Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Long Time Coming

This seems to happen every summer. Sometime around April I get all excited about the pending season, promise myself that I will blog religiously about every departure from the dock, document the minutiae of launch day and outfitting, and then, nothing.

OK, some years I get as far as about the 5th race of the season, but then, nothing. I leave everything for one recap post late in the season (yes, that would be this post) and swear I’ll do a better job next year.

Here is the recap of the summer of 2012, I swear I’ll do better next year.

After the boat went in the lake, we did pretty good about getting out on the water for the first couple of weeks, but we had already missed much of the spring racing season, and time was tight due to moving and dealing with issues at the new house. Besides that, I was worried about the rig after some of the studs were bent on launch day. Our race results were also poor. Really poor, this was a little demoralizing. Between May 20th and June 30th we got out on the boat 3 times.

We moved after that, and moving cost me a couple weeks of sailing. Between gardens to be fixed up and boxes to be unpacked, and the logistics of moving day itself, sailing took a back seat. Which is OK, because in the back of my mind was those bent T-bolts from raising the rig on launch day.

Since I was nervous about the rig, I ordered all new standing rigging at the end of May. New shrouds, forestay, babystays, and all new turnbuckles, t-bolts, etc. The only piece I left in place was the backstay, but I got a new backstay tensioner. The good folks at The Rigging Shoppe built the rig for me (around $700 in case you are wondering) and offered to fit it to the boat for an additional $100. I agreed and all was well.

Then life got in the way. I was out of town on the agreed-to rigging day, and had to cancel the appointment. I couldn’t be squeezed back into the already tight schedule. A week passed, or maybe two before I was able to get to Toronto to pick up the rig. Another week passed before I could get the mast up. I ticked off the missed weeks of sailing and grew frustrated.

Eventually, I got things re-rigged, and with a hand from SWMBO on the winch, and some fellow sailors on the docks, we raised the mast and Iris once again looked like a sailboat. I was a happy guy.

A week later, I took Buddy down to the boat for a fun sleepover. I thought about taking the boat out for a little cruise and anchoring out someplace, but then decided to just sleep in the slip. We had fun. The night passed without event.

I woke up in the morning with a stiff back, and blamed it on the hard mattress in the vee berth. I had to pee, so I got out of bed and went into the clubhouse. When I got back to the boat, my back felt worse. I laid down on the cool floor of the boat to get some relief. The pain grew in intensity. I knew I had to get myself and Buddy off the boat so that we would at least be on the ground and visible if things got worse.

Buddy is pretty grumpy in the mornings, and this morning was no different. With reluctance he got up, and dressed. We got ashore and closed up the boat. I moved deliberately to the car.

It was very difficult to get in the car and comfortable, but I managed. The two of us drove home. As soon as I got home I went to bed. About half an hour later I was curled up on the floor in pain, and puking. I alternated positions between laid out flat and the fetal position. I could do nothing to escape the strangest, most intense lower back pain I have ever felt.

I was having a kidney attack.

After SWMBO drove me to the hospital, and I was put on an IV drip with morphine and saline solution, I fell asleep. I would wake up hours later, but be bedridden for a full week. It would be 10 days before the stone passed. The urologist advised that other stones were forming and I should expect this as a regular event now, until whatever my system disagreed with passed. It could be years. Oh the joy.

It would be the end of August before I got out on the water again. But I resolved to make the most of the remaining season. Wednesdays and Saturdays have been sailing days.

We have raced all of the late summer series, and the frostbite series. We have raced the fall singlehanded series, and the Stonehaven Cup middle-distance race. If our results haven’t been great, they have at least been consistent. We will get some flags this season. Not a pile like up on Lake Simcoe, but at least some. And I have had good crew this year too. Despite hardly getting out, I have managed to sail with Chuck, ex-coworkers, teachers, our nanny, and a Billiards pro.

We have attended Friday night dinners at the yacht club. We have helped with launch day and harbour Days and made friends. We have drank beer, and spilled beer, and recycled beer. Despite the challenges of moving, and health, it has turned out to be a good season.

This week we will be lowering the mast for the third and final time in 2012. On Saturday Iris will be lifted from her slip onto her trailer. Maybe I'll even blog about liftout day, but don't count on it. Then I will have to tarp her for the winter, cart the batteries home for storage, and wish her a pleasant sleep until 2013.  

And in 2013, I swear I’ll do a better of updating the blog. Really, I swear.

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