LAHOWIND » Just you, me, + the dog.

Jer in the air.

(Puerto Real, Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico)

Catchy title, isn’t it? ;)) Jereme came up with that little gem.

One of the fun items on our growing to-do list while in Puerto Rico, was sending one of us up the mast to fix/replace our flag halyard and also remove our already-broken-after-only-a-few-months (seriously, wth?) wind instrument to send in to Raymarine to fix. And since I’m not positive I’d know how exactly to remove the wind instrument (or be super excited to even try while dangling 50 feet up in the air), Jereme was the lucky one who got to climb up.


Since owning the boat, Jereme has been up the mast (well, halfway up) one other time. And that was to replace our spreader lights. When Jer went up the mast that first time back in our home port of Naples, he wore a rock climbing harness and had a buddy of his hoist him up (while wearing our GoPro so of course I made a video). The second time someone needed to go up the mast, it was while we were moored in Boot Key Harbor, Marathon, Florida, but we got smart and hired a great guy from the harbor to climb up and install our new wind instrument and wind vein, replace our anchor light, and replace our vhf antenna.

This time, we knew one of us would have the dirty job of mast-climbing, and I don’t think either of us were looking forward to it. Luckily, we were given a top-climber before leaving Naples, so this time Jereme used the top-climber, while also wearing a rock climbing harness attached to a spare halyard (as a safety backup). The top-climber is much better for us since it allows someone to climb up the mast themselves (i.e. Jereme doesn’t have to rely on my dinky muscles to winch him up). Sail Far Live Free has an awesome and super thorough review of the topclimber system and how to use it if you are looking for the inside scoop!

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Side note, Jere also followed some of his own advice from his first trip up, and not only wore shoes this time, but also used a new tool bag that’s much easier to find what you are looking for when suspended up in the air.

Replacing the flag halyard was a simple fix. Fast and easy! My favorite kind of boat project.

But while fixing the flag halyard at mid-mast, Jereme noticed that one of our new spreader lights was a bit loose, so we added an impromptu third mast-project while up in the air. Thank goodness Mr. Engineer is always thinking and brought a few extra tools up the mast with him, so he was able to fix that spreader light right on the spot.

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After fixing the flag halyard and spreader light, Jereme kept climbing to the tippy-top of the mast to get to work on removing our wind instrument.

Okay, so a little background on our wind instie…we bought it right before we left Naples and really liked it because it was wireless (so we didn’t need to run wires down the mast). We had the instrument installed in Marathon, Florida where it worked perfectly for the next two months. After those first two great months ended, the head unit (in the cockpit) powered on without any problems, except it wouldn’t/couldn’t read the data coming from the sending unit (at the top of the mast). It always showed dashes on the screen instead of any real wind data. Fortunately, a wind instrument is basically an unnecessary luxury instrument, if you will, so we’ve been able to manage just fine without it for the past two months. It did, however, cost a pretty penny at purchase so we aren’t okay with just letting it go. I mean, what kind of lifespan is 2 dinky months???

Taking down the wind instrument was another semi-simple job (coming from the girl who stood on deck just taking photos during the whole procedure). And now our instrument is currently en route to Raymarine where they will hopefully be able to fix it and return it to us while we are still here in Puerto Real, Cabo Rojo.

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How great is the view of s/v LAHO from 50 feet up in the air? I love ^^these^^ photos that Jer captured while up at the top of the mast.

I think Jer must constantly be looking for boat projects to add to our to-do list or something because while he was at the top of the mast, he noticed that our jib halyard had basically almost chafed all the way through, right where it’s spliced. We’re pretty sure the chafing happened from the halyard rubbing against a fair lead (u-shaped metal piece) located at the top of the mast. We went ahead and added this as a 4th (and unplanned) project to the mix while up the mast. :((

Unfortuantely, this new little project couldn’t really be fixed while up in the air so we made a mental note to take care of the halyard while in Puerto Real. As luck would have it, we just recently had to take down our jib sail in preparation for this weekend’s tropical storm (more on our prep and storm ride out coming soon!), so now we will simply need to cut off the piece of the halyard that has chafe and knot the halyard (instead of using a splice) back to the shackle before we put the sail back up. Hopefully, we will be able to cross this one off in the next day or two!

Oh and I almost forgot…as if two projects that turned into four wasn’t enough fun for one day, I may or may not have accidentally let go of one of the loose halyards after Jereme came down from his exhausting climb, causing him to have to climb the mast a second time to retrieve the loose line. Oh and then once he was down from the extra second climb, we realized the halyard was on the wrong side of the spreader…so back up he went! For a third time. Whoopsies. ;))

Anyhoo, while Jer was in the air, he snapped a bunch of photos of the marina and surrounding views of Puerto Real… Pretty nice little place, isn’t it? :))

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>>Thanks for visiting LAHOWIND sailing blog! We’d love for you to get to know us and follow our story as we attempt to navigate a whole new world of sailing, as we cruise the Caribbean.


Kim SmithAugust 4, 2014 - 1:27 pm

Great photos! Isn’t it funny how 1 boat project always turns into 3 or 4? We have an understanding here on Blue Turtle that if you think a project will cost $XX, multiply that by 2, if you think it will take you X hours or X days, multiply that by 2 as well and if you think you are starting with just 1 project, don’t be fooled! One always turns into more on a boat!

BTW, we are currently tied up in your home port Naples (at the city dock) after being towed in yesterday. Needless to say, Randy has a project or two :)

—Kim & Randy
m/v Blue Turtle

LAHOWINDAugust 4, 2014 - 4:16 pm

Oh my goodness, tell me about it! Jereme and I now joke about his project timeline estimates! We multiply his “x hours” by 4! Lol! Sorry to hear you had to be towed in to the Naples City Dock. Hopefully it’s nothing serious with the boat. I miss that place so much. :) -Kim

Kevin from SailFarLiveFreeAugust 5, 2014 - 12:54 pm

I can’t get enough of mast top pictures…so cool! Thanks for mentioning our review.

[…] might remember that we had to send Jereme up the mast shortly after we arrived here in Puerto Real, Cabo Rojo. But that trip up was simply to remove our […]