Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Beach Fail, Epoxy and Paint

This is the beach two Sundays ago.  It was supposed to rain. It had rained Friday and Saturday, but it did not rain on Sunday, and we were invited out to the beach.  It was warm and windy, but the water was perfect.  There were a lot of slow rolling waves to bob with. But they were not too strong. I thought. Until one knocked my left arm straight out of its socket. I screamed. AJ came running from farther out in the water.  He helped me back to shore where it was immediately evident to all the spectators that my arm was no longer in my shoulder.  AJ helped me hobble to the car, so we could go to the ER.  When we got there AJ helped me into shorts in the parking lot, I really didn't want to go in in a bikini. But there was no hope in the shirt department. My left arm was pinned unwaveringly against my side with a right handed death grip.

The most painful part was the car ride. You don't realize how many forces are applied to you in how many directions until every micro movement becomes excruciating. I kept yelling "Slow down slower! slowdown slower!" as AJ approached red lights or bumpy intersections.  It was the granny-est ambulance ride he could pull off in a bouncy old work truck. But I let out a few more involuntary screams than I'd like to admit any time we turned. At the ER I waited a record low time of one hour before being seen.  I was put on an IV with pain meds, then a couple hours later they came to fix my arm.

I was honestly surprised the ER staff was so concerned that I not feel anything. I figured they'd just pin me down, yank on my arm and do it. But they fed me a cocktail of pain drug, Valium and something to make me forget.  I remember them sending AJ away, then tying a rope around my arm, and then looking over to AJ and saying,  "When are they going to fix my arm?"  To which the nurse piped up, "We already fixed it. You don't remember? You were awake through the whole thing." So there you have it, down but apparently not out. The forget-me drugs worked.
Why they have to make you forget I don't understand. They didn't ask if they could give me those drugs. They just informed me as they were doing it.  I would have liked to remember so that I could feel how it needs to move to go back in. So I can handle it myself in the future. Oh well.

I kept my arm in an isolation sling for 6 days, at which point I had regained about 40% shoulder mobility.  On the 7th day I couldn't take any more resting and got back to work, because there's so much to do and summer is coming!

We got a little subfloor work done. From grimy to shiny.
AJ made a new support for the floor beam out of starboard. Finally, finally, finally we have floors between the cabin and V berth again! It's a big step, and the steep floor beneath is not forgiving on the ankles.

There was one last little bulkhead to deal with. Under the port side dinette settee were a few dividers and a massively oversize starter battery box fiberglassed in. After chiseling out the box, the bulkhead behind it was a mess, so AJ cut it back and fitted a new piece  We glued it in like everything else, with strips of biax w/ mat fiberglass cloth and epoxy.  Then we took turns sanding to smooth out the rough edges on both new bulkheads. Then I painted it in grey Pettit EZ-Bilge. 

Months ago we cut out the old chainplate fins before being distracted with the deteriorated interior/living conditions. Well, we finally finished glassing over the last 4 chain plate fins and are almost ready to install the chain plates!

We mixed a batch of epoxy HEAVILY thickened with chopped strand glass, cotton flock, and cabosil.

And patched over the entire area with more biax w/ mat fiberglass cloth.  Three layers (~3/16-1/4") thick was added in a large area to the center fins making the hull ~1" thick here (drilling soon to confirm).  This additional glass will function as backing plates for the location of the new bronze external strap chainplates.

AJ has to narrow (grind) the tops of the bronze chain plates a bit to fit the toggles.
The chain plates and toggles are sitting on top of 300 feet of 1/4" 1x19 316 stainless rigging wire. Which we got a while back for a steal at $.90 a foot! Sometimes it's good to know people.

Our current project list is as follows: Install chain plates, fabricate stem fitting, finish cabin mast support, order rigging fittings, (if the ER bill does not find us first) then raise the mast!  All the meanwhile finishing the scrubbing and painting of the inside.  We're in for another rainy few days, but there's always something you can do with closed windows and hatches... if you dig deep, and wear a respirator. 

1 comment:

  1. Sarah you write so well! So sorry for your shoulder and all of the pain! Do follow the doctor's directions as you want to heal fully!

    Lots of Hugs and Love,
    Grandma A. in AZ ♥!♥!


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