Our Mast is Back!

As I'm sure many assumed after our cruise to Raccoon Straits, we have successfully reinstalled the mast and regained our status as a sailing vessel. Yahoo! It was no fun being the least efficient motor vessel on the dock…

Reinstallation seemed like it would be as easy as mast removal, just in reverse. However, we managed to have a few harrier moments along the way. First, arriving at the 40ft dock was complicated by a barge being loaded with lumber and monopolizing the fairway. Our fun began with Dominic threading Helios through a very thin needle--we took Helios' 14 foot width through an opening that couldn't have been more than 20 or so feet. 

And then the mast was an hour late to arrive.

And then centering the weight of the mast over the hole in the deck proved very challenging given its cumbersome height and all the new gear that had been installed. There was one precarious moment when the mast was partially inserted, but the top of the mast began tipping over the boat and the shrouds (and all their weight) were swinging overboard. Holy moly! Not to worry, Dominic appeared to save the day and make it look very easy in the pictures:

The mast approaching the boat...

…and swinging dangerously to port!

With our mast back, we took our first sail in three months, and have many new toys. One highlight, and the primary impetus for the mast removal, is our fancy new radar. The radar let's us "see" objects above the water when visibility is low, so it's a critical piece of safety and navigation equipment. Our display let's us overlap radar information with our GPS display, and has all sorts of alarms we can set to go off if any objects come too close to us. We also installed our radar reflector, so we will be highly visible to other boats.  

Our electronics display: Helios is the black boat in the estuary, and the pink blobs are the radar confirming that there are many buildings in downtown Oakland.

Another new edition is our whisker pole. A whisker pole, when in action, protrudes from the mast to support the foresail while sailing downwind. 

The whisker pole supporting the jib as we sail wing on wing down the estuary.

The whisker pole supporting the jib as we sail wing on wing down the estuary.

Since having the mast removed, and now reinstalled, Dominic and I have been gleefully labeling many projects as 'completed' on our project spreadsheet. We're hoping this means spending more time with wind in our sails as August turns to fall...