With sailing season ahead here are some numbers for my current condition: three weeks until I can begin resuming somewhat normal activity (Jan. 28), six weeks before I can return to a light schedule at work (Feb. 18), three months to be considered back in shape (April 1). Somewhere in March I expect the weather will be warm enough and my body flexible enough to complete the epoxy work and painting on Spartina's interior. So Spartina repainted by late March or early April, Spartina repacked and rigged by mid to late April (I'm assuming that I will be doing these tasks at less than full speed), and Spartina sailing by May ( I keep hoping April but we'll see).
It will take a while to learn how to sail with a new hip. A small boat dictates some unusual some unusual choreography and physical articulation (for example I've managed the tiller with hand, knee, elbow, shoulder and foot). To better understand my physical capabilities I might be better off day sailing in spring, relearning how to be comfortable and safe on a boat. Maybe we can get in a long weekend sail or two, but I might have to pass on the spring cruise. With great cruises in the last couple of years - the September Walkabout, Easy in the Islands and the Inner Banks 425 - I have no complaints.
While conceding on the spring trip, I've been able to lock in on very nice a fall sailing trip. Just before leaving work I got the ok for two weeks off in late September. Two weeks in the prime sailing season, two weeks on Chesapeake Bay, two weeks of sounds, rivers and bays, all of that leading up to the dock in St. Michaels where I plan to join the fleet at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum's Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival. I can't wait.
Checking my logs I see it has been six years since I attended the small craft festival (the photographs on this post are from that festival, including Kevin B. on Slip Jig at the top). Back then I was a bit overwhelmed. So many people, so many boats. When I return in the fall I believe I will see a lot of friends I have made over the past few years.
So two weeks sailing on the bay, then a weekend of oysters, steamed crabs and sailing with good friends. That will give me something to dream about all spring and summer long.