I was going through some old articles last night and I found one for Leatherman that I could not resist re-publishing:
WHEN THINGS DONT GO TO PLAN!
“We were sailing downwind with the spinnaker up in the southern ocean at 52 degrees south latitude. It was cold and wet but we were going like a freight train and loving it. A change was coming and we decided to drop the spinnaker, but just as we prepared for the drop, the boat was hit by a wave and rounded up, wrapping the spinnaker. We tried to unwrap it from the deck, but it was no use, somebody had to go up there and unwrap it from the top. Given the urgency of the job and the degree of danger I decided to go up. While I was up there the boat gybed again and the spinnaker wrapped again.. this time with me inside it. Silence, the roar of the ocean and howl of the wind had vanished, even the shaking of the rig from the 58kt gusts seemed to disappear. I was wrapped inside a massive spinnaker half way up the forestay and there was only one way out. I grabbed my Leatherman Wave, and began to saw. I soon found the hook knife feature on the new model was excellent and a safe way to cut the spinnaker without injuring myself. It took me a while but I cut myself free.
Meanwhile my halyards holding me up the mast were now wrapped in the spinnaker, so I instructed my crew to winch me down. I got about 3m from the deck and the halyards jammed; there was no choice but to cut myself down. Out came the leatherman wave, and I cut away my halyards. As I cut away the last strand and fell the remaining 3m towards my crew and the deck my leatherman slipped out of my hand and was caught by a flying bit of sail cloth and disappeared over the side.
By the time I reached the deck I had been up the mast for 8 hours. The knife that had just saved my life at least twice during that period, and countless times over the previous months was now falling 4000m towards the sea floor never to be seen again. I was alive!
NOTE TO PEOPLE HEADING TO THE SOUTHERN OCEAN – DONT FLY YOUR KITE IN OVER 40kts OF WIND!
Hello Richard, Just a note to say thank you for this repost, I remember reading this blog at the time, Yes I have my Leatherman, and I will remember not to fly my kite in over 40 Kts, the next time I’m in the Southern Ocean Look forward to follow you through the Transat Ancient Mariner Fred