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.