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Letter from Canada


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Offline neptune

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Letter from Canada
« on: July 03, 2012, 04:59:40 PM »
For those who remember David Cookie when visiting N.Z and if you just want a feel good feeling.

Hi Family and Friends,
Itís been months (or longer for some) since just before I went to Dallas in March that I sent out a personal update. Well, itís been a busy few months. In early May we took the Clipper, the high speed cat to Seattle to compete in the COW (Can/Or/WA) in Renton (on Lake Wash.). Sailed quite well and placed middle of the fleet. I was awarded the Corinthian Trophy (for most stubborn, they used the word perseverance).  The highlight for me was leading the fleet after 2 legs and then forgetting to take off the switch that limits the rudder angle. Went from 1st to 6th in seconds. I laughed hard. PVR told me this might happen.
In early June went to Saltspring Island for the Western Canadians. Didnít do as well here but had a pile of fun. Prior to event I focused too much on building the current boat versus preparing the boat Iím about to race. A tough lesson learned but I enjoy building the boats as much as sailing them. It was nice having my nephew Andy and his friend Aanderra with us to help Raewyn lug the w/c ramp around.  Thanks Cinda for the fabulous hospitality! My performance on Sat. very good making A fleet almost every race and a few times staying in it without being demoted. Sun. sucked (like Fri) which was maybe because of too much rum the night before. Next time Iíll have to say no after the first drink. What can I say, Iím a cheap drunk.
Health-wise the past few months have been challenging and very rewarding! Iíve got a new w/c which has tilting back and footrest. Itís so comfy Iíve even slept in it a few nights while traveling. Weíve moved my old w/c up to our cabin so that allows us to travel lighter, faster and with more room to and from the cabin. This will be nice now that May, Raewynís Mom just arrived yesterday from NZL for her 3 month stay. Iíve got the best mother-in-law. Right now they are hard at work in the garden while Iím goofing off at the computer watching the close finish of the Volvo Round the World Race.
A year ago after realizing a catheter was not the best solution to my urinary problems, I had to come up with a better solution which was 3-fold. First I wear shorts even in the middle of winter (Iíve had made thicker and warmer leg warmers); second I came up with the idea to modify my w/c cushion to have the front centre carved out to allow a better angle to pee into my bottle; and third I got some great advice from a continence nurse (drink more earlier on in the day). These 3 changes have really changed my life for the better 10-fold. Iíve doubled my fluid intake and donít nearly pee my pants as often. Iím so happy and excited, hence sharing probably too much personal information. It makes me feel great and has simplified Raewynís life sop thatís what really counts!
My arms and hands continue to weaken to the point putting my shirt or sling on or off myself is no longer an option. Three fingers on my left hand are locking up because of gripping the joystick of my w/c. Iíve been to the Dr., talked to brother Alan (my 2nd opinion in medical matters which drives my own Dr. bananas) and have been to QA. I flex my fingers on a regular basis but I need to get a splint made to wear at nights. Stay tuned.
Regarding my book, I havenít been doing much writing but Iíve been researching key timelines over my life to make sure the book is factual. I recently spoke with long-time friend Angus Duncan to determine when we rode our bicycles from Victoria to Lake Cowichan about 75 miles away. It turns out we did it when we were 15 years old. Pretty amazing our parents would have approved! I also talked to my sister-in-law Marilyn about when I was first diagnosed with Muscular Atrophy. She knew exactly as she remembered it was just a couple months before I graduated from high school and 17 years old. Imagine being told your body is only going to get weaker and there is no cure. As time goes by and in writing my book, Iím finding I reflect back more on the decisions Iíve made in life and Iím so happy Iíve done what Iíve done.
A couple of weeks ago Cindy Lister, a good friend and my old girlfriend from way back when asked me to speak at the opening launch of her ALS fundraiser she is organizing in memory of her Dad who recently died of ALS. If you didnít see my ugly mug on TV or in the newspaper, check out her website for some photos and she published my speech. If you want a sneak preview of part of my book, go and read it. From the response Iíve had from the audience and feedback from others, I think Iíve inspired a few people.
After nearly 8 months of work and many hours, yesterday we launched Porky Pig version 3 which Iím calling ĎSka Slayerí. See attached photo. Ska is a Brad Gibson design (the guy who designed the Brit Pop, the boat that came 1st, 2nd and 3rd at last yearís Worlds), which we built and launched in Feb. and is the most popular IOM design in the area. Well despite not being able to remove an ugly wrinkle in the main while on port tack and with the luck and bad luck of catching weeds, the boat won a couple of races and was near the front of the pack. Our day was cut short when the jib sheet snuck under the winch drum guard and tangled things up.
Last but not least Iíve been spending some time designing Porky Pig version 4 which will be a hard chine boat similar to the Brit Pop. Due to my arms and hands weakening and not getting much of my book written this will be the last boat I design and build. With that said Iíve set the gauntlet high as the goals are to be good in both light and strong winds and in flat or lumpy seas, the holy grail of yacht design. The plan is to go to San Francisco next summer to watch some Americas Cup sailing and go IOM sailing too. Iíve ordered a Lintel, a hot heavy-air IOM in case my PP4 is a dud. Enough babbling.
David Cookie
unless otherwise stated views are my own.
bob Atkinson rtd

Offline grant

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Re: Letter from Canada
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2012, 07:43:03 AM »
I had the pleasure of meeting Dave when he was in NZ at Wattle Farm.He was sailing Geoff Smales boat and was very proficient despite his illness.A truly remarkable humble man.Great to see he is still sailing. :D :D :D :D :D