I saw the jib boom swing in my direction, and I thought, “Oh, shit! I’m in the wrong place at the wrong time.” I turned too late and the boom struck me on the nose and threw me to the boat’s side. I tried to hang onto the lifelines as I wheeled over them, but the momentum was too great and I lost my grip. Happy Times whooshed by as I fell in the water.
Mike uttered a rare curse as he saw what happened and started to bring the boat under control. He had just started the engines and begun lowering the sails when I was knocked overboard. He let the sails drop completely and told Mikayla to throw the Lifesling.
I knew that I’d been hit pretty good. I didn’t know if my nose was broken or not. Blood and snot gathered above my lip and I wiped it off. Mikayla hates the sight of blood.
Mike passed me once and walked down the rear steps to grab me. The boat’s wake only shoved more water down my gullet. “Throw me something!” I yelled.
Mikayla threw a Mustang Survival Rescue Stick, but evidently she needs a lesson in throwing downwind versus upwind. The stick automatically inflated about 150’ away and sailed downwind to our friends on s/v Tevakenui who scooped it up.
Mike circled the boat again and pulled the rope of the Lifesling closer to me. I was able to swim and bob in its direction. I grabbed the line, sticking the collar under one arm, and Mikayla pulled me in. I climbed aboard and Mikayla took charge.
She quickly gave me a towel to wipe off the blood. Then she helped me out of my wet clothes and into some dry ones. She grabbed a cold pack and I applied it right away.
Michelle and Geoff of s/v Eclipse dinghied over immediately. Geoff came on board to examine the injury and offer assistance in anchoring off Green Island. Ironically, we were only a few hundred feet from our chosen spot for the night when the accident happened.
As soon as I saw Geoff, I said, “When we talked recently about practicing a man overboard (MOB) drill, this isn’t exactly what I had in mind.” He grinned.
Our crew quickly found a spot and dropped the anchor. By then Eclipse and Tevakenui also had their hooks down. Mark from Tevakenui came over, checked my eyes and decided that I didn’t have a concussion. He offered some suggestions on pain relief. Michelle came aboard, too, and offered ideas on how to care for my nose. It bled for three or four hours, and I had to keep sticking rolls of toilet paper in one nostril to keep it from dripping. At least the Crockett proboscis is still intact, though a little battered.