Welcome to paradise. My first stop hospital. Yes on Wednesday afternoon whilst on watch I managed to fall down the salon stairs. From top to bottom. My foot got caught in between the rungs (stairs are like a ladder) of the third from bottom step on the way down. Tofar the medical officer was in his bunk in the salon so immediately took care of me. Mega painkillers, ice packs, foot, ankle and knee strapped up. Suspected broken ankle, plus major knee trauma. Spent the night in my bunk, having to ask for help just to go to the loo.
Hanna helped me up the stairs the first time. She then had to balance me all the way to the toilet. Remember the ship doesn’t stop rolling about, not even for injured me. I got to the loo with me making operatic pained squeaking noises and her laughing at me. We made a right sight. Amazing how even though I was in so much pain the two of us still managed to laugh.
I found out in the morning that I was put on the night orders by the Captain. Every ships check, done hourly, had to include making sure I was ok, breathing if I wasn’t awake and helped if I needed anything. That’s actually quite cool and thoughtful. Being carried to the loo by young fit men is an experience…….
We arrived in port early Thursday morning and once we had dropped anchor and launched the skiff it was time for Tofar and I to go to shore. Not the easiest of things when you are splinted up from foot to hip and unable to put any weight on your right foot. Getting off the ship involves climbing over the side and the down a rope ladder, whilst nothing stays still. I had many hands holding on to me as I lowered myself down into the skiff one legged.
The skiff run was really choppy, Tofar holding on to my leg to stop me being bumped about to much, Jack giving me his coat to keep me dry. Getting off the skiff was easier however .Ty and Jack had to lift me up on my feet, they then started teaching me how to use crutches. Not easy. Especially as I got to the end of the dock and then had to use crutches walking across a sandy beach.
The hospital was so efficient, our taxi driver called ahead to tell them we were coming. I was out into a wheel chair and into X-ray within 10mins of arrival.
Results. No broken bones, big sigh of relief. probably torn ligament in my knee. Much pain.
I decided not to try to get back on the ship and checked into the nearest hotel right by the beach.
Insurance company have taken over and are arranging my flights home. Unfortunately due to the Easter weekend I can’t get medical clearance from the airlines to fly, their offices open again Tuesday. So looks like I’m stuck in paradise until Thursday. If I was to be stuck anywhere, then this is the place. Beautiful sandy beaches, the best food ever. I am in a small apartment with everything I need to hand. Ann my landlady is taking me to the supermarket tomorrow. The lads in the apartment below me are medical students and have offered to help me with anything, including restraping me up as required. I might be loosing my crew but I have plenty of local support here already.
I went back to the ship during Friday afternoon and packed my stuff. Then I was bought back to shore with helpers to get me into my apartment. Said final goodbyes to the people onboard and shed a few tears. Especially hard leaving Hanna. My best giggle mate.
Went out for dinner with Katie and Vicky, final night with ship mates. Met various others during the evening and had many hugs and kisses. They sail at 7am tomorrow.
Goodbye Picton Castle and Crew. I have had the most amazing adventure. So much fun, laughter and magic. I may not have learnt all the ropes, but learnt a lot. I can actually steer a square rig tall ship.
So my adventure hasn’t quite finished yet. I will try to explore what I can of this island.
my time on the ship may have come to an early finish, but, I will not let that detract from the time I’ve had.
My last blog I hope to write the credits of the cast that made up my adventure.