Life has a way of slowing us down sometimes, and in my case, it happened very abruptly! I crashed and burned pretty hard, but I’m very thankful that my injuries weren’t more severe and that I’ve been in great hands in terms of my medical care. After reminiscing with Dallas about the medical facilities we’ve seen on our travels (e.g., Tonga, Vanuatu), I’m counting my blessings that my bike accident occurred at Christmas Island. The staff at the hospital was incredibly nice, and I was able to recuperate in an air-conditioned, unmoving room for a few days, which would not have been an option in the less developed islands.

Dallas has demonstrated himself to be a very attentive and patient nurse. I was pretty disabled the first day or so since I couldn’t open my mouth much at all or use my left arm, but he helped me accomplish the day to day necessities such as feeding and bathing. When not tending to me in the hospital, he’s been tending to the boat and also offered to help some Argentinean cruisers with engine trouble. They pulled into the cove on Saturday under sail, and we were impressed with their ability to bring the boat to a halt so near the rocky cliffs and get their anchor safely dropped. When the British cruiser from another boat came to ask for our help in towing them to a mooring, we discovered that they had not anchored that way by choice. Their transmission wasn’t working, and Christmas Island is not the ideal place for such repairs, but Dallas has been able to use both his Spanish and his mechanical skills to fix the presenting problem (and identify a new one…typical with boats).

Yesterday afternoon we hopped on a plane bound for Perth. I was more than ready for a change of scenery after staring at the same four walls for a few days, and donning a hat and sunglasses, I could almost pass as a vacationer rather than someone in need of medical assistance! We arrived in Perth pretty late and already sleep deprived (particularly Dallas who had been awakened twice the night before to talk to the insurance company) but tried to take in a bit of the city en route to our lodging. Today we’ve had a chance to walk around and get a feel for it, and it is pretty impressive. The Sydney of the west coast, it’s an attractive, clean, metropolitan city built alongside a very wide and blue river. There seems to be a lot of money here, much of it presumably coming from the mining operations here in Western Australia. The architecture is a mix of traditional European (e.g., the public buildings and galleries) and modern urban, and there are some classy looking restaurants, jazz clubs, etc. sprinkled throughout. Definitely not a bad place to be for a little while…

sunset Sunset from a different aspect than usual

architectureA glimpse of downtown Perth

It is looking like we’ll be here for a week. The specialist who evaluated me at the public hospital today confirmed the fracture in the center of my jaw and made an appointment for surgery tomorrow morning to pin it back together. With any luck, that will fix my bite (at the moment none of my back teeth meet up – hence the starvation diet of soup and fruit puree), but he suspects that he’ll need to use some “screws” to hold things in their proper place for a bit. Oh joy! I will probably be discharged after one night but will need to return in a week for a follow up, after which we should be able to return to the boat and get moving again.