Home' Afloat : AFLOAT January 2018 Contents 52 AFLOAT.com.au January 2018
*John Quirk has been writing about and illustrating the joys of
messing about in boats for over half a century. He is the author /
illustrator of Foul Bottoms, published by Adlard Coles and available
from Boat Books in Crows Nest and from Amazon.
Ph: (02) 9957 5123
Unit 4/1 Bradly Ave, Kirribilli, NSW 2061
Commercial & Domestic
Design & repair in ALL
Welding in ALL metals
All racing and cruising
sails and repairs
Unit 14/1 Bradly Ave, Kirribilli
Sydney, NSW 2061
Ph: 9925 0722 Fax: 9925 0082
Locally made for sailing yachts
“ Yes,” said the nurse. “Howard and Rozanne have gone off
on safari. His MG isn’t up to those sorts of roads, so they took
ours. Rozanne and I share a Fiat. We swapped cars.”
“ So you are the one that Rozanne came out from UK with? ”
“ Yes, we have been friends since we started nursing when
we were 18.”
She was a farmer’s daughter from Devon and used to sail
Redwings in Weymouth harbour. And yes, she would like to come
sailing on Naivasha!
There was hardly any wind that day so I said we should take
the outboard rather than risk being becalmed. I kept this in a
shenzi (poorly built) little tin shack built on stakes out over the
lake. It was entirely made of reclaimed rusty corrugated iron
sheets on a skimpy salvaged kuni (firewood quality timber) frame.
I grabbed the 3hp Evinrude that was lying on the tin floor and
gave a manly Dean Lucan heave to impress the nurse. Problem
was, I did not lift the outboard. All my effort went into pulling
me through the floor.
Yep, the rusty tin, marinated in old engine oil and God knows
what else, gave way beneath my feet and with the extra weight of
the engine in my hands my legs plunged me through the broken
edges. I did not fall straight into the lake as I was stopped by a
flimsy floor beam ... located between my legs.
I don’t know if this was covered in the training sessions at
the Middlesex Hospital but the nurse did an excellent job. She
rounded up two stout fellows who helped her to peel the razor
edged metal shreds out of my legs and made an opening large
enough for me to be hoisted out.
A nearby hotel provided a first aid kit which enabled the nurse
to remove more bits of floor from my limbs, treat the injuries
and bind me so I looked like I was wearing extreme puttees from
WWI. Then I was Tutankhamened into the passenger seat of the
MG and she drove me to Nairobi Hospital Emergency. She knew
where that was. She ran it.
Obviously sailing was off the agenda for a while. As were
quite a few other activities. But she agreed to come out on the
lake when I was recovered.
I wonder if readers who have followed my blunders and
disasters over the last seven years will guess what was the next
disaster involving this nurse? (See below.)
It was 27 years later when she lost
her four year battle with cancer. This was
despite Rozanne and her lovely daughter
coming out from UK to Australia to nurse
her for the last month of her life.
This was just after our silver wedding
anniversary. Our boys were 21 and 20.
The cancer took her before she could
know that the eldest would marry her
best friend’s daughter and produce four
Neither did I know at the time, but
my lovely wife of now 14 years, Jo-anne,
also lost her husband to this killer just
six months after that. Widowed at forty.
And now we have heard that two
dear friends have just been dealt this
Every night on the world news you see
candidates who would benefit mankind
if they caught a dose of something that
was quickly terminal. But not these lovely
Australia is in pole position when it
comes to melanoma and those of us who
spend time afloat are at increased risk.
Suzy, our Publisher, used her degree in
Health Science and aided in the diagnosis
of melanomas on Californian beaches.
Over the years she has pointed out
this dangerous condition to her brother
and several friends who were all able to
take action before the cancer took hold.
So slip, slap, slop every time. And wear
a big hat. This is one of the few cancers
against which we can take precautions.
Don’t waste your breath telling
smokers: they all know they are bullet
proof despite sucking billions out of
our Federal Health budget every year.
For all you others get tested. Often. And
Ladies, we know it is uncomfortable
but please ... front up to that test. Don’t
put it off. And blokes, the PSA blood test
is now more accurate and less intrusive
than in the old rubber glove days.
Early detection improves your chances
And when you have the opportunity
to donate to cancer research or caring
programs, please give generously.
FRONT UP FOR THE TEST
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