Sat 5 Nov 2016 16:03
Beaucette Marina, Guernsey 49’30N 002’30W
We have finally made it! After a truly exhausting and traumatic year, starting in January and having spent only 3 weeks out of our 3 month plan sailing around the Caribbean, Elke was diagnosed with a bone tumor in her femur and advised to fly straight back home rather than risk breakage. James left there, shell shocked and about to welcome his sister aboard for what was supposed to be a fabulous 10 day holiday with her sailing around the BVI together. Then came the ordeal of sorting the yacht out and where to leave it before being able to fly back to support me. a few months later James was back with his ever ready buddy Simon to prepare the boat and bring it back before the summer season kicked in at the kiosk. Now of course we cant be sure, but there is a pretty big chance that Simon is ‘jinxed’ when sailing with James, they always suffer horrendous conditions, unfortunately without exception, this was true for the uphill leg back from Antigua. A massive low filled the Atlantic and chased them the whole way back, with numerous calls on the sat phone, me hearing the crashing and sheer exhaustion in his voice did not make for a restful recovery after first op in April to remove the tumour and fill with cement! No sooner were they back than James was thrown into the deep end running Port Soif Kiosk! So after 23 years as a Coast Guard and Port Control Officer he was now on his feet for 12 hours a day, before coming home to treat me like a Princess! Unfortunately, it turns out that there was not enough strong bone left so more fractures appeared, so second op end of August to remove femur and knee and replace with titanium prosthesis. Time is ticking on and we realise now that we only have 8 weeks to try and prepare for another crossing (down hill as James puts it). Only this week I have managed to rid myself of the crutches but I still have a way to go in building the muscle back up. A big thank you must be given to Rick at Beaucette Marina where nothing has been too much trouble whilst the boat has been both out on the hard and back in 2 weeks ago preparing for the off, which unfortunately could not be said for the other marina on the island, (did I mention that James gave 23 years loyal service to running the harbour and saving lives at see?)
We crept out first thing this morning after sleeping aboard last night, we still had gear, clothes and toiletries in bins sacks unpacked, I hadn't had time to spring clean and we could both have done with at least another day or two to sort things out. Thanks again to Simon for helping James with all the electrical jobs on board, the girls at the kiosk for both stepping in over the summer during my summer of need and keeping things running during the winter months and our families for being so supportive.