November 16, 2006 GMT
Snail Trails

This island, Mustang Island, is host to just two Brits, myself and Stuart. There is only one town - Port Aransas, population 3370 - which is quite possibly the friendliest place on the planet.

The locals are also rather amused that we're both patrons of the Port Medical Center. Stuart had a buried splinter of steel in his foot and had to have it dug out (I tried and failed, but in my defence my concentration was affected by the screaming), and yesterday morning I finally gave up on my hurty bits and went to see what they thought was wrong with my left arm and shoulder, which have been rather painful for around 10 days.

I explained the symptoms and was examined thoroughly by the nice Dr. Novotny (family originated in Bohemia in the Czech Republic), then X-rayed. He thinks the bash on my shoulder when I fell off near Austin started things off, then I annoyed it further by heaving on stuff on the boat. The joint looks sort of wrong and there's a lot of inflammation. So the arm's in a sling for a few days and I have industrial-strength anti-inflammatories and painkillers.

Trouble is, the X-rays showed some strange stuff in the humerus, so they've been sent to a radiologist for an opinion. There's a sort of jumble of snail-trail marks, as though someone's gone berserk with an etching tool. Very strange. So apart from not being able to ride I have to hang around for a few days for the opinion and a diagnosis.

Interestingly, the doc seemed to have no problem with my diet regime (in common with Francisco in Coyhaique), and my soon-to-be-patented method of combined pain relief and physio for damaged shoulders - you remember, pulling the cork, lifting the bottle, pouring the Merlot/Cabernet/Malbec (und so weiter). He reckoned if it works for me it works for him.

I've moved off the boat for now, into a very nice motel round the corner, so I can walk to the boat and to Shorty's. The decorator comes in on Friday, anyway; nice Aussie lady called Reba, who's going to do out the heads and other bits and pieces, so it'll be full of dust and fairly uninhabitable.

We still need to install the new chartplotter, and small-worldery has kicked in. The Raymarine kit we've bought has not-very-good manuals, as you probably gathered, and one of the chaps on this list is Steve Hart with whom I worked at Sun. He's now contracting, and working for Raymarine, so can do some decoding for us if we get totally stuck. It's all to do with interfacing the Chartplotter, the Garmin GPS and a laptop, together with other gizmos, so isn't exactly straightforward.
Gosh it's fun.

You'll never have heard of Port Aransas, I'm sure, but I could definitely live here. Everyone is immediately friendly and helpful (much like most of the world, really), and it's so small everyone knows everyone else, and who we are, and where to go for stuff and who to see for things. The ferry is lovely, and right next to the marina; it comes over from Aransas Pass (it's only about a hundred yards across the water) incessantly, and is free. Yesterday an ambulance appeared and as it approached the ferry the few cars which had driven on were hurriedly reversed off, the ambulance drove on, and the ferry left almost instantly. You only have to wait about five minutes for the next ferry anyway.

By the way, thanks for the birthday wishes - 52 today and a bit if a do tonight at Shorty's.

Posted by Cynthia Milton at November 16, 2006 09:57 PM GMT

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