Friday, June 09, 2017

On and off

This morning started with the news of a hung parliament. Knowing I had to get up early to take Guy to Nantes airport, I resisted checking the news during the night, but was haunted by dreams where Theresa May swept all before her with an enormous Tory majority. Also dreams where I found I was still at Arzal and the flight was due to leave any moment. Fortunately both were unfounded in reality.

Guy's flight home was due to leave at 1055, but Easyjet had warned that with recent terrorist stuff, security might take even longer than usual. We also didn't know what the rush-hour traffic might be like. So we left Camoël at 0715 and with minor delays dropped Guy off at 0825, which seemed pretty good. The return journey took about the same time. The biggest delays were on the Nantes Périphérique, especially crossing the Loire, although there were terrific views from the bridge which I couldn't look at for fear of running into the car in front of me. North of Saint-Nazaire there was much less traffic.

Tomorrow we are due to leave the boat and travel down to see Harry in Abzac (and making sure we go to the right one at 16500, not the one in the Gironde). I am distinctly nervous about getting Sam off the boat as our finger pontoon, though strong and stable :) by French standards, is only about 70cm wide and too narrow for the wheelchair, and his ankle/foot/tendon is still hurting quite a bit. Also having not walked anywhere for days both Sam's legs are like jelly. Bless him, after I bullied him this morning, he is now standing up and practising walking when he thinks I am not looking.

We have a new harness, very similar to this one:
That was exactly two years ago when Sam was lifted out of Kalessin at Tollesbury by the mast crane. A full-body harness means he is lifted upright and an extra control line can go to his chest. Also he can put on and take off the harness without even standing up properly, and there is a one-strap adjustment if we need to make it tighter. The downside for men is, apparently, the leg straps are quite tight around your sensitive parts. Anyway after considerable juggling of straps (the instructions don't actually show a person wearing the harness, which is unhelpful) I managed to use the new harness to get Sam into the cockpit yesterday with almost no help (other than advice) from Guy. With luck and practice I can do the same to get him off the boat tomorrow.

In the meantime, on Wednesday we managed a short sail up to La Roche-Bernard, when everything worked very well, and on Thursday I rigged the reefing lines, hopefully correctly. Guy was threatening to send me up the mast but by the time we'd finished various other things it was a bit windy. Yes, it's true, I have never been up Kalessin's mast & didn't especially want to, but Guy thought it would be good for me. Oh well. Next time.

After our visit to Harry we have a few more days on the boat before Ben joins us on the 17th, to go actually sailing on the sea.

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