While we were hoisting the spinnaker somewhere between Turtle Bay and Bahia Santa Maria, the shackle for the masthead halyard came open. The sail came down on Gary's head and the halyard went up—right to the top of the mast. There are three other headsail halyards, but this is the one we've been using the most. We can't use the maxi-reacher without it. Flying the spinnaker from the next-highest halyard is dodgy in these ocean swells. We've already dipped it in the water too many times; the last resulting in a big tear along the foot (thanks again Patsy for repairing that).
With over a hundred miles to go until BSM, going up the mast after it was looking like the best option. It's tricky to do underway, but the seas were small and the motion of the boat wasn't too bad. Gary, being a former fireman, made a sling out of two life jackets and strapped himself in. We raised the spinnaker from the next-highest halyard, dropped the mainsail, and Paul drove with the spinnaker alone while I winched Gary up using the main halyard.
Now we're back underway, big sails flying from the masthead.