♪ On the Boat Again ♬

CVN Moving up mast

Well, actually if I were on THE boat, it would be our beloved, beautiful sailboat, Mariah. Technically this should be entitled On A Boat Again but that doesn’t fit as well with the song in my head (On the Road Again). This week I was able to get on our plan B boat, an open cockpit powerboat which has ample, flat floor space for my wheelchair. It was indeed a red-letter day. Watching water is beautiful but being on the water evokes fresh smells, feelings of rolling gently, sounds of others playing on the water, and a sense of freshness on ones skin.

This could fit as the third in a trilogy of blogs on creative problem solving for a richer life.

The picture above was of me, prior to the accident, of course. When someone needed to go to the top of our approximately 40’ mast to change a light bulb, visually check on things, or retape the spreader boots, I volunteered. I was lighter and Alan was stronger. Besides, the view from up there is breath taking. For the ride up, I sat in our bosun’s chair, an incredibly strong seat made of heavy-duty fabric, strong webbing strategically placed, and indestructible metal rings. The large ring clipped to the main (sail) halyard. Another safety feature we used on Mariah was a Garhauer lifting davit engine hoist to move the outboard 5-horse motor from the bracket on the back stanchion to the transom of the dinghy, bobbing in the water, without dropping it or wrecking Alan’s back. It is a stainless steel upright bar topped with a second bar at about a 120˚ angle. Attached is a 6:1 block and tackle pulley system to significantly lighten the lifting workload and a heavy-duty clamp to securely hold the cargo. With me as cargo seated in the bosun’s chair, the engine hoist could lift me. One of my creative brother-in-laws designed and made a flat backed bracket with a 1” rod welded on to attach to the dock bollard (pole) to provide an upright rod like the stanchion on Mariah’s stern.

With the davit hoist securely attached to the special bracket on that dock bollard so it could pivot, Alan utilized the motor hoist to raise me off my wheelchair seat. Alan’s sister & brother-in-law lifted my empty wheelchair into the boat and then helped position me above my wheelchair. At that point, Alan lowered me with the hoist onto my wheelchair seat. We took extra precautions. I wore a life jacket even before rolling onto to the dock. I hung over the dock, not the water, while the wheelchair was transferred into position on the boat. This brother-in-law and sister are the ones we bought this boat from so if anything went wrong with me on the boat, Alan had a back-up, experienced captain.

Plan B Lowering boat

Our kind neighbors noticed I was on the boat as we returned to the slip, and he thoughtfully came out to catch the momentous event with his camera. It was great to be back on the water. We can now boat together again! I think my worst day after the accident was the fall day Alan went to prep Mariah for winter. After 40 years of working on our sailboat together, I was home crying while he worked alone. After 40+ years of sailing, we are together on a boat again.

Watch for your blessings.Shalom, Collene

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12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. dlyaw
    Jun 17, 2016 @ 16:42:06

    Wow! So awesome to see you on a boat again! I also like that feeling of the wind in my hair and the seas smell and the water. Thank you for keeping in touch and sharing your successes! Blessings on you ! Tanner graduated last week so now I am an alumni parent, no more kids at Palmyra!

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  2. Shirley Kleinfelter
    Jun 17, 2016 @ 20:30:48

    Awesome Collene. You always were and always will be an amazing person. Makes me smile to see you smile and be on the boat! Blessings to you and Alan. Love, Shirley K.

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  3. Carol Decker Trihy
    Jun 17, 2016 @ 20:33:44

    Hooray!!!! So happy to hear about your boating experience. 🚤

    Carol

    >

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  4. Gloria
    Jun 17, 2016 @ 20:35:03

    So tremendously proud and happy for you! Enjoy every moment.

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  5. Solstice Sailors
    Jun 17, 2016 @ 21:16:46

    How wonderful! Nothing better than the feel of the breezes and the sound of the water under the keel gently rocking the boat. So happy for both of you, even if it’s a power boat 😉 Hugs!

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  6. Elly
    Jun 17, 2016 @ 22:00:49

    It is wonderful to see you back on the water. Hope this can be a regular experience.

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  7. Donna seney
    Jun 17, 2016 @ 22:02:08

    How wonderful!! It made me tense reading how you got on the boat. Hope you were able to get off. That is a great story.

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  8. gvantimm
    Jun 18, 2016 @ 09:29:18

    Joy! Love that smile. Your creative problem-solving skills have again been successful. Praying for a summer of calm waters so you can enjoy the blessing of being ON the water, not just beside it. Watching for our blessings daily.

    Love, Gwen

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  9. Dottie
    Jun 18, 2016 @ 10:27:12

    I agree with Donna. Must be a bit tense getting on. But oh, what a wonderful time afterward! (I had to laugh at Donna’s idea of you not getting OFF. That would be MY fate, after my family rigged something up–they only plan so far ahead. It’s a sometimes unfortunate family trait.) Happy boating, Collene!

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  10. Ellie Murray
    Jun 22, 2016 @ 12:26:47

    what a story! between that and the sewing, I am thrilled for you both.Fantastic! You are an amazing couple Ellie

    From: FastHugs To: elliejellie3@yahoo.com Sent: Friday, June 17, 2016 4:27 PM Subject: [New post] ♪On the Boat Again ♬ #yiv7857778858 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv7857778858 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv7857778858 a.yiv7857778858primaryactionlink:link, #yiv7857778858 a.yiv7857778858primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv7857778858 a.yiv7857778858primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv7857778858 a.yiv7857778858primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv7857778858 WordPress.com | FastHugs posted: “Well, actually if I were on THE boat, it would be our beloved, beautiful sailboat, Mariah. Technically this should be entitled On A Boat Again but that doesn’t fit as well with the song in my head (On the Road Again). This week I was able to get on our ” | |

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