22 October 2011

Our Skipper Don had emergency surgery

Hi Gang!

Well, I stopped by the hospital and saw Don today. He was sitting up and watching a little tv from his chair. He's moving from the bed to the chair, although once there, he'd prefer to stay.

We had a long talk about his surgery, and his daughter Lindsey was there to fill in missing details for me.

He was under the knife for about six hours. He had 5 arterial aneurysms. They pretty much opened him up wide from just under his sternum to the tops of his legs. They removed 4 arteries and replaced them with... I kid you not.... kevlar. Yes, Don has boat parts on his inside, too! He's also bulletproof, if they shoot him from the inside and aim only at his artery.

One of the arteries was supposed to be about 10mm, and it was 7 cm. That would be, in medical terms, bad. There is a 5th aneurysm, but they worked on it a bit, and they think they will probably only have to put in a stent, which could be done outpatient, and things will be fine there.

While we visited, he was told they have a room for him in the regular ward, so he is out of the ICU. This is better for visits, and means he is no doubt better all the time. He will be in for at least a week, and then he'll be on recovery at home, so he will definitely want visitors.

This could have been a really big deal. A good way to let you know how big is this-- If you have an aneurysm and it finally gives out, if you are not within spitting distance of a hospital, or in the process of being run over by an ambulance, they can't get to you in time to save you. You just bleed out that fast. Don (and all of us,) are very lucky that not only did he have a warning, but that he heeded that warning and got checked out. He was admitted and scheduled for surgery in about a 2 hour time frame. If you have ever tried to get hospitals to do something fast, you know what this meant.

Don is in high spirits, although he knows it is going to be quite a healing process. He's also going to have one hell of an impressive scar. He's very grateful for all the thoughts and well wishes. He has no problems having a few visitors, although you might want to call first. Lindsey is, for the moment, strictly enforcing his cell phone/email ban (Andrew couldn't take more than an hour of that.) He is at Edwards Hospital in Naperville.

Hope everyone is well; Don sends his best to all.



11 October 2011

End of the Season

Well, it was a beautiful season we had!

2011 started with a bang, got better, and then after Harbor Springs pretty much went to hell, but it was still good!

Our 2nd place finish in the NOOD Regatta, with 3 bullets, and only 4 pts out of 1st place, was our best overall finish in that regatta ever.

First in section over the finish line in the Mackinac Race, even though we were then corrected over by 5 boats, and Gauntlet with their big time advantage for stopping to assist with Wingnuts giving them 1st place, is also our best finish ever in that race. So we were corrected over. Dueling with Spitfire down the straits was an excellent finish to an amazing race. The first 36 hours was some of the best sailing we have ever seen. There is about half an hour of sailing in there that I could do without, (storm, wind, lightning, other good stuff,) but we sailed well and had a great time.

After the Mac, though.... I'm not sure if getting our bootys handed to us in HS defeated us for the rest of the season too, or not. IT was pretty much downhill after that, though. That doesn't mean we didn't have a good time!

The delivery to Waukegan was one of the best rides we had this year. 12 kts of wind out of the West, clear blue skies, and 80F. We had a consistent 7+ kts of boat speed, and thought we would speed up the lake. The wind died off earlier than planned, and shifted around to E/SE from it's prior lovely SW wind, so we motor sailed the last half.

On the trip, we had good news... On their vacation in France, Matt proposed to Carly at the top of the Eiffel Tower!... Once again, the Maskwa/Dark Island connection continues to produce! Judi, you need to get some more single guys on that boat for the Maskwa girls!

We had a great time going up the lake, and a bunch of us had to run and catch the train back. We left Carly, Matt, Don, and Chrystal to do all the work, while we lounged back on the train.

All in all, it was a lovely season. We've got a number of people who are just starting out on the boat and are looking forward to becoming part of our Maskwa family. Some have been out a few times, and 2 of these names only made it for the delivery, but we'd like to welcome:


Let's plan on getting together more often in the off season!

Cheers all!


05 October 2011

Last Beercan and Delivery

Hi Everyone!!

Well, we are down to less than a week, and our Maskwa will be away at storage. Here is what we have coming up for sure.

This Wednesday (tomorrow, the 5th,) Will be our last official evening sail. Boat call is at 1700, and we'll be off the dock for maybe an hour or so. We might even get a little night sailing in.

This Saturday (Oct 8th,) is our delivery to Waukegan. I do not have a boat call/departure time as of yet, but we can plan on meeting about 0900 or so, and heading north. The weather forecast is for clear sunny skies and a high of 77F (or about 23 Liters, for you metric people.) If the forecast holds (and we all know the weatherman is always right!) it should be a simply lovely day to sail.

We'll return to the city on Metra. There are return trains at 2, 4, 5, and 7, all at :10 after the hour, and a late train at 10:40pm. Fare is $6.

There is a link to Crewsignup for the delivery, so you can sign up there, too. Please let me know so that we have enough life jackets, etc...

Hope everyone has big plans for the off season!