Armless in Las Palmas

Karma Daze
Chris and Penny Manley
Sat 10 Nov 2012 13:12
We have spent the last week continuing doing odd jobs.  At the beginning of the week we took the boat out to “swing the compass”.  The autopilot had been tending to wander and not keep a straight course, so we needed to reset it.  This needed a calm sea and not much wind so we could motor slowly in circles for the autopilot to reset the flux compass.  That completed we came back in, refueled and went back to our marina space.  Moored next to us is a new Beneteau with a very wide stern, so we had to squeeze our way in with the help of crews from other boats.  Penny was driving which always elicits comments from other male crews!  Usually complementary...
On Wednesday the day dawned grey and overcast, so we spent the day installing a “Smartgauge” .  One of the things we have to be careful of on our passage across the Atlantic is power management.  We have 6 service batteries which provide all the energy for the fridge, freezer, lights, autopilot etc.     As we will be sailing we won’t have the engine on which would recharge them, and although we have solar panels, the sun is only shining for 11 hours a day, so we need to make sure we keep the batteries topped up.  As we have a generator we need to know how long to run it for each day.  This conundrum has provided Chris with hours of entertainment measuring voltages etc.  Now he can do all this at the press of a button. 
Wednesday evening we went to the Sailor’s bar for a sundowner, when it absolutely tipped down.  When the rain had stopped we walked back to the boat for dinner.  The wooden pontoon was very wet and slippery, and Penny slipped and landed heavily on her left side.  We hobbled back to the boat and asked our Swedish neighbour and his wife which hospital we should go to as Penny couldn’t move her arm, and was in great pain.  They arranged a  taxi and told the driver which A&E to take us to.  After a short wait and filling in forms with passport information and insurance details we saw the doctor, had an x-ray, to be told Penny had a hairline fracture at the top of her humerus (the bone between shoulder and elbow), and has to keep her arm in a a sling for the next 3-4 weeks.  The ARC begins in 2 weeks so it should be well on the way to being healed by then (we hope).  Apart from only being able to use one arm, it is also extremely painful, so she is well stocked with pain killers!  Everyone is very sympathetic which is nice.  Chris is telling everyone that we have 6 working limbs between us on our sail as crew member John has shoulder problems and is having intense physiotherapy and has been assured by his doctor and physio he will be ok on our trip. Not only are we going for the oldest crew prize, we’re also entering for the most injured!