Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Stuff Breaks

Stuff wears out. Stuff breaks.

You don't really appreciate this when you are young. You think that the new camera your parents gave you for your 21st birthday will last for ever. You think your first car will keep on running and running. You feel immortal and think that nothing can hurt you or break you. You think that you will keep on running and running.

As you get older you get wiser. You learn that stuff wears out, stuff breaks. Even yourself. Especially yourself.

About a month ago I hurt my back. It might have been from too much running. It might have been from trying to race Peter Seidenberg in 30 knots of wind on a Tuesday night in Bristol. But the real pain came on when I was sitting at my desk. I hurt my back by sitting for too long probably. A blogging injury.

It was totally incapacitating for a while. I lay on the floor for several hours and couldn't move. Later I crawled painfully into bed and lay there all night dreading the inevitable time when I would have to stagger to the bathroom because I knew it would hurt so much.

No running for a month. No sailing for a month.

Gradually, slowly, with lots of stretching and heat treatments, my back started to get better. I tried doing a few gentle sit-ups. OK. I did more exercises. I progressed to working out on the hiking bench. My back survived.

So yesterday I decided that it was time to try sailing my Laser. Just a gentle sail by myself to test out my back. Would it be OK?

I found all my sailing gear. I packed it all in the car. I hooked up the trailer.

I drove over to Bristol.

I lifted my boat off the road trailer on to the dolly. My back was OK.

I rigged the Laser, including doing the standard "hold the rig as if you were tossing the caber" maneuver. My back was OK.

I changed into my sailing gear.

I started wheeling the Laser down to the water. SNAP. Something broke. Not my back this time. The Laser tipped over sideways at a weird angle. The axle bracket on one side of my dolly had broken.

I said a bad word. All that effort and I wasn't going to be able to go sailing.

I changed out of my sailing gear.

I derigged the Laser.

I lifted the boat off the dolly on to the road trailer.

I had my iPhone with me. Of course. As advised by my friend Baydog, I carry it with me all the time now. Even in the toilet. So I took a photo of my dolly.

My dolly doesn't usually look like that.

I loaded the broken dolly into the back of my car.

I drove back home.

I told my wife what had happened. Ever one to see the positive side of life she commented that at least I know now that I can lift my boat off the trailer and rig my boat without doing my back in again.

I called up the nice man at Laser Performance Sail + Sport RI and confirmed he had a Laser dolly axle bracket in stock. I drove over to Laser Performance Sail + Sport RI and bought a new axle bracket. I drove home. I fitted the new bracket.

No big deal. The dolly, like the boat, is 17 years old and has had a lot of rough treatment over the years.

My back is almost 64 years old and has also had a lot of rough treatment over the years.

Stuff wears out. Stuff breaks.

Such is life.


Center of Effort said...

All that time you spent taping the good ole red, white and blue on the dolly and it was probably made in China. Get a new one before the weekend please. I don't have a dolly isn't a good excuse for not sailing.

Tillerman said...

My dolly is taped with red, white and blue tape so that when I come back to the beach after a long day's sailing and some helper on the beach or fellow sailor offers to get my dolly for me I can say, "Mine is the ONE with red, white and blue tape." I find that the search for my dolly goes a lot faster than if I have to say (like some do), "It's a Seitech dolly. It has a black handle. My name is written in invisible ink on it somewhere. It's in that pile of 200 identical dollies over there."

I don't need a new dolly. I mended my old dolly.

Joe said...

I see yellow too...great idea. I hear that Advil works for back pain.....I bet you, since Dolly is 17 years old, she's probably not made in China. I hear that grease works wonders for Dolly, she likes lubrication. None of that dry rubbing.

By the bye, I think you took a splendid photo with your iPhone. Here's a link to Jennilee Marigomen, a Canadian photographer based out of Vancouver who also takes splendid photos with her phone.

Tillerman said...

Thanks Joe.

Yellow is faded red. Stuff fades.

I'm pretty sure Dolly was made in Rhode Island.

Thanks for the compliment on my photo and the link.

Anonymous said...

Stuff breaks... even us...

I hear you.

I tweaked the problem area of my back at work earlier this week, but lots of heat and Advil has worked wonders. I've now recovered to 90+ percent and figure I'll be close to normal in a few days.

O Docker said...

Entropy happens.

Tillerman said...

I've been trying to cut back on entropy all my life.

my2fish said...

here's another photographer, Lisa Bettany, who is traveling around the world with an iPhone and the app Camera+ to take all kinds of sweet pictures.

PeconicPuffin said...

How does this jibe with "shit breaks"?

torrid said...

People complain about the cost, but I think the Seitech dollies are the most awesome piece of sailing hardware ever invented (mine's only 15 years old).

Tillerman said...

Agreed torrid. I may well have damaged the axle bracket the last time I went sailing. I seem to remember hitting some submerged rock with the wheel or cross bar fairly hard when I was pulling the boat out of the water. Probably cracked it a bit and then finished it off on the day this post was about.

I have known those axle brackets fail only once before. The occasion was a Sunfish regatta where one of the other sailors got a huge leak in his hull. He managed to sail his boat back to the beach, but by the time he got there it was almost full of water. He used my dolly to haul his boat in the water and in the process the huge weight of hull plus water snapped both my axle brackets. (He did buy me new ones, of course.)

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