Circe - Welcome Back, Cotter
Nothing strikes fear - okay, maybe just extreme concern - into the heart of a sailor more than the discovery of a lone pin from an unknown shackle on the deck during a walkabout inspection of your boat. Yesterday morning we had such an event. Steve was doing the morning walkabout after a rather rough and rolling night when he found a clevis pin lying on the foredeck with no companion cotter pin in sight. Because cotter pins secure clevis pins and can be jostled out of any number of places, high and low - lifelines, stays, block and tackle, anywhere you have a shackle - it was an imperative to find where this little fellow had won its liberation from and get it back in place with a replacement cotter pin.
Luckily, Captain Bernie was able to locate where the shackle missing the pins was located - on the staysail running backstay. As we weren’t using the staysail - we’ve been wing-on-wing since turning westward - the situation was less critical than it could have been. And as any sailor worth his/her salt knows, cotter pins should be one of those items at the top of your spares and repairs list. So within the half hour of discovering the pin, the shackle was reassembled with a new cotter pin.
But it’s certainly a good reminder of how important those morning inspection walkabouts are. You will eventually find more than flying fish on your deck.