Snake Pit Heaven

I thought I might give you a bit of an insight to the charms of the snakepit which is where I spend most of my time when I am on deck and we are making sail changes. Each role on the boat has its merits and each of the core Neeps watch all have their own special place – mine is in the pit!!

The snakepit is in the middle of the boat next to the mast. A sunken section of the deck surrounded by 5 winches, 6 halyards, 2 preventers, 2 sheets, 8 jammers and a host of sail ties – simples really!

When making changes to the sail plan what usually happens is that I get in the pit then take abuse from everyone else shouting at me for sheets, slack, tension, faster, slower, sail ties, griding, jammers open or closed and halyards slackened or tightened. They want all of this doing at the one time and all in a hurry. To add insult to injury they then come past the pit throwing a handful of sail-ties into it to add to the mess of ropes that I now have swimming round my ankles. They then finish the work they are doing in time to go back to the cockpit for a cup of tea and I’m left surrounded by a mass of writhing ropes, all to be tidied up, whilst standing ankle deep in water, being hit in the face by waves (as I’m at about the same deck level as everyone else’s ankles) and sweating hard from grinding. The crazy thing is I love every minute of it and am never happier than when everything is tidied away again and all in order!

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1 Response to Snake Pit Heaven

  1. David Cockburn says:

    Hi, yes…amazing how all those bits of string etc take on a new significance when the welfare of boat and crew are all so dependent on them….

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