It was a beautiful day for sailing.
I launched and headed out on a long starboard tack beat to the middle of the bay. As I reached more open water, the wind freshened. I tightened the outhaul and downhaul. I tightened the vang a tad more.
I was tanking along, hiking hard, just me and the waves, all by myself on My Bay.
Oh shit. Something broke. The boom shot up in the air. The boat stopped.
I had spent a few hours last week putting some through bolts in the gooseneck which was starting to work loose. So it wasn't that. My first thought was that the vang fitting on the boom had pulled off because I had noticed some corrosion around the rivets there recently. But no, it wasn't that. The shiny stainless steel fitting was still there on the boom as it waved madly around at a rakish angle.
I looked at the top of the vang lying useless on the deck now. The frigging vang key had sheared! (The key is the tiny curved piece of metal used to attach the vang to the boom.) That had never happened to me before, in 30 years of Lasering.
I tightened the outhaul some more (to help prevent the boom coming off the gooseneck) and turned back downwind to limp back to the launch ramp. I pulled the boat up on my dolly and went off to the car to retrieve my toolbox.
I have an amazing collection of spare Laser parts in the bottom of my toolbox. Almost every small fitting that can possibly break. It's been accumulated over 30 years mainly through the habit of buying two of anything when it breaks; one for the boat and one for the toolbox. Surely I would have a spare vang key in there?
I rummaged. I searched. I spread out my collection of spare parts on the hood of my car. I couldn't find a key.
I'm sure my smart readers will have worked out by now why my search was fruitless. If I only buy spares when I first experience a breakage of that part, and I have never had a vang key break in 30 years... yeah, yeah, yeah... of course I didn't have a spare vang key.
I derigged the boat. I changed back into dry clothes. I put the boat on the trailer. I drove home. Two hours of driving to sail and rigging and getting dressed for sailing and derigging and getting changed again and driving home... all for about 10 minutes of decent sailing. I was not a happy camper.
Before washing the boat I got out the blender and the tequila bottle and made some margaritas for Tillerwoman and me. I drank some margaritas. I mellowed a little. I pondered that maybe I am the Luckiest Man Alive (again.) At least the bloody key didn't break while I was racing somewhere.
Life is good.