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Injuries and complacency 

June 2014

Minutes after getting on board, we were both feeling at home. We felt comfortable.  This was only the third trip on Lukim Yu in yet it was as if we had owned her for years.  

Departing Shute Harbor, Denise had just finished hoisting the main sail. Without thinking, she then released the main sheet clutch without having the main sheet wrapped around the winch.  Instinctively, Denise grabbed the quickly disappearing main sheet with her bare hand, suffering one hell of a rope burn. Blisters appeared instantly. No amount of ice and Panadol would relieve her pain. 

Not 48 hours later, having passed through Soleway passage heading north, I was adjusting the runner when we unexpectedly jibbed.  The sheet ripped through my hand which I instantly opened, conscience of not suffering the rope burn Denise suffered the day before.  However, it was too late.  It wasn't rope burn, but I had ripped flesh from my fingers as if it was bark from a tree.


Only three days in and we both had sustained injuries to one of our hands, both through complacency.  Lamenting our hard earned lesson, we discussed injuries on the boat and the potential upskilling that might be required.  Denise, being a Nurse, already had a lot of skills, however our first aid kit was lamentable at best. First job when getting home was to build a very comprehensive first aid kit. Second job, learn how to inject local anaesthetic (for minor injuries) and learn how to suture lacerations. After all, she worked with 11 plastic surgeons.   

This wasn't the last of our mishaps.  Days later, a near miss.  56 Knot squall in the middle of the night saw us dragging anchor, almost hitting another vessel!  Without decisive action, we would not only have been a decorative ornament on the front of a huge power cat, we could have also been wrecked on a reef.  Refuge Cove is not such a good refuge after all.

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