Day 75, Year 1: True Confessions on New Year’s Eve
Date: Saturday, December 31, 2005
Weather: Gorgeous Day, 83 degrees F, now 80 degrees F
Location: Admiralty Bay, Bequia, The Grenadines

As the sound of drums begins to fill the air and we near the coming of a new year, I decided that I needed to mention a few things that I have “glossed over” in the past few days. You have to enter a new year with a clean slate, so now is the time for true confessions.
True Confession #1-Mark’s Mishap: There is a reason that we have not strayed too far from the boat since arriving here on Wednesday. On Christmas Day, we were all sharing dive gear while snuba diving in Walilabou. I was out of the water not using my dive fins and booties, and Mark had none at the moment. I suggested that he try to go in using my dive fins without booties, as I knew those wouldn’t fit him. He did, but as a result, he ended up rubbing the skin off on the top of both big toes and the top of his instep on both feet. Of course, he didn’t mention this until the next day, and he had not thought to clean the wounds when he returned to the boat. As a result, he had ended up with a nice infection in his left foot. It got redder and more swollen, so we called the World Clinic (our paid medical service) and asked for advice. We carry many prescription drugs that they provided, but we are always supposed to call before self-medicating. They recommended that Mark start taking an antibiotic, so he did, and we check in with them everyday with a progress report. Basically, he is supposed to stay out of salt water, keep the wounds clean, and keep the foot elevated. Unfortunately, that precludes walking on this beautiful island, but the doc is pretty sure that he should be fine early next week.
True Confession #2-Judy’s Mishap: This story has a happy ending. On the first day in Soufriere, Justin and I took a resort diving course which included diving with Chester, our instructor. We had a great time, but somewhere along the line I was reaching out to play with a Christmas Tree worm and somehow caught my ring finger on the coral. When I looked, I had an inch long incision on the back of my finger, extending from near the top to below the first knuckle. It was bleeding, but didn’t hurt, but I thought I should let Chester know. He took a look, started investigating, squeezed my finger and took out a chunk of flat coral the size of the tip of my little finger. We were 10 to 15 underwater, but I was fine and we continued the dive. When we got back to the dive shop, he insisted on pouring massive amounts of hydrogen peroxide into the cut. In our Outward Bound Emergency Medical Course, we were told that the only good use of hydrogen peroxide was to take blood stains out of clothes and to never use it on a cut, but I let Chester go ahead. Luckily, even though I continued to dive and snorkel everyday in the salt water, the wound healed beautifully with no infection. Maybe using hydrogen peroxide is not such a bad idea. Anyone out there have opinions on this?
True Confession #3–Vibrations: On the trip from Vieux Fort to here on Wednesday, we developed a vibration. If we kept the motor speed above 2000 RPM’s, we were okay, but at lower speeds, Mark could watch the engine shaking on its mounts. The thought of one more problem was not appealing at the time, so I think I erased it from my mind. As Mark has investigated, however, it appears that we either hit something with the prop and caused some damage to it (the best scenario) or we have a badly misaligned prop shaft . Since Mark can’t get into the water until his foot is better, I dove on the prop today to check it out. It looks like this might be the problem. There are a few very tiny indentations on the leading edge of each of the two prop blades. Since Monday is a holiday here, we will wait until Tuesday to see if we can get the prop blades fixed here or whether or not we will need to send it out. Or maybe we will need to buy a new prop. BOAT – Break Out Another Thousand! I’ll keep you posted on this one.
True Confession #4-A Hairy Story: Yesterday was hair cutting day. I cut Mark’s hair, which was long overdue, and then he cut mine. For those of you who don’t know me, I have very long hair that I braid and keep tied in a neat little knot at the nape of my neck. Every couple of years, I have Mark cut my hair to mid-back length. I asked him to do this yesterday, but I think he was little overly ambitious. I can still braid my hair, but I have a hard time winding it into the little knot. So for now, I have a pony tail. Feels like the 1950’s all over again! Mark says it’s about time I let my hair down.
Those are all of the true confessions. I can now enter the new year with a clear conscience. I hope each and every one of you has a wonderful New Year’s evening and a happy New Year’s day. We are looking forward to having the last two chocolate covered cherries that our son Justin brought us for Christmas as our dessert tonight. We might even dinghy into the Frangipani Hotel and Restaurant (again the concept of hotel has to be adjusted) to enjoy the steel drum band later tonight. Or we might just spend a quiet night on the boat watching a DVD our daughter Heather brought us for Christmas – South Pacific. I can’t think of a better way to usher in 2006 than to dream about where we are headed in the next few months.

051231 Day 75 Bequia New Year's Eve