Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: California Central Coast
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Re: Ever been injured on your boat? Just happened to me.
While sailing our Alberg 37 yawl from Martha's Vineyard to Nantucket, we were leaving Vineyard Haven and our guests were standing on deck. The wind began to shift and I knew we were gonna jibe. I told them to get down but they didn't listen. Then my x-wife yelled at them and they ducked just in time. However, my x didn't realize her knee was in the path of the main traveler. The bottom portion of the 7:1 block hit her right in the knee and opened it up good. Both or our guests were doctors. They were excited to finally be a help on the boat. After bandaging her up with our measly first aid kit, they agreed stitches would be needed in Nantucket.
So, we're almost into Nantucket and the wind really pipes up. I reef the main, but have trouble furling the jib. So, I put the furling line on a jib sheet winch. There was still a lot of tension in the furling line so I decided to "sweat" the line by pulling it laterally toward me while one of the doctors tailed the winch. I tell him, "on the count of 3 start pulling the line as fast as you can." But the doc jump the count and started pulling on "2". My left hand went under the line right into the winch. Of course my well educated crew kept the tension on the line (with my hand halfway around the drum) until I yelled for him to let go of the line.
We finally got the jib in and I retook the helm. Then the other doctor said, "let's look at that hand." I held it up and my left pinky was making a 90-degree angle away from the other fingers. I remember saying, "I think I'm gonna..."
I woke up five seconds later on the cockpit sole laughing. I announced sarcastically, "Yeah, I'm really in solid command of this vessel!"
We grabbed a mooring in Nantucket. The harbor master met us at the mooring to collect our fees and we asked, where's the hospital and then where can we get a good Margarita?
In the hospital, my x and I were laying on adjacent exam tables when the on duty doctor came in. After hearing our stories he said, "Boy, I can't wait to go sailing with you two!"
Moral of the story: Really go over instructions very clearly with inexperience crew. Their actions could have consequences for you! And, oh, get the best first aid kit you can afford!