Every life has its ups and downs. Yesterday was just one of those days when the downs all came at once! If the gods had been smiling on us, we would already be out in an anchorage, headed north on our annual migration into the non-hurricane zone. Instead we are still tied to the dock in La Paz being pushed around by a lovely south wind that could be blowing us north if only we were luckier.
The problem? It's not the boat. It's injuries. Three of our four crewmen are down with bum legs in the last 24 hours. Patrick's limping around in great pain right now just because he is old. So, light duty for Patrick, which means no provisioning the boat to leave. Rudy had the unfortunate accident of ripping his dew claw completely out of his paw when he was climbing back on the boat. (Out of all the injuries, his is the one that makes me grimace - Ouch!) So no walking on land for Rudy until it heals over a bit since infections are such a reality down in the tropics/sub-tropics. But the icing on the cake was when Jack came home from playing with a friend with half the skin on his knee missing, and deep gashes running down his leg.
What could they possibly be playing that would cause such an injury? Well, in the tradition of thirteen year olds everywhere (but especially boys) it really wasn't such a bad idea on the scale of 1 to 10. They weren't playing with gasoline or fireworks. They hadn't climbed to the top of the garage roof to jump their skateboards off the roof. They hadn't made a pipebomb from dismantled shotgun shells and copper piping. Instead Jack was simply out knee-boarding behind the dinghy with his friend driving. That's not dangerous, really. But then Jack started jumping his kneeboard off of a mooring ball so he could get some air. He did it successfully quite a few times. Unfortunately, there's always that time when it doesn't go quite right. And the fact remains, it's just not a good idea to hit solid objects on anything when you are going at a fast rate of speed. The unforeseen complication was that the mooring ball had lots of silver-dollar sized barnacles growing on the bottom of it. Jack can now tell you from experience that running into barnacles at a high speed is not a good thing. (I could have told you that without doing it, but then I am 44). We took one look at it and got the car keys out to take him to a clinic for a doctor to patch him up.
As mentioned, infections are something that you must diligently watch out for in the tropics. Deep skin injuries caused by nasty things like barnacles, sustained while swimming in the salt water off a harbor where people don't use their sewage holding tanks is just an infection waiting to happen. So Jack is on antibiotics and we are going to hang around in La Paz for a day or so until we are sure that his wound does not become infected. We would not want to be far from a doctor if any complications start up.
The picture was taken by his friend Al and posted on Facebook, so you know Jack going to be just fine. If it's really bad, I don't think they stop and take pictures! Even thriteen year old's have some sense.