My last day in Seattle was spent at the hospital again.  This time with an orthopaedic surgeon who specialises in shoulder injuries.  He was 90% sure that the rotator cuff tendon has detached itself from the bone, taking fragments of bone with it.  He explained that it would need reattaching to the bone with “tent pegs”.  Lovely.  But not something that I would have in the USA, as the insurance only covers emergency work, and this is classed as non-emergent.

So, back to the insurance company to get them to book me a flight home the next day with Paul.  Less than 24 hours until he leaves, and still no flight booked.  They came back with, “We have booked you a flight on Delta” – Paul is booked on British Airways.  My answer, unsurprisingly, was no.  After several backwards and forwards, and Clipper having to get involved (thank you Sarah, you have been awesome) I eventually got my ticket information for the BA flight.  Has it sunk in that I am going home?  No.  Will it sink in?  Probably not.

We spent a fantastic last evening with Chewie, Craig and Emily having dinner at the Skycity Restaurant in the Space Needle.  Virtually the only tourist sightseeing that I have done since I have been in this lovely city.  I really haven’t done it justice, but then I wasn’t in the right mood for it.  This was such a relaxed, enjoyable evening – with friends that will last forever.

I went down to the boat the following morning to say my goodbyes to all of the crew.  The start of the race wasn’t until 1.30pm from the marina – our flight was 1.25pm so I was going to miss the departure.  Maybe that wasn’t such a bad thing.  Marc presented me with my extension hook that I hung my foulies on – to hang them up at home.
It was really sad saying goodbye – it was strange not being involved with getting everything ready to go.  Had it sunk in now – no. I will miss everyone for different reasons – and not get to know the new members of the crew at all.  That will be weird.   I saw Val for the first and last time in this stopover – she had been away to San Francisco to see family.  That was one of the saddest moments.  I will miss her so much.

So, to the airport we went.  There were other departing crew on the flight, and Mr & Mrs Nugget.  I started to watch the departure ceremony on Periscope, until I lost the signal.  I saw the Danang crew come down the boardwalk to go to their boat – it broke my heart not to be with them.  Then the signal went – quite apt really.

It was a horrible flight home – I didn’t want to be on it, and I didn’t sleep a wink.  Everything hurt, and they didn’t serve Campari.  Bugger!  Tony came to pick us up and take us home – he smiled and I cried.  Still didn’t want to be there.

When we pulled into the drive – something I had imagined so many times when I was cold and wet sitting on deck – it wasn’t with the jubilation of my dreams.  Harriet and William were there, and they had a huge Welcome Home banner with a picture of the boat on it.  It was so good to see them, but I still didn’t want to be there.  Bella came out, and didn’t even recognize me.  She gave me a cursory sniff, then went on to everyone else.  Oh well, I suppose I deserved it for leaving her for about four dog years.

Sadie, Alexis and Seb came later on in the afternoon, and we had our first family meal for eight months.  It should have been such a happier occasion.  Don’t get me wrong, I love being here.  But this is three months too early.  I hope this feeling doesn’t last.

I have made an appointment with an orthopaedic surgeon for Tuesday – Monday is a bank holiday.  Something I haven’t had to deal with for a long time.  At least I will have a better idea of what needs doing and how long the recovery will be.  And if I will have any chance of rejoining the boat at any point between now and 30th July.

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