Wednesday, July 25, 2012

All Thumbs

My hand’s a bit sore.
I nearly had my thumb ripped off at the base last night.  I was undoing a line that was attached to one of the sails.  I’ve been taught that this is a dangerous move, but didn’t think of it at the time.  I stuck my hand into the mess of rope to untangle the mess, and as soon as I thought “oh, this is a bad idea” I felt the line tension around my thumb.  I instinctively yanked my hand away, and with milliseconds to spare.  A huge gust of wind came along (winds were 20km/h gusting to 50km/hr) and jerked the sail and ropes with tremendous pressure.

I wouldn’t have had time to consciously think of removing my hand from the danger zone.  I was just VERY lucky that I realized the danger right before it happened.

Complacency on a sailboat can be a very dangerous thing.  Wind and waves have much more power behind them than human beings can withstand, and we often forget that.  I got a hell of a wake-up call.

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