Nandor Fa on the battles not to stop - an excerpt from his log
Nandor battles to go up the mast:
"The time had come, both ready for the job, I climbed the mast. On the way up I could already feel very tough weather awaits for me, but I went. First step is the block. The lower plastic side of it was broken vertically, but as I unscrew it I can see the structure is not damaged at all. I try to hit it upwards but wouldn’t go. C sends another halyard, while he’s pulling I hit it with a hammer. It jumps a little but it’s not free."
I strike on it front-wise and “hurray", it lets the slide now and moves freely. I quickly tie it to the top of the mainsail, so first task is done. I wanted to do the other job too - to double the halyard. But the boat had been receiving stronger and stronger punches frontally, and every time wanted to catapult me. I hold on as strong as I can, but I need to work too - so I work with one hand and hold myself to the mast with the other plus two legs and I try to reach anything I can. First I was fixed with a carabiner to the J1 halyard but after a while as I climb upwards the halyard is over, I have to unhook it. I go up to the top, prepare the fraction and then descend to the sail, tie it to the mast, C down there releases the halyard for me to be able to work with it. I tie the block to the halyard, pull it and go back to the top. With my last powers I tie it to the lashing point that I prepared, but now I’m in big trouble. I brake away from the mast several times during the work, fly ahead, spin around the mast and fly to the back. Every part of me hurts, my energy is running out but I have to finish, there are only small jobs that require a few seconds. But there are no more pauses, the boat is constantly beating down there, incredible powers are tearing my arms up here.I either work or hold myself. I try to make it even, which I partly manage. I’m finishing, while I keep flying away more times and smash onto everything until I manage to hold onto something. Of course the bucket is dancing the “legényes” [Ed. Hungarian folk dance] on my side with the tools flying away (I haven’t checked yet but I’m sure half of it is missing). While I’m at the top of the mast, there is a rather small trajectory, but as I descend to the top of the sail and I’m three metres below the top I can fly further - and it happens so. I manage to fend off the first hammer blow, but the second makes me break away from the sail - which I was holding onto with my upper arm. I’m on the already known trajectory but this time I fly way further away. I bang into the mast heavily, then continue backwards, where I smash into the sail, this one kicks me back out, then I bang the mast again. There is no control here, I try to grab something but it’s hopeless, I bang my head into the mast rail. (the helmet I ordered for myself is too small, and it arrived in the last minute so we couldn’t change it)I don’t know how but I finally grab something and pull myself to the mast. I reach for a cutting tool but those are already on their way down the ocean. It’s impossible to tie the ropes, I have to cut them. Blood flows into my eyes I can’t see, then flows onto my jacket and everywhere. I finally find the scissors in the bottom of the bucket, for the umpteenth time I manage to cut the rope but I have no more energy to pull it down. I shout to C "let me down" but he can’t understand me and I fly two more times before I start to descend. I lose my grip one more time at the second spreader but that doesn’t matter any more. I’m finally down, and by C’s horrified face I figure I can’t look too rosy. Somehow I crawl into the cockpit, where my energy leaves me. I’m sitting at the door, actually feeling good. I’ve done what needed to be done, we are safe. While I’m washing myself off the blood, C prepares the necessary first aid stuff such like a needle, thread, Betadin, etc. The upper one third of my forelock is teared to the bone, with a big lump around it. I wash it, dry it with a tissue and push the blood out of it until it stops. It looks quite good. For security, C puts three stitches into it, now it’s like if nothing had happened. It’s taped. The story is not over yet. C extended the halyard and wanted to let the sail down to repair but it wouldn’t come down. The block up there is stuck again and our mind stopped too. C goes up again in the darkening twilight to free the sail from it, so that at least we could unhoist it when we need to. I let C down, this is it for today. Tomorrow I’ll give it another chance.