We spent the 4th
out in our boat, playing in the water, grabbing a geocache hidden on
the Island and having dinner on the beach.
A perfect 4th
of July day.
Just before dark we
decided to move the boat from where we were off of Okaloosa Island to
the beach at the bridge so we'd have a better view of the fireworks.
There were about 1.4
million boats out so finding a spot was challenging and as we were
cruising along it got dark on us – which made it even harder to
find a spot to pull up.
We spotted an empty patch
of sand and pulled in. At this particular spot you have to throw out
an anchor on your stern as well as a bow anchor so the current
doesn't slam the back of your boat onto the beach.
As we were pulling up, a
man from the pontoon boat next to us pointed out his stern line and
then walked up to the bow and told the Island King he'd pull us onto
the beach so we wouldn't hit his line.
It's common for locals to
help each other out like that so we gladly accepted his offer, cut
the motor and then he and the Island King secured our boat.
After the fireworks the
people in the boat to our right were getting ready to pull out and
since we had a stern line out as well, the Island King offered to
push them off so they wouldn't hit our line.
They were an older couple
and I think he got a little confused because as the Island King was
pushing him off the beach he put his motor in reverse and promptly
ran over our stern line.
The guy from the pontoon
on the other side of us came over to help and after taking a look at
the line they realized it was too tangled and had to be cut.
We had extra line so we
tied our anchor to that line and reset it to wait for the crowd to
thin out before we headed back to the boat ramp.
Then the people in the
pontoon backed off the beach and as they were trying to pull their
stern line the current caught the front of their boat and slammed it
into the boat on the other side of it.
The Island King jumped out
to help them get their anchor up and between him and one of the guys
from the pontoon they managed to get the anchor up and they were on
their way without hitting any more boats.
After they left we sat
there for a few minutes talking about what a bad night for stern
lines it was.
Thank goodness none of
these people were drunk and everyone was able to work together to get
their boats off the beach.
Then it was our turn. The
Island King pulls the bow anchor and I'm backing off the beach when
the current grabbed the boat and instantly I knew I was going to hit
our stern line before he could get back in the boat and pull that
I turned the motor off
just in time and the stern line did wrap around the prop a few times
but since the prop wasn't spinning it didn't cut the rope.
I jumped off the bow and
pulled us back on the beach while he went to the back of the boat to
unwrap the line from the prop.
I got back on the boat and
then heard him yell and then say he needed a light.
As I was getting the light
to the back of the boat I asked if he was ok and he tells me that he
cut his finger but will be alright.
I got the light and shined
it in the water so he could see to unwrap the rope and I swear there
was blood pouring off of his hand like you wouldn't believe.
There was so much of it
that it wasn't even dissolving in the current – just a steady flow
of blood streaming out with the tide.
I told the Island Girl to
get the first aid kit out and told him to him to get out of the water
to take care of his hand while I jumped in and finished unwrapping
I unwrapped the line and
back into the boat I go only to see that there was blood EVERYWHERE.
The Island Girl has taken
a bucket and is throwing water all over the boat trying to get rid of
the blood, he's sitting there looking at his hand – which is still
spurting blood everywhere even though he'd put a compression bandage
on it – and I'm in we're going to the ER mode.
Straight back to the boat
ramp we go, drive the boat around the corner to the house and then
the kids cleaned the boat while I took him to the ER.
Which required a LOT of
work on my part. He refuses to ever go to the doctor so he kept
saying “it'll be ok” even though blood is still pouring out of
I told him we weren't
going to fight about this and to get in the damn car because we were
going and we were going RIGHT THEN.
We got really lucky and
the ER was empty when we got there so they stitched him up and we
were in and out in under 30 minutes. I told the ER doc that I was
surprised they weren't busy and he said it had been coming in waves
all day. We got lucky and came in between waves and as we were
leaving 3 different ambulances were on the radio telling the ER they
were on their way in with patients.
It's his right index
finger which is his shutter and mouse finger so working may be
painful for a few days but he'll live.
At the ER the nurse asked
if the prop was running when it hit him and I laughed and said “No,
if the prop had been spinning he wouldn't have a hand anymore and
we'd be in a trauma room right now.”
She looked at me kind of
funny and that was it. I'd been in the boat for the past 10 hours,
stern lines caused the people on either side of us to have trouble
and then our own stern line got tangled and now we're ending the day
in the ER.
So I started laughing.
Hard. She looked at the Island King like “you poor man, your wife
thinks this is funny” and then he started laughing too. And neither
of us could stop.
We laughed all the way
home about the comedy of stern line errors and were both thankful
that he wasn't hurt worse than he was.
We got home, relaxed for a
bit and then went to bed.
It was an amazing day on
the water, an entertaining night on the beach and even though he got
hurt it wasn't anything major.
Now I've got to go outside
and make sure the kids got all of the blood off the boat – right
after I explain to my Mother that he didn't blow his finger off with