Some of you know that I got interested in arborist's work as an outgrowth of my work in ship rigging. I'm a volunteer rigger on USS CONSTELLATION, the US Navy's last all-sail warship. We're currently replacing the ratlines, the horizontal, ladder-rung-like ropes going up the shrouds. You can read a little about our work http://users.erols.com/ecmii001/IGKT...sWorkshop]here.
I asked the restoration manager if he would allow arborists to climb the rigging during the TCI Expo, coming up here in Baltimore in November. He thought it was a great idea, and didn't have any problems with it at all. He's willing to give anyone at TCI the group admission rate, $5.50 (I think). If you sign the regular volunteer worker release, you can climb any aspect of the rigging you want. You'll have to provide your own safety gear -- saddle and lanyards, I think, would be all that's required. The ship also has a couple of basic rock climbing harnesses, a bunch of fall arrest harnesses (over the shoulder straps with single dorsal ring), and one or two Klein buttstrap belts. In addition to climbing, you can also take the audio-guided tour and watch the live demonstrations, like the cannon firing at noon.
I don't know whether this opportunity would appeal to arborists or not. The climbing might be tame compared to trees. Access is mainly via ratlines, which are kind of like climbing a ladder. On the other hand, there's no overhead TIP.
One thing it might give climbers would be a sense of what it would be like to be a sailor in the age of sail. CONSTELLATION is a sloop-of-war, about 180 feet on deck, and is considered a smaller warship. As you climb up higher, an interesting fact to keep in mind is that the boys on the ship (as young as 12) were assigned the highest yards and sails, as they were smaller and lighter.
The ship is open everyday from 10 to about 5. If we could find a time when nothing much is happening at the Expo, we could do this in a group. Otherwise, just write to me through AS or directly at email@example.com, and I'll make sure I'm available to get you started.
This is NOT the rec climb I promised to work on long ago. Now that some of my other obligations are completed, I'll work more intensively on those arrangements.
Let me know what you think, and if anyone's interested.