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Sound Effect does the big U
Warm but squally
01/16/2012, French Harbor

Weekend of footbal playoffs for the first time in two years! The new TV was installed with satellite tv at Brooksy point so many of the American cruisers came in to watch 4 football games over the weekend. The candiens are lost and the women save one played dominos but I got real live football games and one of them (Saints 49ers) was really a good game. But it was great just to watch again. And thanks to my sons I was a fountain of knowledge. One cruisers had been gone so long he didnt understand the yellow line on the screen! Go figure. My back is getting better each day and I am even believing I may have a full recovery. I am having a second crown built for my 1950's mouth full of cavities at a cheap price so we will stay at least another 2 weeks for that. Connie is doing an art lesson tomorrow, and I am trying to get more spanish lessons organized. Reminds me of the brochures for a retire ment community... this one just floats. by the way the picuture has nothing to do with anything but hay you need a pix.

01/17/2012 | Bob Stuke
Good to hear your back is getting better. I know it sucks, but hey you are on a sailboat in paradise. What better place!
01/19/2012 | Bob Green
Glad you are feeling better! Just finished shoveling the driveway. Nasty weather the past few days. Lots of snow and now freezing rain! Great conference in Nashville...What a fun city!
Sunny 80's
01/13/2012, French Harbor

If the title got you I'll explain. It is the fear of Friday the 13th. However we found out that in Spanish speaking countries they are afraid of Tuedsay the 13th so go figure.
Friday, is my moring to be net controller for the NW Caribbean Net. This is a controlled net of SSB radio boats who check in to pass traffic, ask and answer questions, and keep track of any boats who check in that are under way and wish to be tracked by the net collectively. We also pass weather from various sources for those who may not be able to access all the weather sources. As net controller I control the potential chaos of 15-20 boats wanting to talk all on the same frequency, I decide who talks and for how long.
It is a lot of fun, we get to meet people over the radio that we may have met previously in other countries etc. This net covers Honduras, Belize, and Yuctan Mexico although we occasionaly get people farther away, in Cuba, or elsewhere. At least this is something I can do with a bum back. Getting better slowly day by day with occasional setbacks.

Iguana farm
80's Sunny
01/11/2012, French Harbor

Tuesday Connie went with 4 other ladies from 4 other boats for a ladies day out. They went to the Iguana farm. I was somewhat surprised as Connie is afraid of Iguanas but the picture clarified when Connie came home with a new shoulder purse. You see this is one of the cruise ship activities and they naturally have a gift shop. The good news is that the girls waited for the cruise ship people to leave and the prices went down for them. The cruising community has been great especially to take Connie for a while as I am still boat bound recuperating. Each day I am slightly better but it will be some time before I am back to normal. The three days in the emergency ward for IV treatment was an experience I wont soon forget. A lot of caring people trying to make do with very little. There isnt even running water in the Emergency treatment area so they cant even wash their hands. But for now we are hanging around on the hook waiting to get better, today I may even be able to get off the boat for a short walk.

01/11/2012 | Bob Stuke
Hope you are getting well and going in a positive direction im..
01/12/2012 | Sue Mast
it is good to see Connie in a photo, we did not know where you tucked her away. Pray that your back in on the mend.
Set back
Sunny 80's
01/07/2012, French Harbor

So here I am in the emergency ward of the local hospital with Debbie from Sailors run who acted as interprutor. My first night out turned into a disaster as I put my back out once again. The local marina manager at Brooksy point knows the Cuban doctor at the hospital so it was arranged for me to go in Friday morning for IV pain meds and muscle relaxer. Due to the influence of the Cuban doctor I was able to see the specialist who prescribed 3 days of IV treatment over the weekend and an Xray for Monday. Today was treatment two and Connie and I did it sans translator with no real problems. The way this works is they prescribe an IV treatment and you go to the nearest farmacia to buy the meds, then return to the hospital where they put in the IV.
The treatment in the hospital has all been gratis to this point although Violetta the Cuban doctor said there may be a small charge for the radio grafia (xray). The strange this is that I cant eat for 24hrs prior to the xray!.
With all this back and forth to the hospital I had to postpone my dental work so that will have to be later. I feel like a medical tourist the latest thing in medical treatment. Connie is doing all the boat chores I ususally do and complaining about back pain!

01/07/2012 | Bob Stuke
Hang in there Jim..
01/08/2012 | Dan Walker
Hi Jim and Connie, It's been months since I have read your blog. We are sorry to hear of your back issue. It is good to hear that you are with a community of carring cruisers and support. Our prayers are with you and Connie for a full recovery soon.
01/09/2012 | christie
Owen is praying for his grandpa!! :)
01/10/2012 | Bob Green
Take care Jim. Heading to Nashville tomorrow for the WIN Convention. Will give your best to everyone!
First night out
cool in the morning
01/06/2012, French Harbor

Thursday night is Pizza night at Brooksy's Point. This is a new micro marina just opened in French Harbor. It has room for 10-12 boats med moored to the dock. Most importantly they have opened a "cruisers club" that offers dinghy dock, laundry, happy hour, wifi, and as of last night a large screen TV. In addition they are offering game night on Sundays, Pizza night on Thursdays, and last wednesday Mexican night. Connie and I went in for Pizza night armed with a lactose pill that Denny's friend Rena had given me. It worked so I ate Pizza with cheese for the first time in years. Tommorrow night is farewell to Sailors Run of baggywrinkle fame who are planning to cruise farther down the Bay Islands. We will continue to stay put for back recuperation.
The picture is of Sharon and Reg, off Pea Soup blowing their conch horns in unison at sundown. Sharon and Reg have been of tremendous help as well but they plan to leave soon too. Making new friends is priceless, saying goodbye is very difficult.

On the mend
Norther blowing
01/03/2012, French Harbor

Today, Connie got off the boat to get away from the patient! Yes I have been mostly flat on my back since Christmas. I have had a chronic back problem I have lived with and worked around for some time but this time it dropped me to my knees and I have been mostly incapacitated for over a week. My problem is that every time I felt somewhat better I would go out and reinjure myself with heay lifting like.... streching a bungy cord or.... trying to turn over in bed. Everyone has taken pity on me and given me medications and the last two days I have taken a Central American medicine known as Musflex. It seems to be helping so I have been dosing and laying about for the last 36hrs barely getting out of bed, until I got up to make this post and explain we are still alive and safely achored in French Harbor. It wasnt until I fired up the internet to make this post and determined through research that the drug I am taking is banned in the Scandanavian countries and only available with a prescription elsewhere (except of course where we are). For my pharmacy Tech son the drug is Carisoprodol so that when I become addicted he can lead the intervention and by chance get a vacation in sunny Roatan.
Connie bless her heart went ashore today in what she claims was near horizontal rain that she braved to bring me my stash from the pharmacy, which oh by the way is across the street from Applebees where she waited out the worst of the storm and by some accounts actually ate lunch while I had a peanut butter cracker on the boat.
Hope to make a full recovery, I will keep you posted.

01/03/2012 | Sue Mast
rest! the muscle relaxant will work of course but sometimes masks the symptoms. Get better!
01/04/2012 | Rick
this reminds me of the move Brian and I helped you with and you got the infamous "pillow" injury.
01/04/2012 | Dan Besmer
Get well soon, Skipper. I too have endured the bad back plauge from time to time. Drop that bungee exercise routine.
01/04/2012 | Deb McAdams
I know the back injury thing pretty well myself. Rest as much as possible whole those muscle relaxants do their job, but also work on strengthening your abd muscles. Even while resting, tighten and relax your stomach muscles, then gradually work into more active things like curls and so on. When you’re in internet range google abdominal strengthening exercises and you’ll get lots. Your abd muscles support your back, as I have learned thru physical therapy a time or three. Good luck and feel better. I’m glad Connie is taking good care of both of you.

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Who: Jim & Connie Merritt
Port: Tacoma WA
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