Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Existential angst

We thought we should make the most of the extra time with a car to go out and about a bit. So on Friday, all three of us went to visit Le Croisic, which Sam & I visited and very much liked last year. Ben had already persuaded Sam to walk up the companionway steps without the harness, which was a major achievement given his leg problems over the past couple of weeks, and he did it again on Friday morning. Unfortunately on the top step his weak right leg gave way a bit and he cracked his shin on the step, in a place where he already had a graze from a previous effort. We didn't think much of this at the time but it caused us problems later, as you will see.

The pier in Le Croisic
Le Croisic was lovely, with blue skies and fluffy white clouds meaning it was not too hot to wander about. We found a nice spot for lunch overlooking one of the harbours, chosen mainly because there was a table to which we could easily get the wheelchair. I had my assiette de fruits de mer, which I need a few times a season if possible, Sam had moules frites and Ben had a salad which turned out to be mainly lardons and melted cheese. Then we wandered on down to the fishing pier (part of which is now blocked off – it looks as though a mooring pontoon which was there last year has been swept away) and admired the tide coming in at 3 knots or so. There is no marina at Le Croisic and you can only use the harbours if your boat can dry out, but having seen the tide, which fills and empties vast acres of salt flats where sel de Guérande is made, I'm quite glad we gave it a miss.

Unfortunately I'm starting to think that I should only have fruits de mer when I can lie down for a few hours immediately afterwards, as my stomach clearly needs time and energy to digest all that raw protein. Sam was also rather tired and bad-tempered and when we got back to the boat we got him from the wheelchair to the side deck using the spinnaker halyard, which we haven't done for a long time, and then from the side deck straight down below using the main halyard. All of this is much easier using the new full-body harness but I really think I might struggle to do it on my own.

View of the Vilaine from the Sentier Botanique
Saturday was a relatively quiet day catching up with stuff around the boat; I took the chance to go for  walk around the nature reserve on the Arzal side which I discovered last year. On Sunday I took Ben to Nantes airport to catch his flight home. I think he was a bit shocked to have spent only a week on the boat. Over the years he has spent longer on Kalessin than anyone except Sam and me and we miss him terribly when he goes.

When I got back to the boat, I was keen to get Sam to do more walking and exercise as clearly part of his problem is jelly legs from not walking anywhere. He had also spent two days just sitting below, which is a bit of a waste as the boat might just as well be in Suffolk Yacht Harbour if you can't see out. However, he seemed quite incapable of stepping up even the smallest step and refused even to try. This caused me considerable angst. I feared that keeping him on the boat was permanently impairing his walking and also his enthusiasm for doing, well, anything. I hope that not everyone in Camoël could hear us shouting at each other, but it was not a happy time. In the meantime I started work on the July issue of the CA newsletter, which is supposed to take me a day and always takes at least two.

On Monday I changed the dressing over the graze on Sam's right leg. It's a big hydrocolloidal dressing and there had been some seeping of gloop from underneath it. Behold, when I removed it, there was a huge bruise which had been invisible before, extremely tender to the touch and generally a bad thing. This had been the cause of his bad temper and inability to do anything. Ho hum. I used the harness to get him to the cockpit for a while and repeated the process on Tuesday, so at least he could look around a bit while I worked on the newsletter and sorted out stuff.

The newsletter is now almost done, this blog is updated, and I need to start tidying and cleaning so that when Steve arrives on Friday evening he doesn't think we live in a slum. The forecast for the next few days includes winds of F6 but it all seems very uncertain. Our contract runs until July 1 but we probably need to get going fairly soon after Steve's arrival if we can.

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