Northwest Mantra--Repeat until July: The Sun is not a myth... the Sun is not a myth... Not even the coldest spring on record since the 1950s is going to keep us from getting ready on time, but it has made preparation a bit more challenging. Doing upside-down boat yoga in a cockpit locker, for instance, is more fun in sunshine than sleet. Trying to not poke a ladder through a garage window is much easier when it’s not blowing a gale. Click here for scientific proof that Spring in the Northwest has been “unstable.”
Don’t worry, we’re just practicing our spiffy new medical skills at an Offshore Emergency Medicine course. We highly recommend it (the course, not breaking both right arms.) Photo by Jill Dubler. More info below.
One of our favorite photos, taken last summer by Mae Jong-Bowles of Prince Rupert, Canada as we were entering Port Angeles Harbor from Sooke, BC.
Karen: Where was it?
Jim: In my pocket.
Karen: No, seriously, where was it? (She walks over, begins searching his pockets slooooowly.)
Jim: What are you doing? I have to go to work!
Karen: I’m showing you how much I truly care.
Sockdolager under sail. Soon, soon...
Time to go sailing. The day cannot come soon enough when we’re on the boat and don’t need to take tests or remember where we put keys because we won’t need the dadgum keys. Wallets and glasses will be easy to find because on this boat anything you don’t put away is in plain sight.
More on the Emergency Offshore Medicine course: First we read the 200+ page book to get ready. Then we took an online test and passed. Then we flew to Denver, where we had three nine-hour days of intensive classroom time, which included how to identify if something’s a medical emergency or not, what to do about it, and how to keep something minor from becoming major. We role-played, diagnosed using “big net” systems thinking, and even practiced emergency radio calls. Then there were the labs, hoo boy... we cleaned, irrigated and dressed a horrendous wound in a ham hock, practiced giving shots with real syringes and real drugs except that we shot up a bunch of raw chicken legs and not each other, administered a hematoma block in another unfortunate chicken leg, and smeared fake blood on ourselves before going out to lay in various pained poses in the hotel hallway, which impressed the hotel’s other guests to no end.
This course was taught with panache and humor by Jeff Isaacs and a partnership of MDs who get what it means to go offshore by sailboat. If you are going offshore and beyond the reach of medical assistance or timely medevac, then this is the course for you. It costs about the same as two month’s insurance premiums and buys peace of mind. We’ve connected the Docs with the Northwest Maritime Center in hopes they’ll bring it here, because Denver’s as far west as they’ve taught it so far. You can find out more about it here.
Ahhh, sunset. Sockdolager at anchor behind Dungeness Spit National Wildlife Refuge, just off the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Photo by Mae Jong-Bowles.