26 June 2013

Plain Jane, the non-cruiser

Dear Ean,

For the past couple of days it's been SUPER here in La Playita.  Get it, SUPER?  As in, the SUPERmoon?  Here for your enjoyment are pictures of the dinghy dock ramp at a supermoon high and a supermoon low.  You have to guess which is which.  S/v Pi just dinghied past, saying they were going to do their final pre-canal-crossing provision.  I wonder if they remembered, about the supermoon low.

Ever since we decided to quit cruising, I find myself, in various moments, imagining: what would a “normal” (land-lubber, first-world, not-too-terribly-adventurous) person think of this particular aspect of the cruising life?  Would a "normal" person be paying attention to super highs and super lows?

I was messing around with the dinghy this morning – climbing up on the arch, pulling one drain plug and unscrewing the other, replacing both plugs, jumping into the engine compartment to flip the breaker to the dinghy lift motor, lowering the dinghy and unclipping the lift cable, securing the lift cable to one of our stanchions so it wouldn’t rock ‘n roll ‘n bang in the constant swell.  Later, when I sat down with a bowl of cereal, I realized that I had a little blood dribbling down my arm.

You’re not here, and I can only spend so many hours on facebook, so I have to talk to myself.  In an effort to make talking to myself more entertaining, I carry on imaginary conversations between Sailor Jane and a hypothetical “normal” Jane – let’s call her “Plain Jane.”

Here’s how the conversation went, this morning.
Plain Jane:  Aaarggh!  I’m bleeding!!!

Sailor Jane:  Pffft.  Barely.

PJ: When did this happen?  Was it the edge of the engine compartment?  That sharp hinge? Or the corner of the solar panel?  A stray strand from the lift cable?  What happened?  Why did this happen?  Who let this happen?

SJ:  It’s a boat, wussy.  A bit a blood.  Bound to happen.

PJ: What should I do?  I’ve got to clean the wound, so I can see how bad it is.  All this blood, I can’t even see the actual wound.  Is it a puncture?  A scratch?  A cut?  I think there’s too much blood for it to be just a scratch.  I think it’s deep.  Am I up to date on my tetanus shot?  It’s my LEFT arm, OMG, I’m left-handed, what if it gets infected.  I COULD LOSE MY ARM!

SJ: Yer cereal is gonna get all soggy if you start some big “wound-cleaning” program.

PJ:  Well… that’s true… I hate soggy cereal.


PJ: I’m going to get out the first aid kit now.   I’ll wash all the blood off, check it out.  Didn’t we buy some sort of antibacterial wound cleaner stuff?  And then a bit of antibiotic ointment.   I could use that gauze stuff and the sticky tape, but how am I going to wrap that around my arm without help?  Maybe I should go over and get Paul from s/v Pi.  What was his wife’s name again?  Maybe she has some medical experience; she’s very friendly, anyway.  She would probably take good care of me.

SJ: Huh.  [eye rolling]

PJ: Well, maybe it’s not that bad.  At least it’s not bleeding anymore.   I won’t use the gauze roll, I’ll just use a couple of regular Band-aids… I'm sure it will clean up nicely - I'll probably find that the cut itself isn't that big.

SJ: That blood has already congealed – if you wash it off, you’ll start bleeding again.

PJ: OMG I don’t want to lose any more blood... I think I’m getting faint…..

Honey, don’t worry.  I am, after all, up-to-date on my tetanus shot.  And I cleaned the blood off the settee.  It’s all good.  I AM a cruiser, after all.  Tough as barnacles.


P.S.  Here's a good link: What is a supermoon?


  1. Well clearly, I can't leave you alone for one week without you severing an artery. Okay, let's just make sure you're OK. Just a few simple questions, ready? Where are you? What's the date? Who is the president (of the United States)? No, wait, that's for a concussion. Did you apply a tourniquet? Do you need a transfusion? I think I might be O neg. according to my friend who read a book about it. I'm happy to donate some blood if you can wait another two weeks. If you really think you're going to pass out you might want to put down some extra food and water for the cats and turn on the anchor light.

  2. As a cruising blog efficiando' I've enjoyed your REAL blog. It wasn't all sunshine and roses, it was REAL. Also you're not babbling knowitall must tell everybody about it types either. You tried. It wasn't you. You're moving along.
    Just a slight marketing tip, distance the boat from your blogs about it breaking all the time. No one wants to buy a "lemon". Even if it is the norm.

    Good luck with your future endeavors.

    1. Thanks! You're right that nobody wants to buy a lemon... maybe we need a write a special blog post, to say JUST KIDDING, this boat DOESN'T break all the time. It could be a blog post to talk about all the pieces of JOY that HAVEN'T broken - that's actually a good idea.

  3. it is amazing how my perception of getting cut has changed once I started working on this stupid boat. Before a paper cut would be cause for concern, now I spend the end of my days counting how many new cuts and scrapes I have. If there are not at least 5 new ones that day has been a failure.

    1. so true... and I think it's weird that most of the time, I can't even figure out how I got hurt. A four-inch diameter bruise on my thigh and I have no idea what happened? That's just weird.

  4. I'm not sure you can go back to being "plain Jane" ago!!! Sorry to hear that you are selling the boat. Good luck to you in your next adventure. Rene'

    1. JOY has done right by us - now we need to find someone else to love her, so we can get ON to that next adventure.... And how are YOUR new adventures? House remodeling... been there done that, don't think we'll be heading in THAT direction!!