A diagnosis, a cold front, and a “playmate” for Cacao…

Well, we are still living “on the hard” here at the Charlotte Harbor Boat Storage yard.

Sunday morning we woke to sun, humidity, and warmth. Ron put on a pair of shorts and it was then that I saw that a nasty scratch on his shin was looking downright wicked: the area around the long scab was raised and red with blisters on the outside edges. And there was a scratch on the back of his other leg that looked like it was going the same way: not as red, but blisters on the edge of the “scratched” area. In my nicest, non-bitchy way, I said that I wasn’t leaving until Ron had this checked out. To make a long story short, we were referred to emergency at Fawcett Hospital in Charlotte Harbor after the urgent care center would not take Ron’s insurance. This seemed insane. In the end, emergency was efficient (from the time we walked through the door until the time we walked out was about 30 minutes) and cost-effective (less than 25% of what we were quoted it was going to cost at urgent care). And the staff at emergency were NICE. Diagnosis is cellulitis, and Ron is now on a round of antibiotics. If the infection has spread after 2 days of antibiotics, he is to follow up with the doctor. I’ve taken photos (that I will not share here!) so that we can be sure it is clearing up before we launch and begin cruising–away from our car, away from easy access to health care.

Ron’s infection has come at a good time, if there can be a good time to keep one in port. While our friends and family are dealing with fierce snow, wind and cold (and 2 days of classes cancelled at GVSU!), even southern Florida is feeling its effects. The north winds arrived here this afternoon with temperatures dropping 15º in about one hour. It’s hard to complain about overnight temperatures in the low 40’s and 30’s, but if we aren’t connected to electricity, we have no heat on board. (Our boat cools down very quickly when winds are gusting over 30 mph.) As I sit here on board, on the hard, with winds howling and our ladder rattling and the boat shaking every once in a while, I can say that it’s very nice that our heater is keeping us comfortable, and that we’re not on anchor watch in some open anchorage concerned that we might break loose in these strong northerlies.

And yes, Cacao had a little “playmate” last night. I didn’t wake, but Ron did when our cat began bouncing off the surfaces of our boat cabin. Turns out we had one of these little guys aboard, inside our boat. We’re not sure where he came from. Ron found him afixed to our cabin window and threw him (her) out of the cabin, but then found him as above, nestled against our toe rail. He is now “freed”, on the ground, where we hope he stays!–jes