The absolute worst boat bite of all time.

It’s a beautiful day here in St Ann Martinique.  It’s one of the largest anchorages in the Caribbean and it’s nice to be somewhere where there is plenty of room to anchor.  And, it’s not rolly!

This is a wide open and lovely spot and I can’t help but begin this post with a view of the full moon setting early this morning when I was sitting in the cockpit reading a book at O-dark-30, a few hours before dawn.   It was a beautiful sight.Even better close up. Somehow one of the best parts of cruising is watching the sky and trying to see interesting shapes in the clouds.   I think that this one looks a lot like a dragon on patrol. And speaking of setting full moons.  How about this sunset?  It’s hard to beat a view like this as the sun drops to the horizon. And the illusive green flash which isn’t all that uncommon here in the Caribbean when the horizon is clear. As I have mentioned in an earlier post, we badly bent our anchor trying to Anchor in Fort de France but here it’s easy with plenty of room all around us.  Happily, the shank has been straightened and the anchor is as good as new.

Tomorrow we will be leaving our dink in nearby La Marin to have a “granny bar” or in this case a “YaYa bar” installed to make it easier for Brenda, AKA, YaYa, to get in and out of the dink.   When we were at a dock in La Marin last week a women watched Brenda as she crawled out of the dink, like everyone of a certain age does including yours truly.  She pointed out that her husband, who had a severe stroke, now had a terrific handhold in their dink that made it possible for him to get in and out fairly easily in spite of being partially paralyzed on the left half of his body.

As luck would have it, the shop that made the bar 0n their dink was nearby and was actually the same one that fixed our anchor, so YaYa bar, here we come!  Tomorrow!

As we have to leave the dink for the day we have rented a car to tour the island.  Can you say Rum Distilleries?

Martinique is home to some great distilleries and it’s great fun to visit them and do a bit of tasting.   I’ll report on what I learn.

And, speaking of learning.  As of today, after three months aboard we have finally completed the “mostly permanent” installation of our Starlink satellite antenna.

Since January we had it perched on deck while we were at anchor and then dwon below when we were underway.  Deciding where to mount it was a real challenge but I finally figured it out.

It actually took me an entire sweaty day to snake the cable from the navigation station down below, all the way to the stern.  And, it wasn’t until I was able to source a robust fishing rod holder and install it on the back of the davits, that I had a spot to put the antenna.

Here’s how it looks.  Pretty spiffy and it should stay fairly high above the salt spray on passage.  We’ll see how that goes.   It is an “RV” unit but not necessarily marine.  But, there are plenty of these installed on boats now so fingers crossed. Note that it is installed on the port side of the arch.  That’s important as the prevailing winds are from the east and that means that the sun generally tracks on the starboard, south, side of the boat which means that the antenna doesn’t shade the solar panel below it.

Note that the antenna is mounted behind the wind generator. That’s an important distinction and I learned the hard way that carbon fiber wind generator blades do not mix well with flesh.

A few days ago when I was installing the bracket for the antenna on the arch I had turned off the wind generator while I was working up on the arch installing the bracket.   However, and it’s a BIG HOWEVER, I turned it back on when I was working below and forgot to engage the break again before going back up on the arch to work.

I have mentioned that the unit is pretty quiet and while it was whirring away, spinning REALLY F*****G FAST, I lifted my hand and in a fraction of a second the blades sliced open my hand, splattering blood everywhere including in my dink that was trailing 10′ behind the boat.

In a fraction of a second, my hand was mangled and bleeding like nothing like I have ever seen.  Thick, alarmingly red blood splattered everywhere.  It looked terrible.   Oh boy, did it hurt!

I was able to climb down from the arch and count my fingers.  All accounted for…

I called out to Brenda and we applied pressure on the “wounds” and did our best to stop the bleeding.    A LOT OF BLOOD!  It’s amazing how much a cut, no make that multiple cuts, can bleed.

Anyway, we cleaned up a bit and applied a pressure bandage, and headed ashore in the dink.  After trying to find a cab with no luck, we ended up taking a bus to the hospital in a nearby town and after waiting about an hour a doctor showed up.  Two or three hours later I was finally in the examining room.

She was very competent and spent an hour cleaning me up and stitching my wounds.  Let me tell you, it wasn’t fun but she did a very good job.

If you have a weak stomach, stop here….

This may look nasty but it’s downright beautiful compared to what I arrived at the hospital looking like.  The blades hit me so hard that even my palm is bruised from the force of impact on the back of my hand.  No swimming for me for the next ten days.  I’ll tell you that I feel like I have a guardian angel watching over me as it could have been a lot worse,  WAY LOT WORSE!  At least I still have all my fingers, no numb spots and everything still works just fine if a bit puffy.  And, in the dark of night my mind wanders and I imagine just HOW BAD it could have been.

I have written a lot about my wind generator and solar panels and let me tell you, I still like looking at them but from now on, it’s look but don’t touch, even by accident.

Well, a few days later it still hurts but not nearly as much and I am more than a little thankful that it wasn’t a lot worse.

I can say with confidence that this is without question the absolute worst “boat bite” I have ever had and way worse than the recent one on my left shin and my big toe but that’s another story.

But, it was still a lovely sunrise today after the moon went down. Oh yeah, and about all that spilling blood thing…

Brenda was not amused…


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