Tumultuous Uproar

A cruising boat with a racing problem...

The Medical Teams and The Wanker

08 April 2018
(Channel 14 VHF, San Cristobal, Galapagos, April 7, 7:00 PM)

“Heritage, Heritage, this is Uproar”
“Uproar, this is Heritage.”
“This is Lisa, we are ready for the medical team, rum punch is ready.”
“Roger that Uproar, we will take a water taxi over right away.”

I knew well what awaited me when the medical team arrived, filled with dread. But they arrived with smiles and “Yes please” to rum punch. Adam and Alyssa have a beautiful, traditional, Bruce Roberts design ketch and presently had three crew from Germany. Caroline, one of the crew, is a doctor. They all celebrated their equator crossing as did we on Uproar. Caroline's was most extreme, she shaved her long hair off. Alyssa is a nurse and Lisa as administrator filled out The Medical Team.

I read years ago that sailors who crossed the equator under sail would get a gold earring as a signal to other sailors of their accomplishment. Hmmmm.

During Antigua Classics week, I was fortunate enough to get a crewing spot on Iris J, a 5.5 meter sloop. Patrick Aguillard was also in the crew and had the coolest, gold shackle as an earring. There were times when the waves were filling up Iris J. Patrick became the wanker to keep us from sinking. Perhaps I should explain. Old sailing ships had a bildge pump that had an arm to be pumped up and down. The wanker was one of the lowest positions aboard so became a derogatory term. The motion of the wanker gave it its modern connotation. Nothing personal Patrick, just admired your earring. That and we sure had a great time racing.

Lisa took the hint and ordered an 18K gold shackle. I said I would try but didn't promise anything. I have a strong phobia of needles and medical procedures. If someone starts to describe an operation they had or similar, I have to leave the room. Fortunately, I have had very few illnesses or conditions requiring medical care. Perhaps it is because this phobia keeps me healthy. It would suffice to say that when I am confronted with a shot or blood test, I shake like an old dog shitting razor blades....then the room starts to spin.

The Medical Team was well aware of my condition and my conflicting desire to wear the shackle in my ear. Lisa coordinated the procedure and sheltered me from any details. Three rum punches later, I was lead to our cabin and laid out comfortably on our bed. Lisa held a powerful flashlight and Alyssa went to work. I don't even want to write about the details. They had Lydocaine cream, a sharp needle and a potato. The toughest part was screwing the screw in the tiny hole left by the needle. Nurse and Doctor took turns working the screw through my ear and holding my hand. Lisa even took a turn with the final tightening of the shackle screw. They all shared in the fun.

Somehow it actually worked. OK, I was freaked out a bit but this compassionate team could not have been more kind and gentle. Thanks to The Medical Team, the patient survived!



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Vessel Name: Tumultuous Uproar
Vessel Make/Model: Beneteau 42s7
Hailing Port: Milwaukee, WI
Crew: Russ Whitford & Lisa Alberte plus Sophie our Jack Russell Terrier
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