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Old 20-08-2009, 05:46   #1
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A Momentary Lapse of Reason

I have a confession to make. Two weeks ago I did something on my boat that resulted in a broken rib and I have only myself to blame.

I took out 20 litres of fresh water to top up the water tank. Lifted the floor hatch and undid the tank cover and let the water drain from the container into the tank. The hatch it right at the bottom of the stairs into the saloon. When the container of water emptied I took it topside and then placed it in the dinghy. Raised the main and mizzen sails and threw the boom covers into the cockpit, started the engine and left the mooring and motored slowly into the channel of the bay and out into the main channel towards the Gladesville Bridge in Sydney Harbour.

The boom covers needed to be put down below so I grabbed them in my arms and when I was well clear of things I backed down the stairs, stepping off the second from the bottom step straight through the hatch and straight through the open tank cover. My leg descended into the water tank to my knee and I fell onto the sharp edge of one of the seats breaking a rib (though I didn't know this till later).
So... there I was... the boat was motoring in the channel. I was stuck with my leg in the water tank. For a few moments I had no idea what had happened and then realised the gravity of the situation. I pulled myself up and tried to extricate my foot from the water tank to find that it was stuck because the shoe that went in so easily would not come out. I knew that I had hurt my back but I had to get back topside so I just bent my ankle and ripped my foot out... The shoe came off and I was free. I rushed back topside in a panic to see what expensive fibreglass I was about to collide with. What seemed to take an eternity below must have been only 20-30 seconds. I put the boat back on course, put the autopilot on and went below to cover my stupidity and retrieve my shoe which was actually floating in the tank.

Having regained control and composure I then felt a little pain and decided that a glass of comforting and numbing spirits would be in order... for medicinal purposes. There was little wind so I motor sailed for a while. One glass of spirits worked well and three worked even better.

It wasn't till I had to row back to the beach and lift the dinghy onto its rack that I really felt the pain. A visit to the doctor and an xray revealed a broken rib in my back.

So... you can imagine how dumb I felt and the painful rib has reminded me of my momentary lapse of reason for the past fortnight.
Colin
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Old 20-08-2009, 06:19   #2
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"So... you can imagine how dumb I felt and the painful rib has reminded me of my momentary lapse of reason for the past fortnight."

You probably did not feel as dumb as the broker who was showing my wife and I a trawler. He opened the cabin door and stepped right into the engine compartment, someone had left the hatch open
This after he had warned us several time to be very careful as the boat was on the hard and the boatyard normally did not allow visitors due to liability issues. He wasn't badly injured but did take a hard hit to the ribs, elbow, and ego.
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P.S. we did not buy the boat
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Old 23-08-2009, 06:00   #3
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We all have probably something close. I've taken the stairs part of the engine cover off before and then for some reason climbed back up to the cockpit. Which means I "missed" a step on the backing back down in. So far I've been lucky and still had a hold of the hand rails good so didn't go flying
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Old 23-08-2009, 06:12   #4
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I felt your pain before i even read the nasty bit, and I knew it was going to hurt. Poor you. Far be it from me to criticise or judge cos im not, but you know the mistakes you made. One job at a time and be methodical. Hope your recovering ok.
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Old 23-08-2009, 06:29   #5
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I fell onto the sharp edge of one of the seats breaking a rib .
Colin
Hi Colin

We all do stupid things, and I more than most. Bloody Nicolle always walks up and down the companionway at sea without holding on... Often with tea in one hand and chocolate in the other hand. When I crack the shi%&s she gets pissed off.

Its like kicking a cleat with bare feet. Feet learn after a while LOLOLOL

Hope your ribs feel better soon. Someone once told me they can be quite painful. Drink some beer!



Mark
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Old 23-08-2009, 06:55   #6
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Sorry to hear about your ribs. I know from personal experience that broken ribs can be quite bothersome. Once, as a teen, I was walking through the woods and stepped into an open manhole, one leg in the hole, the other up around my head and elbows keeping me from falling all the way in. I felt pretty stupid. But I had been drinking and smoking pot (it was 1975) so I guess I got what was coming.
I'm a little curious as to the laws regarding drinking and boating in Australia. What a rotten day it would have been if your problems had been compounded by being arrested or worse.
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Old 23-08-2009, 09:01   #7
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Similar things happen to land lubbers. I know a guy who put his foot through the sheetrock ceiling three times in one house. One time I was ... I mean he was ... carrying a roll of fiberglass insulation, stepping carefiully on the ceiling joists, and missed a step. His leg went through the ceiling below up to the knee. Fortunatley the roll of insulation absorbed the impact and kept him from going further.
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Old 23-08-2009, 11:24   #8
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Jeezus Aitch Kee-rist it hurt as soon as I started reading.

I had a dumb-ass captain one time who lifted up an acces plate on the deck of the engine room on a Tug.....didn't tell any body.....I came around the Front of that EMD and.......well all I can say is I had an abrasion from above my steel toed boots to my knee.......and a few...well thought out pieces of "advice" for the Captain......

He violated Rule # 3...Never ever let the Captain touch ANYTHING in YOUR ENGINE ROOM!!!!!
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Old 25-08-2009, 19:25   #9
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Owwww. I'll bet that hurt.

The first winter I owned Espie, I put a brand new tarp over her, cost me $385. I came down ever couple of days to check her and sometime between Xmas day and New Years some SOB decided to slash my tarp so he could climb on board n rifle the contents. (Sucker, nothing left on board but my Flare pistol which he took)

Anyway after speaking to the police and them doing nothing, I went aboard n removed the floor plate at the bottom of the companion way. I started to assemble a new battery rack and left the rack sitting on the deck and some tools laying about as if I had left the job half done. I then stitched up the tarp which was black and secured all the ropes.

About a month later, early February I found the tarp slashed again. This time when I climbed in I found a fair bit of blood n skin on the edge of the deep well. I was sorta hoping the SOB would still be there, somewhat blue n stiff but no such luck.

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Old 25-08-2009, 19:45   #10
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A favourite saying: Could have been worse, could have been ME.

Trouble is, it was....

I had the boat all masked up for painting, none of the hatch covers was fitted, and the openings all had newspapers taped over them, by now painted the same colour as the boat, when cat 5 TC Hamish decided to head our way.

While I was running around on deck boarding up the window openings in case I had to take down the shed, I missed seeing one of the nicely camoflaged hatch-holes....

A bone deep gash just under the knee, and plenty of blood to clean up, and I was off to get a half dozen staples put in.

That hurt a bit, but there was more to come.... after Hamish had buggered off, and I was back to spraying again, I managed to whack the staples in my shin with the rim of the 10 litre pressure pot - now that REALLY hurt, almost as much as pulling the staples back out of my shin bone with pliers....

But really, all that was minor compared to the most painful thing I have ever experienced:

I tried to watch the movie "Australia".

IMO I'm pretty tough - I stood it for 20 minutes....
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Old 25-08-2009, 19:45   #11
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ooooo...ouch! I can totally relate however. Just about 4 days ago I fell down the companionway stairs. I would like to have an excuse like I left something open or something, but no such luck. Mark J, tell Nicolle that coming down the compainionway with both hands occupied, in the dark was my demise. 2 steps down the companioway and I didn't touch a single one. Badly bruised and nursing my battered shoulder, hoping I didn't tear anything. Remember....one hand for me, one hand for the boat.
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Old 29-08-2009, 07:04   #12
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But really, all that was minor compared to the most painful thing I have ever experienced:

I tried to watch the movie "Australia".

IMO I'm pretty tough - I stood it for 20 minutes....
Hey now, be nice. My wife loves that movie! 'Course, she's never been to Australia. But then, I have and I rather enjoyed the flick too.



Guess we're both Philistines......



Cheers,
Alexei
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Old 29-08-2009, 10:14   #13
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I don't feel so bad now. I'm apparently not the only one to remove a bilge cover go back to the cockpit, turn around and then step straight down into the open bilge. I scraped all the skin on my shin but I still think my it was my self esteem that got bent worst...............m
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Old 29-08-2009, 10:33   #14
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Oh if we were to make a list of all the stupid things that we (I) have done we could use it as a line to circumnavigate. No one is immune. That's the beauty of being human, we learn from it. And judging by the scars on my shins and elsewhere I should be one smart MF!

Here's one, teaching the dog how/where to board the boat without slipping...instead slipping and banging your head on the transom steps whilst the dog watches on knowing that if he could he would be laying on the dock laughing his furry arse off.

All in all Colin, you're in good company and 90% of us can relate. The other 10% are still in denial.
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Old 01-12-2009, 15:35   #15
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The laws regarding drinking while boating are the same as drinking and driving here in NSW. I did not drink all three instantly but over a period of about 5 hours so would have remained under the limit... but I made up for it when I got home.
Colin
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