Change in Plans

On Jan 5th, we prepared the boat for an early departure the next morning. Weather reports seemed favourable for the passage south to the Berry Islands and the anchorage at Bullocks Harbour.

A last visit was made to the local grocery to stock up on fresh veggies and fruit.

The outboard motor was lifted aboard and stowed on the stern rail. The dinghy was secured on the foredeck. All seemed in readiness.

My antibiotic treatment had finished that morning. A niggling ache had started in my abdomen again which I was trying to ignore. By early evening, I could not ignore the fact that I was running a fever.

Could I take some of the antibiotics I had aboard? Could we still cruise? Questions that needed answers. We turned on the ham radio to 14.300 and the Maritime Mobile Net at 8 pm. The net control called for “any medical or emergency traffic”. I called using Murray’s call sign VE3ZUA. A station in Kansas responded. He arranged a phone patch to a doctor. Soon Dave, a Canadian living in Kansas, responded. He said that he had worked in London, Ont for 14 years. He asked some questions about my recent history. Upon hearing of the acute cholecystis attack recently and the new symptoms, he advised that I need urgent IV antibiotics. I thanked him very much and we made preparations to leave the boat.

Friends helped Murray get the dinghy launched and the motor re-attached while I packed a bag. Into the dinghy and to the marina where another friend had a taxi waiting to take us to the hospital. I was re-admitted and put back on massive drug treatments.

During this episode, we decided that the cruise was out for me at this time. I needed to return to Canada as soon as possible and to have the surgery done. Then, maybe we could cruise for a while.

Friday, the 9th the doctors, after giving me solid food for the first time in 4 days, said I could go. If I flew out right away.

Flights were arranged and I flew into Toronto on Sat the 10th.

Murray has stayed with the boat and, depending on the date of surgery, may stay south or may sail to the US and drive north.

So, the cruising life teaches you to be very flexible. Always we say that our plans are made in jello, ready to be changed at a whim. This year, ours have really changed.

Will we get to cruise at all? That depends. Maybe just the ICW for a month or six weeks. Maybe a brief visit back to our favourite islands. Who knows?

Murray ( aboard Windswept IV) & Heather ( ashore in London, ON )