Wednesday 30 October 2013

Down on the Dock with the Great Big C

 "What would I do with it?"
                  -Tim Mcgraw

    *Warning- profanity follows.  Deal with it*

     Gutcheck time:

     I have met some tough bastards this season.
     I have known some of them for a long time, but never knew what kind of tough sonsabitches they were.

     I am not sure I could be as strong, as full of grace and quiet good humour, as these gentle men around me have been.

    Cancer came to play this season.

     Those on the field for the showdown didn't step aside.
     They stepped up.

     It hasn't gone easy, but Cancer is, so far, getting it's ass kicked.

     Fuck Cancer.


     My dad was diagnosed with bladder cancer early this year.  He was lucky, if "lucky" can describe anyone tapped on the shoulder by the Big C-  A biopsy, surgery, infection, surgery, medication, too many checkups and consults and too much time spent in doctor's offices, he and his oncologist are cautiously optimistic.
    The coast is clear.
    For now.

   My dad has golfed for most of his life.  On October 3rd, 2013, after almost 6 decades of chasing a little white ball, and months of cancer treatment...

.... my father scored his first hole-in-one.

    Hey, Cancer?

    Fuck you.

      Closer to the Dock, we were all floored when, at the start of the season, in his quiet unassuming way, Jack slipped into a cockpit conversation that he was undergoing chemo.


      And, as he does every season, he sailed his ass off.  No holds barred, no concessions, other than to make sure the CVC in his arm stays dry.

      Think you're tough?

      Throughout months of chemo, Jack has not taken any time off work, and has sailed his Tempest at least once a week.

      THAT'S tough.

      Hey, Cancer?

      Fuck you.

      For those of you new to the Dock, Jack is second from the right, beside his daughter, Melanie.

      The guy on the far left is John,  the greenhorn.

      Cancer brought John to the Dock.

      Last winter John was diagnosed with throat cancer.  Off work from his job in Hamilton, he'd spend time walking the docks, drinking coffee, and looking at boats.  One night in May, he walked past and we got talking.

   He had never sailed before.

   He loved the idea, though.

   We get a lot of that down here.  Lots of dreaming, not a whole lot of doing.

    Lots of folks walk the docks and ask questions and get enthused, and....

   We never see them again.

    Life gets in the way.

    John bucked the trend.

    He backed his own play:  A couple of weeks after our first conversation, John comes strutting down the Dock, beer in hand, and announces, "I've got a slip."

    Now he just needs a boat.

   A week later he owned a Sirius 22.
   Which he proceeded to sail.
    A lot.


   He even started racing.

   Yeah, he's all in.

   His doctors say he is looking good.

   Hey, Cancer?

   Fuck you.

   Get off my Dock.





  1. “Tourists don’t know where they’ve been, travelers don’t know where they’re going.” - Paul Theroux