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post #9 of Old 01-21-2013 Thread Starter
Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
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Re: Around Cape Agulhas

Here is the latest poop in our little soap opera. I went to see the head honcho of the top hand program in the country, remarkable to see him less than 48 hours after showing up at emergency dept. The good news is that he thinks that skin grafts might not be needed at all. The docs in South Africa were talking about $20,000+ worth of graft surgery. Dr Graham, here said that there are three possibilities: major reconstructive surgery (highly unlikely), grafts (possible although he thought the skin would look worse after nine days if it was dead - to my eye the skin looks like something from a B quality sci-fi movie), and the skin just recovers on its own over the next month or so (most likely). His major concern is making sure I recover enough function to meet my needs for the future. Since sailing involves delivering a lot of power through both hands that means the rehab has to be right. I already had a session with an occupational therapist and will see again on Wednesday and probably Friday. Their goal is to have me in a splint with the fingers sticking out at 90* as the hand heels so as to avoid a sort of claw-like hand. Today the angles varied from 120 to 135*.

In terms of time, a best case scenario is probably going to be 4 to 6 weeks which means a March departure from SA (at best) and I just am not comfortable with that. Talked to June today and it is blowing 50 knots off Cape Town. Most cruising boats have already left and several more are going later this week. Our approach to this circumnavigation has been to act conservatively eg we went to American Samoa and Australia rather than Tonga and NZ to avoid gales (and did). March and possibly later is just too late in the season. The trades and depressions will have moved north making conditions much more hazardous than is prudent. SO, we have decided to leave Ainia in False Bay until next southern summer. We wii go back early and do more land travel in Southern Africa (Botswana, Namibia, and Victoria Falls come to mind) and make sure Ainia is completely ready to go - the Cape Town area, which includes False Bay is the best place in the country to get stuff done. Also an early start gives us more time to spend in the South Atlantic basin. Plus, June and are really missing each other (after five days). When you do extended cruising you are so intimately connected with your partner that it is hard to be apart.

After the refit we have decided to sell Ainia. We want something smaller that would be could for the light summer winds of Lake Ontario, although we plan to spend at least a couple of winters in the Caribbean before heading north.
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