19 October, 2016

I bought a Laser (19.10.2016)

Laser 1985
I first sailed a Laser in Miri in 1985. That was my 7th sailing dinghy and my favourite boat. I used it a lot. At the same time I also had three 470's, an Optimist, Sunfish and a Yamaha Seahoper.
Laser 2016
Today I have come full circle, sailing a Laser again after 35 years on the water. This second Laser is my 11th boat. This time I had to wear a wet suit because the water is cold at 12*C or even lower in winter.

There was a time when I did not sail at all because I injured my back. I also stopped playing golf at about the same time due to a sore knee joint and declining health, in general.
Noelex 22 (9th boat)
I sold my trailer yacht 2 years ago, a Noelex 22 and prepared for a boring retirement in front of the blue light (monitor) in my computer room. My record was 17 hrs on line in one day!

That was no good at all. With all that sitting down, my back got worse and I became addicted to Face Book, checking posts every 5 minutes or whenever the computer goes [ping]. I was very depressed, waiting for my wheel chair. I stopped travelling home to see relatives. Life was not worth living when you are waiting to meet your maker! :(

Therefore I decided to get well again to get back on the water and the fairways. I formed a few strategies to heal my back pains and bad knee, all without operations. I am afraid of the knife. No one is going to cut me open and look inside. It took me one and a half years; but I am back sailing again this month!
As soon as I sold my trailer yacht in April 2015, I regretted it. In May, I bought a kayak to get back on the water to get strong enough to do what I enjoyed doing most, sailing. I rowed the kayak three times a week, to strengthen my shoulders and back. At the same time I took early morning walks with Christine, my wife, for an hour every day. Simultaneously, I had acupuncture treatment two times a week and took Manuka honey every day with my cereals and Milo drinks, replacing white sugar. I also took gelatin for lubrication of my knee joint. Until now, I still could not figure out how the gelatin in my stomach found its way to that particular knee; but my knee is now pain free. That is good enough for me!

I went on line, seeking ideas from all my FB friends on OS. Thank you every one who contributed suggestions! I am back on the water, sailing once more. Life is great!

To motivate myself to continue the kayaking exercise for a year, I bought something from my bucket list and put it next to my kayak on my front lawn. I looked at it when I go kayaking and looked at it again when I returned home from kayaking. The Hobie 16 did its job very well indeed. It encouraged me to continue kayaking and resume my life on the water, never mind the golfing. I want to go sailing!
gin pole
Soon my interest in sailing, slowly returned. Last winter, I noticed that I began spending lots of my spare time trying to fix up this old Hobie cat. I even designed a gin pole and manual winch combination, to raise the mast while sitting down. It is slow but it worked and saved my back at the same time. Success at last. I now have a way to raise the mast without injuring my back again.
Hobie 16, (10th boat)
I launched and sailed the Hobie cat at Lake Ngaroto three times. It is really too much boat for a single hander. So I decided to sell the Hobie cat and buy some thing smaller and more manageable for me. I bought my second Laser last month (and another trailer yacht, a Magnum 21 on Trademe last night). I intend to use the gin pole method for raising the heavy mast of my Magnum 21 starting next week.; but it will take me at least a few more months to fix up this very old boat. Some yachties have been known to buy old boats, fixing them up and never even launch them on the water!

That item on my bucket list, [to sail Lake Wanaka], is moving to the top of the list again! This Magnum 21 (my 12th boat) will be great for freedom camping on the South Island early next year. It is my intention to do it in 2017, or as soon as I get used to the [Moustique], my 6th sailing yacht in NZ. There is no hurry; the Laser is great for a quickie sail, any time at lake Rotoroa or Ngaroto, near my house. I intend to explore the Abel Tasman national park and Marlborough Sound for a week or two after I sailed lake Wanaka on the Moustique. First I need to have some time to work on the trailer to prepare it for the 1400 km journey to Milford Sound. This time I am ready but my boat is not.

I put Wanaka on my bucket list when I first saw the emerald green water on my second visit to the South Island in the year 2000. I was getting my Nanook ready when my health failed me two years ago. My boat was ready in 2014; but I was not. Since then, I fought really hard to get well again and I think that I am almost ready for this adventure of a life time. Dreams do come true if you pray to the Lord!

Wanaka, here I come!

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