We have arrived! FINALLY!

Long story short, I ended up having surgery to decompress the ulnar nerve in the wrist and a juxtaposition (moving) of the ulnar nerve at the elbow on January 11!

So once we KNEW what the plan was, we were able to rent an AirB&B house in Rochester. Only minutes from the hospital where day surgery was to take place, with a week of recovery there as well. So, recovery was during Gregs birthday, so needless to say, we enjoyed his 60th birthday at our little AirB&B (notice the big cast!):

While in Minnesota with frigid temps, I captured this unique ice sculpture on the window of the house when I opened the curtains one morning. I thought it was pretty!

One week after surgery, we had a follow up appointment with our good friend and hand surgeon, Dr. Dave. He had the big immobilizing cast removed, and the incisions looking good, put on some steri-stips and a compression sleeve, and gave us his blessing for us to head south.

After about 7-10 days, it seemed like the right decision, because the numbness and tingling seemed to be decreasing, I could tie my shoes and knit again! And it seems to be getting progressively better. I just still need to be VERY VERY careful with movement until full recovery (about 10-12 weeks).

So it took us 3 days of driving (visiting parents along the way) but we arrived in Naples, FL, to Gregs brother Steves 2nd home.

That is where I “recovered” in the sunny, warm weather. It was nice to be in weather where we didn’t have to be in layers of clothes, and could be wearing minimal clothing again and flip flops! Next we had to find somebody to remove the stitches the next week. The Naples area has many “walk in” clinics and Urgent Care Centers. Which to pick? (Ended up finding a nice Walk In clinic). I think the removal of the stitches was the most painful thing of this whole process! EW!!!

While in Naples, we noticed how many “older” folks lived there. Every restaurant we went to, I believe we were the youngest ones there! The Naples area is notorious for older folks moving there, with a very nice retirement savings (majority of cars were BMWs, Mercedes, Audi’s and even saw a Rolls Royce!). And it was also obvious when I took Toto in for his health exam for international travel! When in Minnesota, our local vet typically “signs” the international health certificate without a charge. In Naples, I was given the bill to pay and they charged $400 to sign this piece of paper! I was speechless and didn’t think to contest this charge. But next time I’ll know to ask what they charge for this “service” (prior, I didn’t know there was such a charge to this “service”!).

So we made flight arrangements for a few days after stitches were removed, and arrived in Martinique on Saturday, January 27. American has direct flights from Miami to Martinique, and Naples is only a 2 hour drive to Miami. So leaving from Steves home at 6am, we were in Martinique by 4pm that afternoon. A nice trip.

So here is our girl, Aquataurus. We are glad to be here (today in Minnesota it is, again, below 0 degrees F!). This is our arrival photo, since then Greg has applied 3 layers of paint to the bottom (a primer and 2 anti fouling) and has one more to go (tomorrow). He says this is the last time he does it, next time this needs to be done, he’s hiring it done!

We found an AirB&B in the countryside of the town of Riviere Pilot in Martinique Link to Riviere Pilot-Wikipedia. A nice little bungalow, very humble and simple. But nice accommodations while we work on Aquataurus.

We were hoping to have her in the water by tomorrow (I know, that is REALLY optimistic considering we just arrived on last Saturday), but it looks like maybe next Friday is more realistic. I’m being VERY careful with using my left hand when doing boat chores. I’ve been “working” many of the days, but yesterday went to help out Greg (he’s doing the bottom painting: 4 coats!), I cleaned with my right hand (with vinegar) the aft cabin (it’s ready to be slept in!), and the cockpit (ceiling, walls), as well as put netting on the lower rails on the deck  (so Toto doesn’t fall in!).

I felt very accomplished, and it felt good to be out in the sun and breeze, even though it was working on the boat. We leave this bungalow on Monday, and plan to stay on Aquataurus until launch (whenever that will be).

So, until next time!

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