Date: 18 Oct 96 10:43:39 EDT

From: Nellie Gruender <104675.2134@CompuServe.COM>

Subject: Have crutches will travel

Everyone,

The walking wounded aboard Rainbow Chaser are "sort of" walking, depending on your definition of walking.

I have just completed the 3rd week (only the days before I left on vacation ever went this slow!!) of crutch only mobility. I will go back to the Dr the first week of November to hopefully be put in a walking cast. I will remain in the walking cast for another month, and then I hope to be freed to begin physical therapy, and CRUISING.

So, how does one manage on a boat with crutches? I usually don't use the crutches on the boat, I hop from place to place. This method worked well until I tripped, and put my full weight on my cast. An unhappy, tearful, but surviveable event. Gene's white hair is even whiter after that happening! The manuvers I go through to get into the V berth I'll leave to your imagination. ( Just a hint-- ever seen a break dancer with a cast??) If you think about it this is better than some of the sit-coms on TV. -- Family goes crusing-- husband finds himself aboard with a 10 year old Lego maniac (ever stepped on one?) a neurotic cat that will only drink out of a glass, and a blonde with a red cast.

Life even with a cast is never dull. Gene decided I needed to "get out". He assured me that the weight of the cast would not be a problem in our inflatable dinghy. Picture this. We put a bean bag chair in the bow of the dinghy so I could sit in it and rest my cast on the side. Did you ever see a woman sitting in a blue bean bag chair with a red cast motoring around in a dinghy? We actually had people taking pictures of us. Despite my parinoia about falling in and sinking like a rock, it was fun.

Over the week-end we sailed with our friends Ed and Jeanette to Port Aransas. We enjoyed a beautiful day and great winds. Hopping around the boat while we were heeling and doing 7 knots was a bit of a challenge, it's a little harder to do the usual bracing when you have only one working brace. Let's just say I used the potty sparingly.

All in all, recuperating is a pain in the butt, ( or the leg as the case might be). Still although I'm not exactly in the condition I would like to be, I am where I want to be, with my two favorite men. (and cat)

Although Gene usually doesn't drink, I suspect he's beginning to consider it!

Smooth Sailing Nellie Aboard Rainbow Chaser