Albatrosses and Abscesses

AT 36 S and 100 W we saw our first Southern Ocean Albatross today. Didn’t get the species identification on this bird but it was big. The weather was great , sunny and warm. The wind was dead , until late afternoon , when a light westerly breeze arose and we glided off to the east over 6′ SW swells.

Since we left Easter Island we have been in radio contact with several boats going in different directions in the SE Pacific. We talk on 8 and 12 Mhz. Who cares ?

Any time we talk on the radio we can be sure that there are at least several , if not many , quiet listeners scattered far and wide , perhaps as far away as 4000 miles or more. Thus , when my friend on a yacht , who shall remain nameless ( although I don’t he would really care) called me one day a week ago for medical advice about a boil on his butt, I knew there was a wide audience.

What was that distant gagging sound ? That is the sound of fascinated disgust all over the Pacific , as daily we review on the radio waves , the detailed progress of his abscess. His wife has several degrees from several universities , but this was ‘not her field’. The victim cannot see the pocket of pus. So she must do what needs doing. This includes very detailed description of colour , consistency , odour , pain , heat , swelling. Everything but taste.

All bad taste.

Very slow improvement over the week , so antibiotics were started. Drainage continued with warm compresses and poking and prodding and pain.

It seems to be an infected sebaceous cyst , which is extra special disgusting. Some days his wife has to get on the radio and describe in detail the status , because they are a long way and at least 10 days from medical procedures , so if it is getting worse and surgical drainage is needed ,they need to get going in the correct direction. Their planned destination is Pitcairn Island which might not work for surgical facilities.

Well it does seem to be settling OK now. Meredith tells me that if I were to suffer from such an affliction ,”you’re on your own , dude” . She feels no obligation to render similar assistance. Think of it as another adventure , I suggest. “Make me hurl” she suggests.

I guess I could use a mirror.

The wonders of the wireless. Telemedicine . Cutting edge stuff.

Ran Out Of Wind

So here we are , all braced for the Roaring Forties , even though we are only at 32 degrees South. Souwesters lashed underchin , Series Drogue lashed to the aft deck ready for deployment . All drawer , floorboard toggles engaged etc etc. The wind died last eve at 2200 hrs and we drifted all night and started the engine this morning. Light SE breeze with really big SW rollers coming in.

Karsten from Panama is an amateur weather guy. He sent us his synopsis and at the moment it is hard to predict : 15 – 20 SE or NW !

We’ll putter along until radio time at 1900 hrs.

I spoke with Doug Swanson VE7KSL on 14310 last pm – good contact from La Cruz , Mexico to here about 3200 miles. He and Lyneita are leaving on ‘Ka’sala’ for Hawaii on the 13th April. 3 days ago I had contact with Norm Wilkinson in Courtenay , which is 5300 miles as the radio wave flies.

Pretty much non-stop excitement out here. If you have an over active imagination.

Emily on ‘Bobby’ might have reached Easter Island today. She was 45 miles away last night , but with light wind. It seems that her radio is malfunctioning and we can hear her very faintly , only with the headphones.