With access to the mast top, I was able only then to see that a single bolt head from the running pole slide was all that the rope was truly resting on. A slip off that fingerhold and I’d have to grab something quickly as my support line was sliding down the broken stay, over the spreader, and into the ocean. I had little alternative but to stay focused and keep working while keeping constant pressure on the support line. I continued to drop all unnecessary wire stays and salvable electrical fittings from the mast to Rebecca’s waiting hands below. Spare lines from the cockpit locker were wrapped, woven, and tied around the stump top to form headstays, backstays, and shrouds. I tied loops in three separate lines lashed to the mast, attached shackles and blocks, then rove halyards through them. My work aloft, in this rocking anchorage, anyway, was complete, and I inched my way down with a headache and several red scrapes and dings.