February 20, 2010.
We’ve spent a few days hiding from nasty northerlies but we were able to get to shore and do some hiking in between rain squalls.
When the rains finally subsided we were left with chilly temps down near 70 degrees. Most of the people walking across Ragged Island into town were wearing a little more clothing than I’m used to seeing down here. Except Christy of course, who is still generating heat like a runaway reactor.
The water is also way chillier than usual but we were able to get into the water to do a little hunting, so we hit a new section of reef and rocks out near one of the cuts. There was a strong ebb tide and as a result the water was full of suspended sand, severely limiting visibility. I was able to spear a 9 lb. Permit. We called it a day shortly afterwards because visibility was just too crappy. The next day we went to an area with less tidal flow and grabbed a lobster and a Schoolmaster.
On Friday morning we sailed off the hook and made the 9 mile trip north up to Middle Pen Bay on Hog Cay. There was a bit of a medical drama unfolding several miles to our north. Our friend Jerry on Poco Loco slipped and fell while hiking on some iron shore. He ended up breaking both bones in his forearm just above the wrist. He sails alone, but luckily he was walking with friends at the time. One of the women was a nurse so she splinted his arm with a piece of driftwood and diapers. Don’t ask.
The nearest doctor was a 2 day sail away unless you count our friend Bob on Savage Son, who is a retired orthopedic surgeon. Jerry is 72 years old so a broken wrist is more than a little serious. Bob was 15 miles away from Jerry but gave advice over the VHF to the attending nurse. After 6 hours of back and forth with the United States Coast Guard they decided that a broken wrist wasn’t life threatening so there would be no help coming. The disappointing part of that whole debacle was that the final decision took so long to come down the chain of command that daylight was lost and there was no way for Jerry to be moved closer to medical assistance.
At dawn the next morning he was transferred to a large catamaran to make traveling more comfortable. The crew’s of the other boats in the anchorage all did a little shuffling around and one of the other captains was freed up to drive Jerry’s boat south to Hog Cay. As they headed south, Savage Son headed north and met up with the boat transporting Jerry. They dropped their hooks near a shoal out in the middle of nowhere and Bob went over to examine Jerry’s arm in person. Talk about a house call. He decided that the break looked clean with no deformity and that the nurse had done a nice job of immobilizing the injury. There was nothing else to be done for him but to get him to a medical facility.
After hours of phone calls it was arranged for a small plane to take Jerry from Ragged Island to Georgetown. Once there he was transferred to another small plane and flown to Nassau where his arm was put in a cast. After that he boarded another plane for the hop back to the states for a date with a surgeon.
So we all sit here in Hog Cay, with Jerry’s boat anchored, waiting for word from Jerry.