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  • janenewaudby

Wives can climb masts too

Every year when the boat goes back in the water, Jules and I go through a list of checks. We are probably one of the few boats in the Marina that do such an extensive check, but then Temptress is a powerful beast and you wouldn't want anything going "pop" at the wrong moment. One of the checks we do is to climb the mast to look at the rivets, moving parts and bolts and so on. We lubricate the turning blocks and cover up sharp pins that could catch on sails. The best part of the mast climb is the view. There is something very cool about being this high up and looking all around. Makes you wish you were a pigeon (they like to sit on the top of our mast too...). The second best part about this job is the reaction from neighbouring sailors (male). The thing is, its always me that does the climb. This is partly because I like doing it and partly because I am lighter than Jules. The idea is to try and haul yourself up as much as possible, but at the end of the day, the person winching takes most of the load. Its true to say that most husbands are heavier and the wives not so strong. So its logical that the wife should climb the mast, right?.

But when Julian's missus shimmies her way to the top of the mast, all the guys stand back in amazement. That always tickles us. Of course, Jules and I have "pink jobs" and "blue jobs" like everyone else, . Jules drives the boat out of the marina, but I drive the boat onto mooring buoys in rivers. I do most of the cooking, but Jules does all of the ironing. What we don't do so much is divide jobs by steriotype - its more of a logic or aptitude based selection method. So it is at the beginning of the season that I do the mast climb. Ideally, we would change these things around a lot more, so we are completely interchangeable. But the mast climb will always be mine because the guys in the marina need to see that wives can climb masts too.

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