Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Inventory of Heroics

Recovering a Wallet
Recovering a Wallet
Originally uploaded by toastfloats.
I do not plan to be a heroic cruiser. In fact, as cruisers go, I consider myself right up there with couch potatoes who have refrigerators built into the arm rests. I want to relax. I want to spend time with my children. I want my husband to spend a lot of time making me appreciate the difference between the sexes by showing off his big muscles and tremendous handyman skills.

However, we are only two weeks into the active portion of this extended cruising lifestyle, and I feel compelled to point out that I’ve been called upon to do many more physically demanding things than I had ever really intended. Moreover, I’m dreadfully certain that this is barely scratching the surface. It appears quite possible that I will be forced to lose 20 pounds, put on some muscle pretty much everywhere, and start wearing a kidney protective belt.

It started when Dr C’s back decided that the air mattress idea was not a good one. One week out of Seattle and he was moving around the boat like a 70 year old with arthritis, a bad hip, and a melded spinal cord. He was in severe, crippling pain. He was -- in other words -- a complete waste of space.

This meant that I would have to step up to the plate. Or the winch. And the mooring ball. And the dinghy davits. Just because I have spent quite a few brain cells ensuring that I can single hand this boat, doesn’t mean I ever really wanted to do so. There is something very satisfying about helming the boat until you slide the main down just before gliding into an anchorage and then letting the Man take over wrestling with all that physical stuff.

Never mind. We have now definitely proven that when required to do so, I am capable of handling it. My brief list of Toast-heroics are unfortunately the basic items of any cruiser’s daily challenges.
  1. Changed out the anchors. (Thank you, Captain! I hate the delta.) They only weigh 45 pounds, but for some reason the Bruce decided to anchor itself to the crab pot, spinnaker sail and the girls’ scooters at the bottom of the locker.
  2. Rowed, rowed and rowed some more shlepping the girls to shore and back during the time when the 70 pound Yamaha sat on the stanchion taunting us. I wasn’t about to try to get it on and off the dinghy without the pulley system we have rigged on the end of the boom.
  3. Wrestled with the bridle, mooring ball chain, safety line, a 2 knot current and the dinghy for a half hour to get untangled from the ball at Fort Flagler.
  4. Walked 8 miles (in the snow uphill both ways) to the post office.
  5. Struggled for an interminable amount of time with a broken zipper on the sail cover while perched on the bimini in 35 knot winds and 5 foot seas, and this time I swear to god it was raining. No joke. Even jacked in with lines, I was scared spitless.
Then a miracle happened. Dr C insisted we remove the air mattress deeming it a miserable failure. The skies opened up, the sun shone, his back got better, and mine is now so sore I can hardly sit here to type. I have never been so happy to come from a long line of folks with gimpy backs.
6) Gather Wood
6) Gather Wood
Originally uploaded by toastfloats.


Jody said...

We must be channeling each other, as I was on the foredeck this weekend in 25k wind wrestling a jib down, soaking wet, while the 13yo was on the halyard.....there was a mis-communication between captain and said 13yo, and the halyard was released "be free" style, while mom was on deck yelling "what the h*#@ are you doing back there?" and scrambling to keep the sail on deck.

Just another day in paradise.

Casper King said...

nice post! cute family :)

JS said...

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