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  #1   IP: 24.224.152.244
Old 03-05-2014, 09:37 PM
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Smile Pain in the Neck...

Shawn and Russ mentioned tell tales in a previous thread and there's something to be said for having tell tales on the stays and not looking to the mast head all the time for wind direction. Racing is different, of course, but for general sailing tell tales on the stays are just fine.

I've been sailing since 1999...my lowest mileage year was 780 nm (my fist year with a boat) and the highest was 2235 nm if memory serves me....generally hang in the 17-1800 nautical miles yearly. That's allot of looking up! The first number of years I never had neck pain...could sail days on end and nothing hurt. Past few years though the neck pain set in and it likely is Degenerative Disk Disease...I know this and how to treat it so why bother getting the tests only to be told what I've told others for years.

Degenerative Disk Disease sounds like something pretty serious. Well, it's painfull and a nuisance. It's just a medical term created to denote the obvious ...we are wearing out. It can happen in your 30's, 40's...whenever. It's generally caused by OVERUSE and CONSTANT movement of the spine...typically classed as lumbar DDD or Cervical DDD. It's not the end of the world, it's not as serious as the doc's all say and the term "suck it up princess" has come to my mind occasionally. It's actually normal wear and tear and there is a movement in the medical community to actually refrain from putting such a serious sounding name to the condition.

OK...that said. Here's what I've done the past couple of years and it helped me allot. I rarely have to take meds for it but if on a cruise you can keep some Ibuprofen, Naproxen, or Robax Platinum aboard. Robax Platinum has a muscle relaxant and Ibuprofen...works best for me. (These all are anti inflammatory so no active bleeding ulcers, or intestinal problems such as diverticulitis or crohns disease...talk to your Doc if you have other meds as well. At the end of the day a couple of those will calm it all down.

The best treatment I've found is refraining from looking to the top of the stick all of the time for wind direction and put your tell tales on the stays. The type of hat you wear also makes the biggest difference. I used to wear a Tilley Hat with the wide brim. I only wear it dockside in the sun or at anchor now...no more sailing with it on. Baseball cap...same thing, I don't sail with it unless I forgot the others. The brim is long and I have to extend my head all the way back to see up the stick even looking occasionally.

So I started wearing more shallow peak hats and the difference was night and day. I don't mean a little change, I mean there was no pain most of the time...the cracking and snapping has stopped. Two hats I like are the greek fishermans hat and my light colored (I call it a salt and pepper hat because that's what my grandfather called his...he was a rum runner (schooner) back in the 20's and old pics of him had him wear it) For bad weather I use my Sou'Wester and it too has a shallow brim forward so you can see upward without too much movement.

So, for you young guys, I wish someone had told me that when I started sailing. For us guys with a few more miles on us...hat change is the answer. The other day I put my hat and coat on and my wife says "you forgot your walker"...you know what I said

Pic attached of my two favs. Hope that helps a few of you guys out when you start getting up in age...it is what it is.
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"Odyssey"
1976 C&C 30 MKI

The pessimist complains about the wind.
The optimist expects it to change.
The realist adjusts the sails.
...Sir William Arthur Ward.

Last edited by Mo; 03-06-2014 at 11:14 AM.
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Old 03-05-2014, 10:33 PM
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Mo, When I was young and stupid, I enjoyed being on the boat, in the sun, for a tan with no shirt on. Since vitiligo became my sun enemy (the same skin problem Michael Jackson had) this big grey device was the best investment ever on my cruising boat.



And, no way to look up at the masthead fly unless I install a window, so I am saving my neck too...

I may take your advice and add some tell-tales on the shrouds...low enough I can see them from under the bimini...maybe right about at the height where that piling is!! My Dad always had tell tales on the backstay & main (cap) shrouds on the boat (in addition to the masthead fly)...maybe those old salts knew a little something (but I'll never admit it.)

I won't stop sailing & boating, but I am now forced to rub on sunblock every day on the boat, wear a big brimmed hat and I also usually wear SPF 50 clothing. At least the newer synthetic fabrics breath and it is not so oppressive wearing long sleeves in August as it used to be.
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Old 03-06-2014, 01:32 AM
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The eagles tear up the windex's so I just tie strips of bread sack to the shrouds as high as I can reach. It works fine.

Also, observe the avatar photo of self. This is my recommendation for the ills of advancing decrepitude.

SPF 50 of course.

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Old 03-06-2014, 06:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sastanley View Post
Mo, When I was young and stupid, I enjoyed being on the boat, in the sun, for a tan with no shirt on. Since vitiligo became my sun enemy (the same skin problem Michael Jackson had) this big grey device was the best investment ever on my cruising boat.



And, no way to look up at the masthead fly unless I install a window, so I am saving my neck too...

I may take your advice and add some tell-tales on the shrouds...low enough I can see them from under the bimini...maybe right about at the height where that piling is!! My Dad always had tell tales on the backstay & main (cap) shrouds on the boat (in addition to the masthead fly)...maybe those old salts knew a little something (but I'll never admit it.)

I won't stop sailing & boating, but I am now forced to rub on sunblock every day on the boat, wear a big brimmed hat and I also usually wear SPF 50 clothing. At least the newer synthetic fabrics breath and it is not so oppressive wearing long sleeves in August as it used to be.
Shawn, the bimini is nice...have thought of it but didn't want to go through the expense and then not like it. The boom is pretty low on my boat so I figured if I go there I'd make a major change and raise the boom, new main to fit, dodger higher..all in one shot. It's a 5K proposition easy!!

Did make a sunshade from sunbrella last year for when at anchor or on the dock. It works really good and allows a marginal amount of freedom going forward as well. It's only practical when the boat is at anchor though.

This past summer I did the hat change and that made the difference. Prior to that I took ibuprofen regularly... (|We military medics used to call Ibuprofen "airborne smarties")

My shroud tell tales are generally about 8 feet off the deck...that's as high as I can reach. I have tell tales on all sails as well. As we know the wind at the top of the stick can be a little different than lower down on the boat in light air. To be honest, when racing in light air my eyes would be at the top of the stick to notice every change, thus reacting immediately to what I saw. Won allot of races like that...a little lift here and there that would go unnoticed by a competitor until I crossed up wind and they drop back every time they miss a lift. Found tell tales on the shrouds less "telling" in light air. As the wind increases both positions work fine. You guys get more light air than I so I'm sure you know what I'm talking about.

Pic of the boat with sunshade on...down the shore one weekend last summer. It's no good to try and sail with though. I have to release the main halyard and attach to webbing in center of sunbrella to "tent" it; main sheet released and boom moved to toe-rail. Light line secured the forward corners and bungies on the stern corners allow some flexability.
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"Odyssey"
1976 C&C 30 MKI

The pessimist complains about the wind.
The optimist expects it to change.
The realist adjusts the sails.
...Sir William Arthur Ward.

Last edited by Mo; 03-06-2014 at 11:15 AM.
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Old 03-06-2014, 08:04 AM
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Eagles and the like.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lat 64 View Post
The eagles tear up the windex's so I just tie strips of bread sack to the shrouds as high as I can reach. It works fine.

Also, observe the avatar photo of self. This is my recommendation for the ills of advancing decrepitude.

SPF 50 of course.

Russ
We get osprey here. One hangs out on my friend Mike's mast. Mike hasn't used the boat much past few years so the Osprey has his old "dependable" spot. Problem with that is Mike gets a broken windex every year.

We see eagles more and more around here as well but they are not to the point where they are hanging around yacht clubs. Have one secluded overnight spot down the shore where a bald eagle was flying around this past summer...first time I'd see it. We have "Radar", my son Aaron's service dog and Radar is a 90 lb golden retriever. I would think that one of those "purse dogs" could disappear off the deck of the boat it the opportunity arose.

One guy used to stick a plastic owl on the post near his boat and it didn't even get crapped on by seagulls.
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1976 C&C 30 MKI

The pessimist complains about the wind.
The optimist expects it to change.
The realist adjusts the sails.
...Sir William Arthur Ward.
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Old 03-06-2014, 10:24 AM
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"The Hat Trick"

Mo, Thank's for sharing your creative ways of dealing with your neck issues. Combine 70 years of "active living", add a couple of moderate "whiplash" incidents, and my neck is in "Ibuprophen" territory quite often. I'll be adding the lower telltales to my shrouds and a short brimmed hat to my wardrobe.
Tom
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Old 03-06-2014, 11:55 AM
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Ibuprofen = "sailing berries"

Mo, nice set up. I still have a 3-pole awning which uses the main halyard and goes all the way between the backstay and shrouds. You still have to crawl around the bimini & the awning works better for long periods at anchor/in port. But, like you, can't sail with the awning.

As you can see, my boom crowds the bimini a bit. I actually bought that bimini on the Internet from a pontoon boat joint. They sell it in 6" increments, so I bought it a little tall, and cut the frame down as far as I could and still stand under it. I may still raise the boom, just a few inches, to decrease the encroachment, but the boom is on a track on the mast, and I'd have to move the track up too...that means yanking 15 stainless screws out of aluminum (probably corroded) and re-tapping a few holes farther up. The boom just clears the bimini when it is up, so moving the boom is a low return/high complexity project. Getting my stbd bulkhead completed and the mast re-tuned by spring (currently holding up the rig with genoa halyard) is the current task & slightly higher on the priority list.
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Old 03-06-2014, 12:01 PM
JOHN COOKSON JOHN COOKSON is offline
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Mo
Have you ever tried a whiplash collar to calm the neck pain down? Especially at night while you are trying to sleep. Might work so you can lay off some of the advil.

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Old 03-06-2014, 12:30 PM
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Hi John,
The collar is probably on the lower list of things to do for DDD. Immobilization generally is not the answer...using it more cautiously often is the answer. There are cases where people need a spinal fusion done but that is after all else fails and nerve pain has become a factor.

Myself, I don't have pain like I did summer of 2012. I wore a baseball hat and Tilley Hat in years previous to 2013. Since I've changed hats the difference is phenomenal. Now, the question is why did I change hats. In 2012 my neck was bothering me so much that I'd lift my hat back with one hand, and look up with my eyes, to see the masthead. Then once in a storm I had the Sou'Wester on and it didn't bother my neck to glance up...light bulb comes on and I clue in that I need a shorter peak on the headgear.

This past summer, 2013, I rarely have to take anything for the neck. The hat change made 90% improvement. When things don't hurt you don't notice them...I didn't think much of it until I wore the Tilley for a day last year on a blistering hot summer afternoon. That evening, during dinner etc, my neck was just plain sore...nothing spectular, just sore and kinking /clicking once in a while...that was the end of the Tilley while under sail.

This is just something to try if you get a sore neck from sailing...the hat was the big changer for me. I like my hats light in color as well. With the Greek Fishermans hat I find it's just plain hot except when offshore in July ...then the heat is appreciated.
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"Odyssey"
1976 C&C 30 MKI

The pessimist complains about the wind.
The optimist expects it to change.
The realist adjusts the sails.
...Sir William Arthur Ward.
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Old 03-06-2014, 12:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thatch View Post
Mo, Thank's for sharing your creative ways of dealing with your neck issues. Combine 70 years of "active living", add a couple of moderate "whiplash" incidents, and my neck is in "Ibuprophen" territory quite often. I'll be adding the lower telltales to my shrouds and a short brimmed hat to my wardrobe.
Tom
Was an easy fix for me Tom. It's only the last few years that my body started to revolt against my lifestyle. 52 and thinking I'm still 20...and the body says "now sonny boy, yer not 20 anymore so you better start acting like it"!!
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1976 C&C 30 MKI

The pessimist complains about the wind.
The optimist expects it to change.
The realist adjusts the sails.
...Sir William Arthur Ward.
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Old 03-06-2014, 02:07 PM
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Racing

One nice thing about racing alot you really begin to watch sail tell tales .
Over the years and most of it racing ,sun screen,sun glasses and no hat has been the normal.
Now if this cold air goes away,ice melts (currently 2 feet) and boat gets launched I'll be able to do it again.
Looks like a late launch arround here but of course predictions for higher water levels is a good thing.
Great Lakes are mostly frozen over this week.
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Old 03-06-2014, 02:49 PM
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I was disabled by lower back DDD. Had a fusion, but still had the same pain.
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Old 03-06-2014, 03:55 PM
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I was disabled by lower back DDD. Had a fusion, but still had the same pain.
Not uncommon RC...have seen lots of those as well. Saw lots, some were good for a while then progressively got worse; some were no better off following the fusion or discectomy...it's a hard slug when nerve pain is associated with it. I rarely get LBP but it only takes a wrong move and it can be a lifestyle changer.

When, I said in an earlier post that if felt like saying "suck it up princess" I wasn't referring to persons afflicted such as yourself. I was referring to people that come into the office and because some doctor told them they have DDD they carried on as if they were give 6 months. I would have liked to grab a couple of them by the ear and have them follow me in the ER after someone wrapped a car around a pole at 60 mph and say ... "now, lets put this in perspective".
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1976 C&C 30 MKI

The pessimist complains about the wind.
The optimist expects it to change.
The realist adjusts the sails.
...Sir William Arthur Ward.
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Old 03-06-2014, 03:59 PM
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Mo, no offense. At this point, I wont take the narcotics anymore. I go by the "suck it up" theory, or go lay down. No much else left to try. I have been thru it all.
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Old 03-06-2014, 07:01 PM
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Thanks RC. It's a rare person that doesn't get some sort of back, shoulder, or neck pain as we age. Our pass-time is a very enjoyable one and I'd rather be doing it than sitting in a recliner and watching TV. Yes, I do believe we may put a bit of wear and tear on the body sailing. That said, we are not quite down hill skiers, snowboarders, hockey players and football players taking shock after shock. There are worse things we can be doing and there are worse afflictions.
On the right side of the blue
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1976 C&C 30 MKI

The pessimist complains about the wind.
The optimist expects it to change.
The realist adjusts the sails.
...Sir William Arthur Ward.
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Old 03-06-2014, 07:30 PM
JOHN COOKSON JOHN COOKSON is offline
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Like a bumper sticker I once saw:
Across the top was a big wood type screw.
Across the bottom the caption read "Screw The Golden Years"

TRUE GRIT
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Old 03-06-2014, 08:19 PM
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I use orange, well it was orange, yarn on the shrouds. Does save looking up and when combined with what the sail tells me is close enough for my type of sailing. My windex has been out of line for years, damn bird. To much sun in my youth so it is big hats and sunscreen for me. Had enough Mohs procedures but am sure there will be more. No issue with that lately as I have not seen the sun in several days. Hunkerd down just north of St Andrews Sound waiting for this N wind to lay down.
Dan S/V Marian Claire

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Old 03-06-2014, 11:47 PM
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I put a set of Davis shroud tells on the Macgregor since I forgot to put the sparfly up when I put up the mast. seemd to work pretty good.

The "new" Cal has a big black thing with cups and a vane for the top of the mast and a fancy panel gauge down in the cockpit. I really hope it works.
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Old 03-07-2014, 12:36 AM
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I tell people "the older I get, the better I was"
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Old 03-07-2014, 07:32 AM
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Mo,

Excellent thread, thanks for sharing. DDD, in most of our futures. My 88 year old father just got his CT results back...stenosis and DDD. More than half my patients have this diagnosis.

I like your hat solution. Clever. I started wearing my Greek fisherman's hat a lot over the past year. It is very comfortable, stable on the head. I also have a wide brimmed "Aussie hat" that I wear.

But I have a solution to the heat problem. One of my patients, a great old salt from Newfoundland, resides in an assisted living center where I see patients. He walked into my office with a light blue Greek fisherman's hat. I asked him about it, and he answered that it was his "summer hat. I went on the web, found the GreekMarket web site. You can get a cotton version of the Greek hat in white, blue, tan, black. I bought one for him in white. I'm planning on buying myself a cotton one this spring.

Skywalker
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Old 03-07-2014, 08:55 AM
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Mo,

Excellent thread, thanks for sharing. DDD, in most of our futures. My 88 year old father just got his CT results back...stenosis and DDD. More than half my patients have this diagnosis.

I like your hat solution. Clever. I started wearing my Greek fisherman's hat a lot over the past year. It is very comfortable, stable on the head. I also have a wide brimmed "Aussie hat" that I wear.

But I have a solution to the heat problem. One of my patients, a great old salt from Newfoundland, resides in an assisted living center where I see patients. He walked into my office with a light blue Greek fisherman's hat. I asked him about it, and he answered that it was his "summer hat. I went on the web, found the GreekMarket web site. You can get a cotton version of the Greek hat in white, blue, tan, black. I bought one for him in white. I'm planning on buying myself a cotton one this spring.

Skywalker
Saw them but liked my beige one more...it's just an Arnold Palmer golfing hat I think. There is a liner in it as well...pretty good hat...of course it's all personal taste in the end.
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The realist adjusts the sails.
...Sir William Arthur Ward.
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Old 03-07-2014, 09:55 AM
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Thumbs up Tale of no tales

Mo, well put all the way. I have been an avid cyclist most all of my life and if you commute on the roads you'll go down. I've been hit by a car twice and had many a bone unhinged and broke. I landed on top of my head both times and one was quite bed and while in my twenties I broke my back (5 vertebrae) while being stupid. I spent years trying to find relief and finally I found a chiropractor and a Sports Orthopede who made all the difference in the world. They had me work on strengthening the little muscle groups and making it a regiment. As long as I stick to my exercise and pay attention I still function fine. My neck is a bit of a problem still and seeing this post and Mo's comments really brings paying attention to causes too. After reading this I realized that it has been a long time since I have looked up much for trim unless racing of course. Once out sailing and the sails are set I can sail for hours and not touch anything as I have the touch for my boat which has not had a telltale for at least 20 years now. The only downside is I have an Osprey that likes my masthead. He even stayed put while motoring out of Alimitos Bay, lots of people noticed and he stayed until we got into some waves.

I feel that a lot of spine pains are due to the lack of working on the problem instead of just suffering. Taking pain meds is something I avoid as much as possible but I did get a good bit of advise from the Orthopede regarding meds. As I have many places in my body that can get sore after riding for over 40 miles or so. When I am going to go for a long ride I know I am going to have some swelling and discomfort so I took his advise and when I do so I take a anti-inflammatory before I go and most of the swelling does not happen and neither does the pain. When doing this I never have to take anything after the fact for a couple of days like before~~one dose good for a long go.

Dave Neptune
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Old 03-07-2014, 01:18 PM
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+1 On Exercises

About four years ago I was working on the A4. The whatever it was nut that I was trying to loosen was frozen\corroded in place so I gave it maximum torque. The problem was that I was twisted like a pretzel when I did this and I felt something in my lower back snap. My lower back was so sore that I couldn't stand up straight. Ended up in physical therapy for 3-4 months and got it squared away.

I still do the exercises and stretches three times a week. My lower back is in perfect shape. I can do anything I want and my back doesn't bother me a bit. It's like my back is 20 years old again. I wrap the jib sheet a couple of times around the winch grab it with both hands stand up and brace aginst the bench with one foot lean back and pull it in. No problems. In fact it feels good on my lower back.
This is comming from sombody whose L5 vertebrate is fused to their tail bone.

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Old 03-07-2014, 02:10 PM
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john, I dont follow. I too had L5, S1 fused
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Old 03-11-2014, 01:26 PM
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...and here's why I have a sore neck. Used to wear that hat all summer out there...summer of 2013 was the big change to a narrow peak hat and the neck extending back is nowhere near as dramatic.
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Mo

"Odyssey"
1976 C&C 30 MKI

The pessimist complains about the wind.
The optimist expects it to change.
The realist adjusts the sails.
...Sir William Arthur Ward.
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