So, I have been a little quiet recently, because it has been a little bit of a series of unfortunate events, and being that you see misery all the time on Eastenders and so on, and I can make a cup of tea without shouting at someone before the kettle’s boiled, I haven’t thought it productive to whine on the interweb. However, for information sake, this has happened:
1. I fractured a vertebra in my back on AOSB main board. This was not recorded on the course report and I finished the board with no pain relief, including individual assault courses. I was failed. Too withdrawn.
2. To deal with this, I was on very interesting opiate painkillers, the first batch of which happened to make me depressed while I was taking them. And no-one needed to hear that!
3. Because I couldn’t sit in lectures, I had to take a leave of absence for a year. Which let me look at where I’d ended up and realise I couldn’t afford a post-graduate medical degree for various reasons.
4. So back to school I went. A in Chemisty gained, thank you AwesomeSchool. AwesomeSchool have also supported me in putting in an undergraduate application to the three medical schools that have allowed me to put in an application.
5. But, to put that application I had to withdraw. So, now I have no course. I have no job (not for lack of trying, but that’s another complaint!). I am not allowed to sail with my university club any more because I’m not insured. I have to change my Reserve unit because I’m not a student any more. So I’m a bit grumbly at the moment.
However, I can still sail on big boats. I started sailing yachts last year, and I have learned so much. It has become something I cling to, like the harnesses in rough weather! I love the sea and sailing, and it’s the one place that I feel part of the team, included as well as being functionally part of the team. I’m the bowman. And it’s fantastic! It’s wet, it’s windy, it’s exciting and it bruises you. It can be boring when there’s no wind, and funny, especially with a crew who know each other. It can be scary, because when things go wrong on a big boat, it’s all, well…bigger. And the forces involved are bigger. In the last few months, I have got most of the way to St Malo, snapped the bowsprit and come back, done Cowes week, learned masses about the sea and sailing, spent far FAR too much on kit (shiny kit syndrome – needs treatment), done the nationals with the crew (leading to comments such as “Wind. LOL”, and “we were over taken by the startline!”. We were! We were going backwards). And done several of the Hamble Winter Series. Including last Sunday, which was blowing 23 knots and I saw 27 knots on the instruments at one point. And this top end force 6 made it quite exciting! I’m bow, so this was my view for most of the race. Angle correct!
So doing work on the foredeck was an exercise in controlled falling and hanging on very tight! It was wet and I am very, very bruised. And having had some incidents that could have very easily got someone hurt, I wanted to go again. Unfortunately there was only one race. It’s much more fun when there’s some wind! Even when we nearly ran over the kite and dragged it behind us like a sea brake and bent the stanchion in the process, we all worked together. We talked it through and worked out what happened and how to make sure it didn’t happen again. And it was great. We all came in smiling. Or laughing, when Piccie’s lifejacket inflated spontaneously while she was winding the jib in on a winch!