Friday, 31 December 2010

Incredible India

Bolgatty Marina, Cochin

Although Neil has spent a long time in India this year, very little has been spent relaxing.  So early in December we flew to Cochin in the state of Kerala, "God's Own Country".  Located on the south west coast of India, we explored the ancient town of Fort Cochin and the marina at Bolgatty Island.  We were not disappointed in the food, the friendliness and the wonderful sights.  We stayed at the Fort House Hotel with a wonderful view of the extensive waterways leading into Cochin's backwaters and lake system.


Three days prior to this Neil was working in Hyderabad.  He was bitten by an insect whilst in a car on the way to see a client.  The bite instantly became red and angry.  By the weekend in Cochin the bite area was infected.  Neil started on a course of antibiotics and after a few more days he contacted the company's International Travel Assistance Service.  New antibiotics were prescribed but the relief was only temporary, the bite site began swelling and in a few days was the size of a half a golf ball.  Neil immediately flew back to Singapore and was at Singapore General Hospital an hour after landing and admitted for surgery later in the afternoon.

Cleaning the wound site - not much fun.
One more scar added

The surgeon excised the infected area, leaving a 3 cm by 1cm wide and 1cm deep hole in his arm (only click here if you want to see the wound). He was immediately put on a course of intravenous antibiotics. The wound site was kept open and cleaned and packed daily for the four days Neil was in hospital.

Visiting Boat Nurse

On discharge a nursing service was organised to come visit Neil on board and continue with cleaning and repacking the wound.  Gradually the new grainy tissue and blood vessels began to fill in this hole.

Excellent visiting nurse service
After Neil visited his surgeon for a followup visit, Ley took over the cleaning and wound packing.  With a week off between Christmas and New Year we planned to relax and hopefully find time to finish off the 12 volt control side of our refrigeration, still not completed from our refit.  But this was not meant to be....

One more time....
Happy New Year!

A few days later Neil was back in hospital.  Another infection had flared up, this time in his nasal and sinus area.  More blood tests, more IV antibiotics and bed rest at Singapore General Hospital.  The infection appears to be retreating and Neil no longer looks like Rudolf's brother!  But the bad news is that he will be seeing in the New Year from his hospital bed.

Wishing all our family and friends a very healthy, happy and peaceful 2011.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

A Month Of Challenges

Neil continues with his "other" life, working mostly in India, with ongoing AV projects in Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad.  He had quite a few health issues over the last 2 months, but he seems to be on top of it now.  But not even a red-eye flight from India to Singapore was going to deter him from his latest challenge.

Getting Knotted
Bowlines.....up the burrow, around the tree, down the burrow, back to me!
Close friend Carol Shaw is "den mother" to a group of Cub Scouts here in Singapore.  The pack, 120 plus boys, were having a camp-out in a National Park and one of the planned experiences was knot tying.  Being an "old boy scout" in Australia, and a sailor, pre-qualified Neil for the teaching task.  But he still had to pass an online test to permit him to instruct a scouting group.

With his new certificate and a basic out line of available equipment and expectations, off Neil went to the Singapore camp out.  Both the parents and the boys had a fine time learning how to tie knots, coil line and the understanding of which knot to use when and where.

Kris and David departing from One15 Marina.

Hello....& Farewell

In early Novemeber our friends Kris and David on SV Taipan docked here at One Degree 15 Marina, Singapore, just two berths away from us.  Wow  - "real" cruisers to do real boating things with !  David, Kris and Ley shopped till they dropped, chasing boat bits, including webbing, alternator parts, and batteries.  A little food, clothes and shoe shopping happened as well.

We enjoyed  many great meals and good wines, until they finally cast off their dock lines, heading for Sarawak (our favourite Asian destination).  They are slowly heading northwards and our paths may not cross for many years to come, leaving us the challenge of saying farewell and safe sailing to great friends.

Continuing the Tradition
When we were based in Sydney we celebrated Thanksgiving with our American friends, Steve and Carol Shaw.  After the annual Saturday feast we usually loaded all the leftovers and more friends aboard Crystal Blues for a peaceful picnic on Pittwater.  We're pleased to say that this year we continued with our Thanksgiving tradition, celebrating again with the Shaw family and friends.  True to form, Sunday saw us sailing with delicious leftovers, plus a bunch of hangovers.  Crystal Blues sailed to St John's island, a challenging journey of at least 2 kilometers.  Our taste buds and waist lines were again challenged with turkey, mounds of stuffing, plates of vegetables and Carol's fabulous pumpkin and sweet potato pies.
Allen and Neil enjoying Thanksgiving!

Steven Shaw carving the turkey.