Monday, July 1, 2013

top of the world.

No big deal. Just hanging around at the top of our mast while Josh looks on from below.

When we were up last week we decided we should try out the whole "hoisting-me-up-the-mast" thing for when I may need to go up and replace a bulb on the spreader lights, fasten a new line or antenna, etc. so no big deal. It was a bit windy but it was nothing major. I don't really have any issues with heights and I trust Josh like I trust no one else. Ever. In. My. Life. We worked out what I was supposed to do when it was time to come down before I was even off the ground. Ok. Fine. Cool. He starts hoisting me and I'm cool. I am concentrating on not getting tangled in any lines or accidentally loosening anything on my way up. I get to the top after a few minutes and all is well. I snap a few photos, look around and then it's time to come down. And then I can't loosen the ascender. I'm supposed to push a little latch down and back to let the rope off, only it won't come. I'm not panicked. I'm annoyed. I try one hand then the other, then both. I push this way and that and no dice. Again, I'm totally cool with being up there. Not worried just pissed by this time. Soon, the harness I was wearing was pushing on some nerves in my thighs which made my legs fall asleep. No bueno.  Luckily, there was an easy work around and Josh was able to lower me gently to safely on the deck just in time to still be able to stand upright when I was unfastened from the spinnaker halyard. All in all, an exhilarating experience. 

As I get a bit older my threshold for risky behavior gets lower, I will admit. I have no intention of letting those feelings of fear or apprehension keep me from living fully, though. Sometimes I force myself to be a little wild as long as the proper precautions have been taken. I mean, I'm not going to jump off a cliff if I have no idea what's below me, you know? 

Another very brief adventure I'll tell you about has no photographic proof unfortunately because it was extremely brief. 

I jumped in Lake Michigan. Wha?? Sounds crazy, right? What about 3 miles out in over 100 foot deep water? Crazier? Not my favorite decision, for sure. We took Interlude out on Sunday for a sail and it was hot. Steamy and sunny. I told Josh, half-jokingly, that I wanted to swim off the boat. He said we'd heave to (slow the boat to an almost imperceptible speed) once we hit 100 feet depth and I could swim. I thought he was kidding but once we hit the depth he called me out. I hemmed and hawed but eventually decided I should "man up" since I had brought it up. We hove to and the boat slowed to a crawl. He tied one of the fenders to a line and let it drag on our port side. We opened the life lines along the port side, he told me to get in, and swim toward the line/fender and follow it back along the side of the boat to the swim ladder. I had on the most awkward life jacket and my scared face. The one full of regret and indecision about whether or not I should slowly take the ladder in or just jump feet first into the inky blue water below. I almost had to have him push me, my nerve waning as the seconds ticked by. Eventually, I leapt. Into the inky blue, freezing cold depths, quickly being buoyed back to the surface by my life vest. I couldn't catch my breath, the waves were 1-2 feet and I felt myself immediately drifting toward the stern. Not the calmest of feelings overtook me and suddenly all I wanted to be was anywhere but bobbing, desperately trying to catch hold of the fender line in the icy water. As soon as I fought through the waves and hooked on to the swim ladder and I climbed up I began to breathe easily. No, not my favorite decision. Risky, sure. I was safe and it was an adventure so I'll just just count that one as one I might not try again. We'll see.

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