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Safe Inside the Yellow Rail, Part Three

Posted by Tall Ships America on July 13, 2008

POSTED BY JESSE

 

I heard that the channel into Port Alberni would be beautiful, but I wasn’t quite expecting such perfect conditions.  The channel snakes through gorgeous mountains covered with forests of diverse shades.  The sun was shining beautifully and there was a slight breeze.  However, the breeze was enough to encourage us to set our sails and sail before the wind.  In fact, this was the first time I had seen Lady shake out her sails since I had been onboard.  Unlike the previous days, all hands were on deck enjoying the sun and taking in the sights.  Shortly after lunch, I had the chance to go aloft into the rig; something that I had been looking forward to for a few days. 

 On Adventuress, the ratlines went up to the spreaders, but not further than that because they were not necessary.  Since she is a schooner, she does not have square sails that need to be furled up in the rigging.  For the most part, her sails can be furled from deck.  However, Lady Washington is a brig with two masts full of square sails.  Once the sails were set, I put my safety harness on and, with Holly’s direction, began my ascent up the rigging.  It was all going quite well until I got to the futtock shrouds, which instead of slanting inboard towards the mast, begin to slant outward a bit to the outside of the topmast platform.  I had to pause and strategize for a moment on how to go about climbing this outwardly slanted rigging.  Fortunately it didn’t take long and I was up and over the platform, making my way outboard along the spars, and standing on the footropes. 

             

                                                                     

Rob, the first mate, always reminds people that while there is certainly no skylarking in the rigging, you have to pause for a moment to take in the view.  And what a view it was! From deck the view was gorgeous, but from the rigging, it was even more spectacular.  It feels as if nothing can touch you when you are so high in the sky.  Later that day I was able to make it up to the t’gallants to help Holly furl the sails.  By that time I had climbed a few times and was pretty tired, so my first t’gallant furl was functional but a bit messy. 

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