Mack has been wanting to scale Kenutu's mast for a while. He claims it's so he can inspect the stuff at the top and make sure the blocks aren't about to break in half, but I know it's really some grand gesture of love for his boat.
After much hemming and hawing, he made the jump and bought a bosun's chair. Specifically the ATN MastClimber. It's basically a seat and a foot rest that you maneuver so that you can climb up the rope. It costs about $400, but this video made it look so easy a kid could do it that we dropped the dough.
It's a pretty cool feat of engineering physics. It has a belt around the waist that is also attached to the seat and a couple straps that are for your feet. Then you have a metal clamp thing on the seat and one on the feet that locks with tension to a rope. To climb or descend, you transfer your weight to your feet or the seat and move the other part up or down. It also comes with a handy storage bag that you can clamp to yourself and use as a tool bag.
We latched the spinnaker line to one of the grab rails to create a climbing line. And then we attached the halyard line to Mack in case something gave out. Then, because he trusts no one and nothing at more than 10 feet, we tied the climbing line to two back up spots. As he went up, I pulled the slack out of the halyard. He yelled down panicked orders, I followed them. Nothing happened except he kept going up. And then this happened.
The higher he went, the better he was at using the Mastclimber. Also, the less faith he had in the block at the top. Sometimes it's hard to shut out the catastrophic thoughts, and most of those times come when you are dangling 30 feet above a hard uneven surface with metal cords everywhere and the threat of drowning.
Once he made it to the top and saw the block was in great shape, his worry washed away. And next thing I knew, I was sending light bulbs and tools up to him so he could do some work.
Two people dumb enough to think anything is possible and smart enough to bumble their way into discoveries.