Thursday, 27 December 2012

Sailing Day

Oh the weather outside is frightful but the fire is so delightful. There's no snow, it's cold and cloudy with a light rain... the perfect weather for a day on board and out of doors.

Spending time on the boat at this time if year is not for the faint of heart. The winds are stronger than in the summer. The rain and cold cuts through every layer of clothing you can wear. The chill stiffens your bones and makes your muscles ache.

It's wonderful.

This will be my first time on board since my solo trip last summer. Back then I could still walk, albiet with a cane. I can still walk now but not for any great distance. Fortunately the boat is only 27 foot long; I can walk the full length. I still have a lot of upper body strength so I can still handle the lines and lift the engine. I can furl and unfurl the foresail and tend the sheets.

The only real challenge is fore deck work. That was my challenge last summer too. The way I do it is sit on my ass and slide forward, hauling myself up on the shrouds and stays for any mast work. I can haul the anchor, raise the dinghy or secure the shore power if necessary.

It's freedom on board. There is no ALS on board. There is no limitation on board. There is only the wind and the sea, and those who are with me on board. I can head up into the calm, run across the breeze or fly downwind on a genoa. I can motor for hours or simply run across the harbour to the pub. We might go to Bowen Island. We might go to Granville Island. We might go to Squamish. We might go to Gibsons.

In fact the toughest part of my day today will likely be choosing where to go, closely followed by getting from the truck to the boat. Fortunately Mike and Brian are here to help with that part. The second toughest part will be getting up from my chair here in this warm living room and heading out doors.

Oh baby, it's cold outside.

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