Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Misfortune Cookie

Anyone who's already heard about my weekend will have some idea how appropriate this was for me. TQ had the cookie but I told him it was obviously supposed to be mine!

Anyone who hasn't - don't want to go into gory details, but I will be making one small change to my road-trip loading procedure that I was a bit of an idiot not to have been doing already, knowing perfectly well that I'm not the world's most organized person. Far from the least, but keeping my act together is not something I have ever been able to do without some effort.

Issue: Had a very key piece of gear (sprayskirt) not make it into the car because it had fallen off of the boat where it lives and into a dark corner. Having it would not have changed the outcome of the event (OK, gory details after all - I was accompanying my friend Capri on an attempt to swim from Sandy Hook to Manhattan - conditions just didn't allow it to happen, she still got in at least a 5 mile swim but we couldn't do the lower harbor piece 'cause the current was just slamming us into the back bay and instead of the 1 to 2 foot waves the forecast had mentioned it was a 3 to 5 foot washing machine down there; conditions were way more manageable in the upper harbor, but the winds were still too strong and Morty pulled us just south of Governer's Island because we were being pushed into Brooklyn and were just going to end up the Buttermilk Channel the way things were going) but it would have made the piece in the lower harbor a lot less hairy. Really compromised myself and the people I was with by not having it.

Solution: Since my "everything crucial is on the boat so as long as I load everything that's on the boat, I'm fine" method for road-trip loading has been shown to have a fatal flaw (fortunately not literally, except to my dignity and self-respect), I think I need to take a page out of the pilots' rulebook and make myself a pre-flight checklist for trips away from the club. Laminate it, tie on a dry-erase marker, and actually check everything off before I leave the grounds - that should ensure that I never put myself in such a utterly stupid situation again.

And come to think of it, doing it again before I come home is a good idea, too. I think this is the first time in over a decade of paddling that I've ever LEFT for a trip without something that key. But coming home again? That's a different story, I've been very lucky getting stuff back but I do have a bad habit of not always having everything when I leave. Yep. A checklist. Why oh why didn't I think of that before?

ps - Yes, this was a REAL fortune cookie fortune. We got that and another one that was in similarly un-optimistic vein with the dinner we ordered on Saturday night; we'd gotten this one while having leftovers for lunch on Sunday, when I was supposed to go watch the Space Shuttle, only I didn't lifejacket didn't make it into the car. It had been a discombobulated start anyways - we'd discovered that there was a leak in the roof at TQ's place & that had thrown our original Sunday plans out the window - him taking me to Floyd Bennett Field was a spur-of-the-moment solution, I was a bit pooped from all the paddling in the wind the day before and realizing that I didn't have the lifejacket just took the last bit of wind out of my sails. We ran into a friend who's a ranger there who could've set me up but I'd just lost interest. We had nice bit of a visit with him, though, we hadn't seen him in ages and it was good to catch up, then he drove on and we headed back to TQ's place. TQ went upstairs to talk to the super about the leak; I heated up the leftovers for lunch and when he got back he took the cookie I hadn't eaten the night before, broke it open, read the fortune, started laughing and handed it over to me. "That's mine", I said. He said "That's right, that was your cookie". It was just so perfect for the weekend!

I think it has to go on the refrigerator with the Gaelic curse about an escaped elephant jumping on your car.

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