Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Taking Down The Top Mast

They opened the flood gates in La Mole today. The ground has reached its saturation limit after a week of rain and is now pouring out of the banks of rivers and streams as though on a highly important mission. We got to go home early from work though! Once they’ve opened the gates, they close all the roads so we made a dash for home in my little Clio, having been warned of the approaching floods. It was like having a day off school because of snow.

Last week, just before it all kicked off and the ground was still able to absorb what was being chucked out of the sky, we took off our top mast. It’s down for the winter for sanding, varnishing and maintenance. It takes a lot of stick up there during the racing season what with that jackyard up in all weathers and it’s good to give the top mast some loving.

A crane, some slings, a lot of rope and a few prayers are needed for the operation and preferably no wind – we had about 8 knots and building so the job was done in a very non-French manner; quickly.

George was the one to go up the mast in the bosun’s chair to tie on in all manner of specific knots, a variety of lines and straps to be attached to the cranes hook. I’m always very proud of him at times like these. Admittedly also a little concerned but mostly I just fancy him loads when he’s up there being all sailory and clever and brave.

And it all went without incident of course. Big sighs of relief all round. The top mast is now horizontal in our container in the yard in Cogolin Mariner awaiting a nice new coat of varnish. Well, we hope it’s still there and not bobbing out to sea having been swept out by the rush of flood water, a most undignified way to go for Mariquita’s top-mast I should imagine.

We’ll have to see what tomorrow brings and whether we can even get to the boat by car. Finger’s crossed. It’s the mushrooms and the poor vineyards I worry about…

I’ll keep you up to date and hope that you are not also currently seeking higher ground from floods.

Thanks for reading.


Pop, out she comes.

Mariquita's now stumpy mast.