Last week, I foolishly decided to take Monday off and get the sailboat on the water since we missed last year completely due to me chopping off part of my finger right before summer really started. My father was coming up for Father's Day anyway, so he brought the boat up and we got it ready to go for the morning.
The next morning things weren't looking so great weather-wise. Overcast and cold, it felt more like September than June. We kept checking the weather report, which swore that it was going to get sunnier and warmer. It had been a while since we had everything set up, so we went through a dry run. Mast up, standing rigging set, sails up; everything went flawlessly -- in the driveway, on the trailer, with no wind. So we were set, obviously.
When we got to the lake I noticed two things almost simultaneously -- there were no sailboats on the lake and the flag at the marina was blowing in one direction and the trees were blowing in another. I'm not sure how that was happening, but it was probably a sign of some sort. One we chose to ignore. There were no whitecaps, so we figured "how bad could it be?" and got everything ready to go.
This marina really needs to redo their docks. Unfortunately, they aren't floating docks, and the water level was so low that the dock is about three feet above your boat. It doesn't make things easy since you have to practically jump down into it, which is not easy for anyone, especially my 73-year-old dad. He managed though. We eased the boat out onto the lake using the trolling motor.
When we figured we were out far enough, I climbed up on the foredeck to raise the sails. It was pretty windy, so I knew as soon as I raised the jib we were going to start moving, and we did. I raised the mainsail and then raised the gaff, and that's the exact moment when a gust hit the boat and tipped us sideways. Looking back on it now, I don't think we were in any danger of capsizing, but when I turned around and saw the mainsheet wrapped around one of the damned cleats, I rushed to get back to the cockpit because things were going sideways.
Unfortunately, another gust hit us and I went one way and the boat went the other, and I came down hard on the corner of the hatchway door with the inside of my ass. That wasn't enough for me, however, and I continued on my journey of self-discovery and slid along the sharp edge of the casing and slammed my tailbone on the front lip of the seat. In retrospect, I would have rather fallen overboard, because the pain was blinding. Remember that feeling when you were a kid and pedaling your bike as fast as you could, and your foot slipped off the pedal and you came down hard on the bar? It was like that, only about ten times worse. Right now all the guys reading this are crossing their legs and holding their asses, and all the girls reading this are thinking 'you should have worn more sensible shoes.'
I immediately grabbed my ass and started rolling around, and I think I came pretty close to blacking out for a second. I also treated dear old dad to a very emphatic F-bomb. To be honest, it was more of an F-clusterbomb, in that it started with a really big one and then a series of smaller follow-up bombs. Then I realized who I was with, and also realized that I needed to either finish putting the sails up or take them down. They were creeping back down the mast since I never tied them off. So I crawled back to the front of the boat and finished what I had started. Once we got everything set up, we went where the wind took us, mostly, but also managed to sail to a few spots we were actually trying to sail to.
The wind stayed gusty all day but even so, we had some good runs. We made a few mistakes -- Some we knew were mistakes and some we just sat there scratching our heads and thinking, "Why'd that happen?" We really need to get some lessons and make some improvements to the boat. We are planning to redo some of the rigging so nothing gets caught where it shouldn't when we tack, and we're going to move some of the cleats. And maybe figure out how to raise and lower the sails from the cockpit of the boat. I like that particular idea.
All in all we had a fun day, even though I still can't sit. Well, that's not entirely true. I can sit, but getting back up still hurts like hell. But it seems to be getting a little better every day, so I've opted out of seeing a doctor.
Let me tell you something. I never even considered the possibility that you could bruise your actual asshole, but you can.
Also, doing this is a lot harder than you'd think.