Ribs? – now there’s something other than haemorrhoids to talk about! You can’t cough, laugh or move freely. Sit still and it doesn’t hurt, but just try fluttering an eyelid – blam! Rib ends grate on one another and you’re searching for someone to blame.
I have to avoid anything Valsalvery. Sneezing is still a bit like a decade’s herpetic neuralgia compressed into a millisecond. What a way to learn medicine. I can’t believe it’s me – this sort of thing only happens to patients. The simplest tasks have become minefields of pain for the unwary. Dave has risen bravely to his new nursemaid role. He unreefs the main while I sit at the chart table nursing bloated blisters on my thigh, massaging my tennis elbow, sucking my ungual hematoma and rib-wincing theatrically to the lovely opening of Schubert’s German Requiem.
I feel thoroughly vincible today. Tiptoeing around my sore ribs, I’m dispirited, useless. I don’t like the feeling. Sure, Dave is here, but I’ve never sailed happily except knowing that I can look after the boat by myself. Suddenly that’s just what I am not doing.
We’ve a good 2 weeks’ sailing to go and I don’t need it or want it. I feel a long way from everything important. From Chris, from the girls, from a hot bath, from crisp fresh apples. Neil’s mother died yesterday and I would have liked to go to her memorial service.
Here on board the not unpleasant timelessness persists. But there is also a new futility, a pointlessness to the whole exercise. I will just have to concentrate on the primary purpose of the trip – not the doing of it, but the having done of it.
We’re well past the half way mark, with 2200 miles to go. Easter Island is 1200 miles north of us but it has given us no clue as to its presence. It’s quite a lonely spot, this (4139s/12405w) – indeed there’s nothing here except us. Even the seabirds have disappeared.