Back brought me down

This sucks, back stuff is the worst. I feel so stupid, old & weak 🙁 I’ve been feeling really good after my last episode 6 mos ago when I sprinted to catch up with my son and his dog only to feel immediate pain and flag down someone to call my husband. This one was worse, I was solo sailing on a PERFECT day! That’s been so rare up here, it’s been either super hot, windy or smokey. I single handed it a few weeks ago without the sails, just motored over to San Francisco. It was pulling in the sails that nailed me.

Before that I was doing really well considering we have to treat everyone like we’re all in the ICU. This weekend would have been Fleet week, usually I take some friends out as payback for all the favors they do for me. Of course it’s been cancelled. The swimming, I thought, was strengthening my back as well as long walks.

Grabbed a sandwich and a few drinks and headed out. My boat is pretty easy, I just put it in auto pilot while I get the sails out. The only problem was I put a kayak on the side that was tangled in the jib sheet, so I had to yank extra hard to get it free and was never able to shape it right for the light winds. When I hit a lull, the boat headed downwind with no rudder and I cranked up the engine to get the jib furled and take it out of play. There wasn’t enough wind for just the main, so I motor sailed for a bit while I ate my lunch, totally relaxed.

The sail plan was to go to the Golden Gate, it looked like there was a regatta out there to dodge. Instead, I got to Alcatraz then headed back downwind envisioning sailing all over the place solo during COVID. Sailing is something I did as a kid, but I didn’t take it up again until my kids were grown so they aren’t sailors. I’m not sure my H had ever been on a sailboat before I took it up again? Just to say that my brother & I are the sailors, no one else particularly likes it. With COVID I can’t invite friends.

On the downwind I almost ran into a boat before I changed my course. I had right of way, he was overtaking me in a million dollar boat with carbon fiber sails – and obviously didn’t know ROW rules. What you do is hold your course until it gets to the Heller ROW rules, “No one wants to get in an accident.” It was clear he wasn’t budging, I didn’t want to gybe so I headed upwind and yanked the main in so I wouldn’t lose rudder. Back no-no #2. He smiled and waved, what a dick.

Still good and thinking I had time for a nap before I hosed down the boat from the ashes, I was still downwind and cranked the motor up again to furl the main…BAM! Screwed. It didn’t take me to the ground, just that looking at the lifeline & fenders to pull up seemed Herculean.

I sat down behind the helm, stood back up and it was hard to do. I stayed standing then called the marina (on a Sunday) to get a voicemail. Txt’d my husband, who’s in New Mexico, to ask him to call the marina security number but there wasn’t a phone number. He called my other son. Luckily it was a busy day in the marina and 2 boats ahead of me were on my dock. I yelled out for help (calmly). I had the lines set up on the dock to self dock, all they needed to do was put them on. I was going to have to dock without fenders, which ended up being fine because I brought the boat straight in and the guy grabbed the fenders as I came in.

There’s a couple of traits I have that are good for this, I stay calm and I know how to dock. Besides a fishing boat passing me coming in, leaving me a wake to deal with while standing in pain, it went well. I couldn’t hose the boat or put covers on, I could barely put the cockpit door back on to lock it up and so much for a nap. It took me awhile to get the lifelines off then get off the boat. The guys had left and the boat was tied up a little farther from the steps than normal. I just had to hope I could jump a little to that step without falling in. Painful, but I got it. Shuffle walked to the car and was able to get home. By the time I got my son’s message I was already heading home.

So blows my dreams of solo sailing 🙁 IDK, maybe I should just give it up all together? My family doesn’t like to sail and COVID means we can’t have friends. After last weekend, I miss my brother who’s a sailor. It’s clear I can’t go out solo again, my back prevents me from a whole lot and if took me to the ground I really would have been screwed.

I may post this and then stick a little animation on it tomorrow. Been laying around all day playing with Photoshop. That’s what I do when I can’t move, Photoshop tutorials.

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