Saturday, December 09, 2006

Knapp Narrows, MD

0 nm
Wind: W 10 knots

I made myself deathly ill last night. Well, that may be an exaggeration, but I did wake up at least four times to vomit all over myself and the boat. We had been told to not put anything that hadn’t been eaten into our toilets (hence the stinky grocery bag full of used toilet paper hanging off our toilet-paper holder) to keep it from clogging, and that included vomit. Although, I ask you: haven’t you, technically, already eaten what comes back up?

Something in the universe seems resolved to paint the boat with every kind of human effluvium it can come up with. So, when I woke up in the middle of the night, all ready to hurl, Karl’s first words were—not in the toilet!! Instead, I dug through the hanging locker for yet another grocery bag, which I proceeded to vomit into, and not very adeptly I might add. You try vomiting into a plastic bag in the middle of the night in the dark while barefoot while standing on 20-degree fiberglass. Just try it. I dare you.

Of course, the bag I grabbed was one of the ones with gaping holes in the bottom, so it started streaming out the bottom almost as fast as it was going in. I rapidly double-bagged, just like my mother always taught me. And this went on throughout the night. The five-gallon bucket was conveniently located out in the cockpit, separated from me by Lexan hatches and a layer of ice. Eventually, after the fourth time of leaping from my bunk and racing to the closet for plastic bags, I braved the cold. Not stopping to put on shoes. Oh no. Because that would make sense. Instead I walked barefoot on the ice, invoking comparisons to Hindi gurus, finally rescuing the bucket, at which point I failed to vomit the rest of the night. Figures.

Karl was fine, other than shooting pains in his abdomen all day today, which I had to. But no vomit for him. Lucky boy. I think that our utter sloth and slovenliness has finally caught up with us. It was probably the four-pound pork roast which we split in two and cooked last night. Although Lin Pardey says you can wipe off the yellow slime with a vinegar solution, we failed to do that. But there wasn’t any yellow slime! I swear to God!

It was probably the residual pork on the cutting board from the night before’s stir-fry, which I failed to wash yesterday. We didn’t actually use the same cutting board, of course, but I think it may have contaminated the other cutting board, which Karl did use for dinner.

In any case, we didn’t go anywhere all day. I didn’t get out of my sleeping bag until about four, at which point Karl very sweetly made me chicken soup, although without any carrots. I couldn’t face carrots after spotting shreds of them in the exterior scuppers.


Mike Finn said...

I continue to follow you and I'm continuly amazed. The weather will get warmer soon. Hang in there.
I hope I can offer a few pointers to help you along.
1. Vomit did pass through your body just not in the right direction so....its OK but better yet. Lie down in the saloon pipe berth with the bucket by your head, empty bucket when needed. My girlfriend was nice enough to handle that when I was deathly ill on the boat. OH yeah and don't let those bags of TP accumulate :)
When motoring in rough weather get the main up and motor sail. It will stabilize the boat and make you go faster which will save fuel.
When sailing double reef the main before the bad weather and leave it in. The Ranger 33 will still go fast double reefed. If its really hoinking just sail on the 110 with no main at all.
As for the diesel don't add oil if doesn't need it. Always think fuel first with a diesel. Bucking around could stir up dirt in the tank. Check your fuel filters. Invest in a Racor if you don't have one yet. Air in the lines will kill the engine. Bleed the lines to get the air out.
Finally learn to heave to. In heavy weather it will give you a chance to rest. All these hardships will be incredible memories when you are basking in the tropical sun. Be patient and and don't push yourself beyond what you are safely cabable of doing. Oh yeah practice reefing in calm weather so it becomes automatic in foul weather. Lin could do it and so can you.

Alles Klar
R33 SF bay

Melissa said...

Thanks so much for the advice and encouragement! It's great to hear from other R33 owners. I did eventually lie down on the saloon berth with the bucket near my head, although at that point, wouldn't you know it, the vomiting stopped.

I know I'll be able to reef eventually. Right now, even Karl hasn't quite figured it out. It's just frustrating to feel so incomepetent. One of these days!