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Stepping the mast in Golfito

Posted on Saturday Aug 29, 2009

Photos (4)

Words (411)

We have been delaying the inevitable. Our mast sits on the deck, and beneath the deck is a post that supports the deck. All fine and good. However over time and a lot of sailing the post started to compress into the floor and ceiling. Hmmm. A few years ago in El Salvador, we loosened all the stays, carefully jacked up the support and inserted two stainless plates on the top and bottom to both shim it up and distribute the force. We also built a new support around the plates.

Well like the exhaust, I knew this problem needed to be addressed in a more serious fashion, meaning taking the mast out, then the post and rebuilding everything. Prior to doing any long off shore passages like crossing the Pacific this had to be fixed. So I started searching Mexico for places where I could take the mast off and do the work with the boat in the water (saving money by not being in the boat yard).

The prices in Mexico have steadily crept up since we left. I was a bit disappointed, but then I found a guy with a crane here and a basin where we could get our boat in during high tide. The price was good, so we decided to try it.

How to pull out the mast? Get a bunch of volunteers to help, one crane and keep your fingers crossed.

At high tide we entered the basin with just about every thing ready. Once the crane hooked up to the lifting rope I set up we began to disconnect the rigging.

(Rosemary and Richard helping me hunched down at the base)


The crane operator and Tim (from Land Sea) look on at our frantic de-rigging.


We then lifted it from the boat while trying to guide it and stabilize it while the crane operator drives around. A bit chaotic, but no damage! They even put it under the roof so it will be out of the sun and rain!
(Richard, David and I wrestling the mast)


With the mast gone, our boat looks a little silly. Here we are parked against the wall before heading back to Fish Hook.


Now the hard work of fixing the supports, working on the mast and checking the chain plates/bolts begins. A big thanks to all the people who helped:

Tim (Land Sea)
Richard (s/v Mandi)
David (s/v Sidewinder)
Rosemary (s/v Ni??±a)

Four Years Cancer Free

Posted on Saturday Aug 29, 2009

Words (219)

We finished another annual round of testing in David, Panama a couple of weeks ago and got the good news. She still has about another 1.5 years of adjuvant hormone treatment left before we have to consider what is next. We?¢â??¬â??¢re going to see the original surgeon in Mexico for the 5 year check-up and plan out the next stage.

It?¢â??¬â??¢s been a long road with a lot of ups and downs, scares and disappointments, tears and anger but we are hanging in there. Sherrell?¢â??¬â??¢s been getting healthier and we both can?¢â??¬â??¢t wait until she is off the hormone medicine as it affects your brain and body in weird ways.

In the same vain, I just read a review of a book, ?¢â??¬???Manning Up in Alaska?¢â??¬. Despite the title, it sounds interesting. It probably hits too close to home for either of us to read, but the author had terrible throat cancer, stage 3. After a 9 hour operation he was left unable to swallow properly and endured 4 months of chemo treatment. He started a foundation to take people going through treatment out sailing to help relieve them from the stress. He also went cruising and had some of the crazy cruising mishaps we've experienced. Here's a link to the book http://tiny.cc/IiCQS if you're interested.

Eric