A Day in a Skipper’s life.
I have just gone up the mast to dismount my VHF antenna because it’s cable inside the mast was torn. I had to climb up the mast with my climbing gear.
On the way down I had problems to hold my antenna because I needed to have both hands free for the descent. Then I ran into trouble when my grigri (a special climbing gear) jammed and I was hanging half way up the mast and could not descend. It took me a few minutes to get it free, but with such a jerk I fell a meter down into my harness that the antenna slipped out of my hand. It fell on deck and rolled into the sea.
Sh!t! The water is 20 m deep and I don’t know it it’s worth trying to dive down to get it.
I decided to dive down. Luckily I do have scuba gear on board.
And… I’m totally happy. I found my antenna. It was easy, because the water was clear. So I spotted it right away when I initiated my dive, very close to my anchor chain in 20 m depth.
And because I had my diving gear on, I just cleaned the hull and the propeller after I brought it up.
The torn cable is too short now to mount the antenna on the mast. So I soldered the torn cable together.
It’s a temporary jury rig, but it works and is essential to me, because my AIS runs over it, and I need this for collision warning especially at night time when I sleep.
After fixing it, I could see four other boats on my iPad/iPhone. One boat is even 1.8 nm away. That shows that my antenna works again. The real range that I will get with this setup I don’t know yet. I will notice it once I leave here. But definitely, the range that I can see now is long and safe enough for me.
I pulled the antenna up with a spare halyard. You need to zoom in to see it. I’m relieved that my AIS is working again.