Loss of Sail and Injury
New Years Eve started out well, but by early morning the wind picked up and I was caught with a light headwind sail, which was in danger of being overloaded. On several occasions I had to take the helm. It was a scary situation and no sleep for me. The 1/2 bottle of champagne to celebrate the new year had not been touched. Finally at 4:00 am, a gust blew out the sail and torn fabric filled the air with a swooshing sound. It was dark and there was nothing I could do but watch the sail self destruct. Come dawn, I started the long process of getting the sail down and on deck before stuffing it away below. This would have been too dangerous to do at night. It is a pile of scraps.
While pulling on some pieces stuck in the shrouds, one piece suddenly gave way and I fell flat on my back onto an extrusion of the deck. The pain just below my left scapula was in as much as any pain I have ever experienced. I lay still for a few minutes testing my lungs and then started to get going. I could feel a rib cracking in my back. Crawling was out, as my left arm could take no weight. A few more actions and I collapsed for several hours in the cockpit.
Today, three days later, I am doing better, but am very limited with what I can do with the left arm. It’s getting better and will take a few more days before some of the needed tasks on the boat can be attended to. I am now sailing conservatively and gently, until such time as I am ready again and can attend to a number of tasks. Sorry to have to convey this news. I shall be fine, just need take it easy as best I can for now. Regardless - Happy New Year.