. We remove the headsail from its temporary home in the back of the car, barrow it to the boat, winch it aboard (it's very heavy). Our previous efforts to pack it neatly pay off as we can unroll it right down the side deck, and the captain can re-attach the sheets sitting in comfort in the cockpit. It's still windy enough to make feeding the bolt-rope into the furler challenging, but neighbour Alan comes past at the critical moment and gives the captain a hand with feeding the last bit in and attaching the tack, while the mate hangs on to the sheets to try and and stop them flailing in the wind and clipping the guys around the head, and works the winch to pull the sail up or down as required. Eventually it's all tight, we furl the sail at last, and feed the sheets back through barberhauls and blocks to the rope lockers in the cockpit.
Now we really are back to normal and ready to go anywhere. Except that the weather is not only back to windy and wet, but also stormy (thunder and lightning), so the new rig probably won't be exercised before next summer.

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