I must admit to feeling a tad nervous when Baz had to go up the mast to install new cups on the wind indicator. Yes, I know he had a bosun’s chair and a harness and each one was secured to two separate lines (spare spinnaker halyard and topping lift). Mike Jones our long-time friend and sailor with experience as vast as the ocean lent us his bosun’s chair and the muscle to actually winch Baz up the mast. What a workout that was! But my anxiety wasn’t just about losing my best friend; it was also partly empathic as I knew Baz gets edgy at heights.
My mind goes back to standing on the concrete steps winding around the outside of the highest slide in Water World on the Gold Coast, Australia when Luke was young. Baz did a good job of hiding it, but I could tell he was uneasy as he found the part of the step that was furthest away from the giant drop over the rails … Anyway I digress …
It’s not that he can’t tie knots
Mike hoisted Baz all the way to the top. Think lots of heavy winding of the winch handle and litres of sweat. Baz had to negotiate the spreaders and radar. Almost at the top, Baz had to take the spinnaker halyard out of the metal loop that keeps it from the top of the mast. That meant untying the bowline and re-position the halyard and then retie the bowline. That was my main cause of anxiety. While Baz is an awesome captain (leaving me for dust in that department), his main weakness is knot-tying. It’s not that he can’t tie knots, he can. But his bowline usually takes a few attempts while he tries to get his head around which way the first little loop goes. And he always used to be resistant to my gentle suggestions that he practice in his spare time. “That’s what you’re for,” he’d reply.
Well, I wasn’t up the mast with him that day and all I could do was watch. My heart was in my mouth at that point, forcing my mind to stop playing worst case scenarios of Baz suddenly splatting on the deck from a great height.
Instead, I steadied the Sony camera that I was holding and focused on getting clear video footage. And do you know what? Baz tied that bowline perfectly in a few seconds. Boy does he work well under pressure! I have noticed since though, that when we’re sailing with the autopilot doing its thing, he’s got a practice rope out and had a few goes at making bowlines.
Wind cups attached, Baz shouted for Mike to let him down, which took a lot less time than going up! I asked Baz if he was at all scared going up and to my surprise he said he was less worried about that than the descent, because he couldn’t control how fast he was lowered. At any rate, Mike earned himself a few beers that day and Baz realised that the harness that he’d bought, while uncomfy, is a good safety feature to wear along with using a bosun’s chair - which we have now purchased (in Marmaris).
Making our yacht more homely
There’s a fabulous Turkish shop at the marina called Yörük and owned by Alpaslan (who also owns the Passarella Restaurant). Entering his shop is like visiting Aladdin’s cave and is filled with Turkish and Persian carpets and rugs, silver jewellery, hand embroidered silks, cushions, and ornaments for house and home. It was here that I found four small vintage rugs that fit A B Sea. They’re stylish and warm underfoot.