It was an extremely exciting day yesterday, the mast was stepped and all of a sudden Raya looked like a sailing boat. The place where the mast attaches to the boat is called the mast step and because our Oyster is keel stepped our mast comes into the boat through the deck and sits just below the floor directly above the keel.
Tradition requires that you place the highest valued coin of the realm below the mast for good luck. So the morning started with a two pound coin glued in place on the mast step, then the real work, the process of attaching our mast, began.
It took a very large crane, a very low tide and the extremely competent crew from Harry’s Rig Shop to thread the one and a half tons and twenty three meters of our beautifully refurbished mast through the tight fitting slot on the deck.
It was then a race against the rising tide to attach the shrouds and stays to support the mast, so the crane could be removed before the mast became too high for it to hold. Everyone knew their role, Rick described it as a well choreographed maypole dance, and the crane released the mast safely.
Next came the tasks of sealing the mast, sorting out hundreds of meters of running rigging and connecting the 15 or so cables that run down the centre of the mast from the antennas, sensors and instruments to the electronics onboard. A day and a half after we started everything was in place and working.
A great job, she looks fantastic.