12 October 2018

Ouch, Injury Aboard

The morning after.  Milly offers several places to perch with foot elevated.  Not such a bad place to be.
An ankle injury is a pain in the neck!  I now marvel at people walking so effortlessly and feel great empathy for those who can’t.  

Over our four years living aboard, Milly has acted as infirmary a few times.  We both had Zika in the Grenadines.  Peter broke a metatarsal in Albania.  I had a corneal laceration in Nevis.  I had shingles in Tunisia/Morocco.  We both had mild food poisoning in Uruguay.  Then there’s the usual cuts, bruises a couple of colds.  But all required just a few days of r&r.  Even with Peter’s broken bone he was able to hobble and bicycle.
My first outing.  My face was literally dripping with sweat after 15 minutes.  It was hot out.

Almost four weeks ago, we found a leak in our hot water plumbing.  Before a fix, we wanted the scalding, engine-heated water to cool and the pipes to dry.  And so the floor board hatch was left open for the day.  After a movie, in the pitch dark and forgetting that the hatch was open, I made my way to bed.  Suddenly, there was no floor underneath me and I landed heel first about 18 inches lower with a wail.  Ribs, elbow but mainly ankle were injured.  It could have been so much worse and I’m very grateful it was only my ankle - but it’s still a drag.

I have my own private doc aboard and we were in a secluded bay at the time so I have not had it investigated.  Whether a sprain or a cracked calcaneous, the treatment is the same - no weight bearing for 2-6 weeks, compression, elevation.  Crutches were purchased.
Not to be missed - Delphi!  A long, steep climb up to the stadium meant a longer, steeper climb down, or so it seemed.  Delphi is an magical ancient place.  The paths and Sacred Way are polished stone from centuries of visiting pilgrims.  A challenge but oh so wonderful to see.

Besides no hiking or yoga, the biggest adjustment we have both had to make is a change in roles.  Before owning the boat, we had decided to exchange roles regularly.  In nearly four years, our anchoring, docking, tying ashore roles have not alternated…once.  Peter expertly helms the boat.  I am the bowperson which involves standing on the bow for anchoring - simple, even with a bum ankle.  But one must also pop, back and forth to the chain locker to tumble the beehived chain - a little more foot dependent.  Docking involves getting all the fenders and lines ready and moving quickly to various points of line attachment to throw and cinch, sometimes even jumping ashore.  Tying ashore requires dropping the anchor at the bow, moving quickly to the stern, leaping into the water with line, swimming quickly ashore, climbing rocks to find a tree or rock to tie to, descending to water and repeating with second line.  Grabbing a mooring ball also requires being spry.  So I took the helm which requires sitting, dexterity, confidence, courage and unflappability especially with in tight spots with wind.  The change has been good for both of us.  I’m working on the characteristics required.  I’ve perfected sitting!
Sadly, Peter has done a lot of exploring on his own.  He takes pictures of what he sees that he thinks I'd enjoy. He hit the jackpot here.

Lessons learned:
  • Remember that hatches are open
  • Turn on the lights when it is dark.  We never do this, being used to the dark on night passages.  And I eat lots of carrots.  But no moon on the night of injury.
  • Close all hatches at night, at least on the route to bed or head.
  • Antares is built with lots of handholds and open spaces are small.  This is wonderful for safety in a rough sea but also great for hopping around the boat on one foot.
  • Peter is a very patient man who responds easily to my beck and call.
  • Having two friends aboard to carry tea, make meals, do the dishes, etc. etc. was a blessing - for Peter and for me!
  • People are kind, helpful and considerate.  I'm offered stools in stores and sympathetic glances from strangers. Little kids make sad comments.  People leap from their seats to offer me help climbing into or out of the dinghy.  And more. 
  • Crutches are not meant for long distance hiking.  Palms and armpits rebel.
  • Swimming with one leg kicking feels wonderful.
  • I am an impatient patient!  
Spectacular view from the Osios Loukas Monastery over a patchwork valley of olive groves.  At the end of a grand day of auto touring, I was still smiling.  And who wouldn't be!

I have a new found appreciation and gratitude for good health and mobility.  I will try never take it forgranted again!


  1. dear Sally, we wish for improvements and much patience in this waiting time. miss you. I would like to be around to help her. take care. hugs.

  2. Thanks, Caci! You are sweet. It's getting better...slowly. xo