These days it looks a huge spider that has found its way into the Fram museum. Way up towards the ceiling a woman is spinning a web of ropes attached to shrouds and masts. She is not trying to catch flying objects like flies or the albatross that soars between the masts below her. Sarah is part of the rigging team from Hardanger Fartøyvernsenter that are on board Fram to change old ropes with new, put up some more blocks and to bend on the sails. As there is no easy way up to the top of the masts to change position of a few blocks Sarah is tying ropes back and forth from the mast to the shrouds to make herself a ladder to climb. Myself I can only stand on deck and watch what is going on like a spectator.
Way up in he mizzen mast Sarah is finding her way up on the web she spun.
Frams rig was made in 1929 – 30 and since Fram has been in shelter since 1936 nothing has been changed since then. Ironwork, rigging details and so on has been untouched for the last 80 years and is therefore a good documentation of how things were done in those days. As many of you might know Fram is approximately 40 years older still, but Roald Amundsen was given Frams old rig and placed it on his new ship Maud. And the wreck of Mauds hull is now on the way back to Norway again, 100 years after she left Norway.
As a spectator it is fascinating to see what goes on aloft. Too bad someone did not put on some music, because it looks like something for the ballet dancers.
While Spiderwoman is in Frams rig, Ironman is hammering and shaping glowing hot iron into ironwork for Fram. Yesterday I mounted some of the hanks to attach the foresail to the stay. And here are some pictures that show most of the prosess.
The hanks are made out of square iron that Seppe hammers more or less oval by hammering on two of the sharp edges. Thereafter he cuts the iron bars into the correct lengths needed to make the hanks. Both ends are shaped into cones where the end is only 5 mm in diameter or so, and totally round.
Just by the feel of it Seppe curls the ends and makes a nice circle that is open enough so that we later can sew the sail to the hank. As these hanks are big the loops are made to have an open diameter of 25 mm (1 inch).
Now it is time to bend the hank. One half at a time. As the iron is hot it does not take much effort.
As you see the opening between the eyes are quite big, and that is because the stay of Fram is this big. We have to be able to get it to enter the stay.
There are two different sizes hanks on board. The big one is for the staysail and the innerjib. The small one for the outer jib and a copy of a normal hank from the 79 foot long jakt (sloop) Embla. That might tell you something about the size of this top hank.
The staysail is seized to the hanks. The fore end of the sail can now slide up and down the stay when we want to hoist or lower it.