Monday, July 12, 2010

July 9, 2010, 21:30 HST

N 19°43.915’, W 155°03.149’

We made landfall today just before noon local time. Richard rowed to shore to meet with the harbor master to check us in. While you don’t go through customs, per se, when you arrive by boat in Hawai'i you do have to go through agricultural customs. Basically, the local authorities want to ensure that you are not inadvertently bringing in pests (like insects or plant diseases) hitch hiking on your produce. There is also some amount of paperwork to fill out in order to get the permits necessary for anchoring around the islands.

While Richard was busy with the harbor master, I got ready to go to an urgent care facility here in Hilo. On June 29th I was coming down the companionway and a wave hit the boat at just the right angle as I was taking my last step and I didn’t quite land it right and ended up coming down on my ankle the wrong way and hard. It immediately did not feel right. I looked up sprained ankle in our medical reference and began the RICES protocol (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevate, Splint) which initially helped. My foot looked horrible; black and blue and all swollen. Richard looked at it and we really thought that it might just be a really bad sprain. I took ibuprofen, continued to elevate, ice, and re-wrap with ace bandages, and it actually started to feel much better and I was able to continue with my watches. After about 5 days, I started to taper down the ibuprofen and noticed that it was still quite painful. That’s when the whole idea of sprained ankle came into question. But, wanting my glass to be half full (of a good microbrew at this point!), I continued to tell myself, “This is just a sprain and the pain is because I’m backing off the ibuprofen and exercising it.”

Just to be safe though, I told Richard of my plan to go to the urgent care facility once we made landfall. He agreed that this was a good idea.

When Richard returned from the harbor master he told me that he had met Susan from S/V Mist, which was anchored right next to us. They had chatted and she had stopped by in her dinghy on her way to shore earlier to chat. As Richard and I were getting ready to have Richard row me to shore, Susan stopped by and said that she and her partner had rented a car and were planning on going into town in a few minutes and did we want to hitch a ride with them. I immediately jumped on this opportunity and got a ride into town with Susan and her partner, Elba.

Susan and Elba drove me to the urgent care facility and told me that when they were done with their errands, they would swing by the urgent care place to check if I had left yet and if I hadn’t they would wait and drive me back to the boat. I told them that to thank them for their kindness, Richard and I had a bottle of good champagne on the boat that we were going to open to celebrate making it to Hawai'i and that we would let them know when we opened it and invite them over to toast along with us.

It actually didn’t take me that long at the urgent care facility and yes, I had indeed broken my foot in one place. The treating physician made an appointment for me with an orthopedic surgeon for July 12th to discuss my options for the rest of the summer given that casting at this point would pose quite a problem considering my plans to sail back to Seattle in August. They actually tried to get me to wear a “boot” but that hurt more than not wearing it so I initially declined the boot, stating that I would wait to hear what the orthopedic surgeon thought was my best options at this point.

I left the urgent care facility and started walking back to the boat. I knew it was kind of far, but not too far. Well, it wouldn’t have been very far if I had taken the most direct route but as it turns out, I didn’t take the most direct route and ended up walking about 4 miles…with a broken foot!

I finally made it back to the boat. We rested a bit and then took a taxi to a restaurant for dinner.

And thus ended my first day in Hawai'i.

1 comment:

  1. Brian,

    I am interested in how the boat did. Enough room? Ride? Etc.

    My wife are looking at the same boat. Any thoughts pro or con would be appreciated.