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I think I have to stop acting so crazy... Maybe someday I'll learn my lesson. Next time
I think I'm overdoing the sailing thing, this weekend it was stormy and wet for most of the weekend. So I somehow figure that I'm going to go out and try and sail in the little basin. It's supposted to be dreary and rainy all weekend long. Maybe I was in some sort of strange self destructive mood all weekend.
Not feeling too motivated at work, I head home about early on Friday afternoon. Getting home it's somewhat sunny, but I'm not too motivated. I put back together the rickety old mountain bike, and head to the dock house. It's not too windy, and I'm just scanning the water for any signs of life. Do I want to act social, and hang out with people, or just mull around in my own misery. There one of the old salts, taking a big 23' sonar out. She's sailing with one of her friends. I get the distinct impression that captain and her would like to sail alone. I decide to let them be.
I scan the dock and see what else would be low effort to take out. There's a laser someone's starting to put away. Hmm... do I really want to take out a small fast and maneuverable single person windsurfer/dinghy thing that's highly likely to tip over, and otherwise unceremoniously dump me in the river? Not really remembering, any of the possibilites and hoping that I'll enjoy myself. I commit myself to it. I'm ignoring the fact that every single time I go out in one of those, I tell myself how pointless it always seems. I didn't like to sail those things much in the first place.
Yet I take the laser out anyways. The guy who's just saved de-rigging it, thanks me, and notes that the water is still a little bit cold. I've been warned. Even getting it off the dock seems to be a struggle. I haven't even pushed off yet and the stinkin thing is already tipping. The mast gets blown down onto the dock. I push the boat back up. Sigh... While cruising by on a motorized launch, someone staff makes a wisecrack. Oh boy... it's one of the guys who knows me. Should I take this as a bad omen? I push off... I try and get out through the protected inlet. It's beginning to annoy me...
Eventually I do get out into the river but my feet get wet, the lines keep getting tangled around the stern, and I can't get any decent speed. I'm trying to sail this hunk of plastic and nylon, and making a fool of myself in front of all the tourists on the duck boats. The wind isn't being too cooperative, it's kind of frustrating. Discouraged, after about 30 minutes, I give up.
I head back to the dock. I can't really figure out the wind, and even miss the landing, ending up crawling onto the side of the dock. Well at least I'm not swimming. I struggle for 30 minutes to put the boat, the sails, the rudder, the dagger board, the boom and the mast away. I'm flustered and discouraged. Then look out, wondering if I want to go out again. I decide against it and slowly ride home. I mull for the rest of the night.
I crawl out of bed, expecting that today's going to be at least a little bit better. Alas it's now raining, and very grey out. But I'm signed up for sailing harbor skipper course, as a refresher. So I make a pot of coffee, and prepare to brave the elements. I can't find any coffee filters, I use a cheap french press, it makes horrible coffee. Maybe it's watery, maybe it's metallic I can't tell, but I put it into thermos anyhow, and head again to the boathouse. I've signed up for a harbor trip skipper-refresher class. I go out, hop on the subway, and fight the drizzle.
Upon arrival at community boating, there's one person braving the elements. There's a couple people huddled in the back of the building, and I figure they're the ones taking the course. The leader and some of the other people there are exchanging war stories, about how bad of storms out in the harbor they've been caught in, how they can't lay anchor correctly, stories of twisted rigging, how many times the coast guard has had to take sick people off their boats, and other hazards of sailing an open 19 ft boat in Boston Harbor. We struggle to do simple tasks on the boat while it's still tied to the dock. I don't know if it's because it's cold out, that it's raining, or if it's just that the general competence level of the people out, shows that this isn't the crack crew which you'd expect on a finely coordinated vessel.
Once we complete the sail rigging exercize. We go out sailing that day, the wind is blowing 30+ knots. The crew is all quite experienced, so despite the storm conditions, it's somewhat refreshing, it's a confidence builder. I even take the helm for a bit and realize I can maneuver the boat without problems. I even gybe the boat downwind in a gust. It's still wet and cold, but I'm somewhat invigorated. There was supposted to be a work party on the dock, so there's hot dogs, and burgers on the dock. They put some on the bbq, while waiting of the other guys comments that I handle the boat well. I scarf down a couple dogs, and leave satiated.
I hop on the subway and head back, somewhat exhausted, somewhat dehydrated. It's 3PM, 5 hours out there. I take a shower, take a nap, and expect to hang out with some friends for a bbq. Unfortunatley, somthing has come up, and someone is in the hospital, and the bbq is canceled. I scramble for some alternate plans. A couple of my friends come over, it's good to have friends over. However my place is in dissaray, and the meat I've improvised turns out to be mediocre. My friends are polite, and it's reassuring to have the company. Understandably, they leave early.
I get up, and struggle to church, late as always. Afterwards I go to lunch with two friends. I tell them I'm going sailing, and invite them to come. It doesn't seem to bad, but I should have taken their skill (or lack of into account) I walk over to the boathouse. It's grey out, not raining, but not sunny either. The wind looks brisk. It's okay sailing weather.
We walk across town. There's a boat coming to the mooring as I walk to the boathouse. I rush in, hoping I don't have to re-rig the boat. Alas, my crew has to go to the bathroom, I tell them to hurry, but the other boat doesn't hear me yelling, and puts everything away. We end up still having to put the sails back up.
At this point
But alas, only coming back in, I try and tack onto the mooring, and...
The boom hits me. I shrug it off and somehow manage to gradually get us onto the mooring.
My friend says "Justin, you're bleeding." I've cut my ear. I hadn't noticed that there's blood streaming down my face. The staff quickly shuttles me back to the boathouse. An EMT trained, med-student, zealously starts to bandage me. There's still blood on my face, he's found a couple of small cuts on my ear and has decided to wrapp a bandage completely around my head. I wonder if it might be all for show. I wonder if I look pretty pathetic. They call an ambulance.
The ambulance comes, I reluctantly get in, knowing that it might be minor, but I'm in for a long ordeal of dealing with the emergency room. We ride to the hospital. I wait, my friends who went sailing with me come to wait with me. I'm triaged and told to go wait outside in the waiting area, for them to get around to me.
It's a _slow_ day for the ER at MGH. It only takes four hours, I'd hate to see what happens when it's a busy night. There's a section for major traumas, a section for minor surgeries, and a section for psychiatric emergencies. I'm in the minor surgery portion. We wait... My friends have other things to do, and I think I'm annoying them a bit. It's been a couple of hours, and they have other things to do. I don't plead with them to stay, they leave.
I think I'm getting depressed. My two friends, probably a bit upset at me, have just left me. I ask for a social worker. The social worker comes down, we talk. There's not really anything for her to do for me. I ask about someone else, but it's clearly not related to anything going on with me right now. It's kind of irrelevant, and she's probably got more important things to do. She leaves.
I keep waiting, I walk around the ER, inquire with the desk staff and the EMT's who seem to be waiting for something more exciting to happen. I talk to the person behind the main desk, his job is to checking people into the waiting room after they've been triaged, and determined that they're going to get help, it's just not immediate. He tells me he's doing this as a part time job while in school. He's convinced now that he doesn't want to work in the medical field. I think I understand.
I keep waiting. I pace around the waiting room. I wonder if the bandage around my head makes the ER look more or less cheery.
After 3 hours I'm seen. The resident gets to asks how long I've been waiting. I tell him I got there in the middle of the afternoon. He's got no idea what time it is now. In the depths of the ER, it doesn't make sense keep track of time, he simply just works, biding his time till the next rotation. He's halfway through his shift, typically they're on either 12 or 24 hour shifts. This is a long shift for him. He asks if I met anyone interesting. I mention that I thought the social worker was cute. The doctor, takes off the bandages, cleans me up with a lot of q-tips, the attending suggests small stitches, and the resident gets to work on me. It's a slow process so we talk while he cleans me up.
The doctor pricks himself, with one of the suturing needles. Wow, more paperwork, he asks if I'll consent to giving blood for their testing. I agree, and after I'm all cleaned up, the nurse comes to take the blood from me. I think I lose more blood from that, than from the cut on my head. Sigh... It's not mad crazy, but definatley not exactly the most cheery place. Such is life in the medical profession.
I'm dismissed, I thank the doctor, and walk out. It's still raining as I get onto the subway.
Things could have been a lot worse. I guess I've learned somthing. I guess I could really impress the next person I take out sailing. If they let me out again.