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Old 05-09-2012, 00:15   #1
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My Sailing Season is Over...

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 and friends.

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.

gunk
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Old 05-09-2012, 03:30   #2
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Ouch sounds painful. Hope you have a speedy recovery!
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Old 05-09-2012, 03:36   #3
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Re: My Sailing Season is Over...

Gunk:
Sorry to hear of your unfortunate accident. Glad to hear about all the kind assistance with which you’ve been blessed. Hope you have a full recovery. Regards to Beth.
Gord & Maggie
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Old 05-09-2012, 05:55   #4
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Sorry for your pain. Heal fast!
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Old 05-09-2012, 06:08   #5
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Re: My Sailing Season is Over...

Gunk:

Sorry to hear your season ended the way it did. But, you give good advice about getting onto the dock. Wear good shoes and easy does it. NEVER EVER jump onto a dock. I've watched so many people do that and end up on their backs because the did realize how slippery some docks can be. Always step off the boat and onto the dock and if you can't wait until you can.
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Old 05-09-2012, 07:01   #6
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Re: My Sailing Season is Over...

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbianka View Post
... NEVER EVER jump onto a dock...
Yes, I always tell students to never jump to/from a boat or dock...very effective way to get yourself hurt.

Ironically, I had just finished having this conversation with students once, as we practiced docking, and was about to get off the boat at the dock, the stern was just a few inches too far away from the dock...so DUH I just made a little hop over...the boat shifted slightly, my foot missed dock, and I landed on the edge of the dock, tweaking some tendons in my arm. I spent the rest of the week with my arm in a sling -- a good visual aid to remind the students to be very careful around boats!

Be careful out there!
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Old 05-09-2012, 07:32   #7
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Re: My Sailing Season is Over...

Quote:
Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
Gunk:
Sorry to hear of your unfortunate accident. Glad to hear about all the kind assistance with which you’ve been blessed. Hope you have a full recovery. Regards to Beth.
Gord & Maggie
Hello Gord!

Hoping you and Maggie are both healthy and happy! It was about a year ago that we sat down together and enjoyed each others company.

Beth sends her best, take care, it's almost time to get hunkered down for winter up there.

gunk
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Old 05-09-2012, 07:38   #8
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Re: My Sailing Season is Over...

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Yes, I always tell students to never jump to/from a boat or dock...very effective way to get yourself hurt.

Ironically, I had just finished having this conversation with students once, as we practiced docking, and was about to get off the boat at the dock, the stern was just a few inches too far away from the dock...so DUH I just made a little hop over...the boat shifted slightly, my foot missed dock, and I landed on the edge of the dock, tweaking some tendons in my arm. I spent the rest of the week with my arm in a sling -- a good visual aid to remind the students to be very careful around boats!

Be careful out there!
Hi Belize and Capt. Mike:

Great advice from both of you guys....even though this time there was no jumping involved, even just steppin from the boat, which was perhaps a foot above and a foot away from the dock, was enough to do a lot of damage. I've told Beth that we have to get a LARGER boat now....surely a larger boat which would demand a portable step would be safer?

Bottom line, good shoes, a minimum two point contact, and waiting for the right moment to both board and disembark has really been drilled home for me. Thanks for the comments and good wishes, I sure hope that my telling my tale of woe will prevent even one further accident from occurring. Believe me, pain sucks.....almost as much as not sailing

gunk
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Old 05-09-2012, 07:59   #9
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Re: My Sailing Season is Over...

We were just down the dock from you. We saw the commotion but didn’t know what happened till later. What brand were you wearing? Someone mentioned Crocks. I noticed mine were occasionally slipping on the wet docks, the tread worn off. I threw them away.

We hope you recover soon.

Terry & Donna
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Old 05-09-2012, 08:05   #10
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Re: My Sailing Season is Over...

Quote:
Originally Posted by gunkylump View Post
....even though this time there was no jumping involved, even just steppin from the boat, which was perhaps a foot above and a foot away from the dock, was enough to do a lot of damage.
....
Bottom line, good shoes, a minimum two point contact, and waiting for the right moment to both board and disembark has really been drilled home for me....
Also, many times slips occur when you step down on your heel, walking on the balls/toes of your feet is less likely to slip.

I've also injured my self by hanging onto a fixed point as a fell (not on a boat but ashore). The problem is that you can't let go fast enough because your natural reflex is to hang on....sometimes you are better off just to fall.

Happy healing!
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Old 05-09-2012, 08:42   #11
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Re: My Sailing Season is Over...

Pretty boat you have there! Yes, I was wearing crocs.....they had been an excellent gripper for most of the summer...it's funny, someone in the group, and I don't remember who, had mentioned to me that they no longer wore theirs because they had found them slippery.

So, no more crocs for me or Beth, just a good quality boat/deck shoe in good shape. Believe me, once the treads show more than a safe standard of wear, they will be gone. Will cost more in the long run....but I will feel much safer knowing that I have good treads underfoot. Not overconfident....just safer.
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Old 05-09-2012, 08:57   #12
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Re: My Sailing Season is Over...

Sorry that we didn't have more time to get to know you and Beth. Felt really bad about your accident but couldn't get over your attitude (and strength) through it all. The best to you (and Beth) on your recovery. We look forward to seeing you both again. I too have worn out Crocs...they're out of here!!
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Old 05-09-2012, 09:23   #13
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Re: My Sailing Season is Over...

Hi Max!

I was really looking forward to talking with you about your trip this summer, as it was very similar to ours coming down from Lake Huron. Guess it just wasn't meant to be this time<grin>

I felt really bad exposing all of you to my misfortune, so felt that light hearted banter would not only entertain but make the situation easier for all to deal with. I really didn't get a splinter in my butt....

Beth, after the initial shock and disbelief, has been a real trooper, I am a lucky man to have her to take care of me.

I've no idea where my crocs ended up......lol, and Beth won't say. I do know that I have a brand new pair of Sperry's up in the bow hanging locker.....imagine that. Geesh!

I look forward to our next meeting, what a fun and entertaining bunch of folks you hang with....did Bill ever get his sunglasses back?

Take care, enjoy the remainder of this year's sailing time. And we are bringing the Canadian bacon for next year's breakfast!

gunk
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Old 05-09-2012, 11:33   #14
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Re: My Sailing Season is Over...

Sorry for your injury. Had a similar thing happen many years ago sans broken leg and I was going into the boat instead onto the dock but the knee pain is something that I have recurring. Knocked me out of my marathon training for a year.
Dang!
I hope your recovery is quick and complete and you are back sailing next season in full spirits.
kind regards,
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Old 05-09-2012, 11:43   #15
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Re: My Sailing Season is Over...

Sorry to hear about this. Get well soon. The nature of dock/ deck height difference means that at some point you'll be jumping off the deck to the dock... not stepping off. Most of the floating docks I've encountered are a few feet below my deck level and so one HAS to jump. I actually do this a lot as I single hand and there is rarely anyone to toss a line to and so I've taken to dealing with this alone. I'm pretty good at it now... but last week I took a spill as I jumped off the dock in Jamestown. Fortunately I simply fell losing balance and there was no injury and I got up and secured the line. But I could have twisted an ankle too. I wear Sebagos which I find have good grip on most docks and decks... very wet is another story.
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