Beth and I met up with a group of friends/fellow sailors in Leamington marina on the weekend. I was able to get off work early Thursday, and we spent the first night at Boblo Island. We weren't impressed there, the docks were loaded with bird dung, and the weeds were more than very prolific....it actually was difficult getting in and out due to the extent of the weed growth.
We left Boblo early Friday morning, and departed for Leamington. It was a rough crossing, good ol' Lake Erie enjoys kicking up and Friday was not an exception to this. We did make it to Leamington marina in good time, we were actually hitting just over 8 knots surfing down some of the waves. Yup, not a pleasant trip.
We hooked up with our friends during the day Friday and Saturday, both days spent catching up and meeting new sailing buddies. We had a great pot luck dinner Saturday night, and then an awesome potluck breakfast Sunday morning. Beth and I had planned on leaving after the breakfast, it is a long run for us to return to Pilot's Cove on Lake St. Clair. While prepping our departure, I was about to return some items to a couple of the other boats. It was slightly raining, and as I stepped off Kewalo to the dock
, my left foot slipped, and down I went. I knew before I hit the dock
that my leg was broken, just like that. Our friends immediately summoned 911, but the two local ambulance units were already dispatched on other calls, so I had to wait for a unit from Kingsville. Josh and Heather did an excellent job in difficult conditions to get me onto the stretcher. I told them I could scoot my butt down the finger dock to the main dock where the stretcher was, there was no way to get me onto the stretcher on the finger dock. Mission accomplished, with both lower leg bones broken and my foot dislocated...believe it or not, I wasn't in shock, and the pain was manageable for the most part.
A quick 45 minute ride to Hotel
Dieu in Windsor, and we were placed in the capable hands of the medical
team there. A few quick x-rays, confirmation of the break and dislocation, and now it was time to reset the dislocation and break....time for some meds. They gave me some "milk of amnesia" which worked wonderfully well, I was awake, but way out of it, the foot and breaks were reset, and I didn't even realize it. Gotta love those drugs!
Up to a room, and I was operated on the following morning. 6 pins and a large metal plate, I am now officially a bionic man. I stayed one more night, and am now at home, still wondering what the heck happened.
A couple of things I did learn....Make damn sure that I have shoes on that will grip, no more sandals.....maintain at least a two point contact getting on and off the boat...both my hands were full when the accident
happen. I have the best wife and group of friends anyone can ask for......I have had offers to bring the boat home from folks in Ohio
, northern ontario(the former owner of the boat) and a member
of the Bayfield sailboat forum that I had just met a month or so ago. I am blessed with awesome family
So, as soon as my son completes the new cradle
for the boat, it will be sailed to it's winter storage
by my friends. The marina manager at Leamington graciously offered us FREE use of the slip we were in until I can move the boat. I will be off work at least 12 weeks, what with rehab and all, and this is one of the best times of the year to sail.....oh well.....
All right, enough blithering on......watch where you step, wear shoes in good condition, and surround yourself with family
and good friends. Make an honest effort to maintain at least a two point contact - one hand, one foot, etc. and you might prevent a lot of pain and missed sailing time.