Yesterday was one of those absolutely perfect days. You know, the kind of day you never want to end? We woke up in the morning and did our normal coffee & computer thing. Then it was time for a few chores. Dan cleaned the dodger and putthe dink in the water while I stayed below doing some cleaning and writing. Around noon we decided it was time to get off the boat for a bit. We pulled out our snorkel gear, threw a few beers in a bag and hopped in the dink. Ed & Linda were in their dink too and we all headed to shore.
The water here in the south end of Apataki is just beautiful. We could see lots of colorful fish swimming around the bommies we dodged on the way to shore. We beached the dinks, put out some chairs, popped open our beers and sat there for hours just chatting and laughing. We were the only four people in the anchorage! As we sat there on our very own private beach we saw a couple of small black tip sharks swim within a few feet of us. It’s awesome to sit there and be able to see so clearly in the water. We snorkeled and played in the water and had an absolute ball.
At one point Ed started trying to goad Dan into climbing one of the many coconut palms to get us a fresh coconut. Fortunately Dan didn’t take the bait. He did, however, go back to the boat and get his machete. Back on the beach he starts looking for some low hanging fruit. He ends up harvesting a couple of these magnificent gems. He cut one open and we sat on the beach eating fresh coconut while enjoying our beer and great company. It was absolutely fabulous.
As we sat there beside the gin colored water on the white, coral sand beach beneath the swaying coconut palms, the sun and the deep blue sky we all agreed that this is exactly what we dreamed of when we dreamed of sailing French Polynesia. I mean really, how much better can it get? We have our private beach, clear water, beer and amazing friends. Yes, it is truly perfect!
The sun begins to get low in the sky and we have run out of beer and wine so we load up our dinks and head back to our floating homes. We shower and rinse down all the gear and I go below and make spaghetti. We are making the overnight passage to Rangiroa tomorrow and leftover spaghetti makes a perfect passage meal. After dinner we curl up together around the table and watch a movie. Oh yeah, it was a wonderful day!!!
This morning I wake up feeling a bit odd…yes more odd than normal. My bottom lip feels numb and swollen and I reach around to scratch by back and I feel lumps. Not wanting to panic I slowly climb out of the bunk and slide into the head. I barely make eye contact with Dan who is sitting around the table having coffee. I look in the mirror and see my bottom lip is swollen on the right side. I lift my shirt to look at my back and find huge welts all over my back and my bum. I turn around and see long, 5-6” welts across my stomach and groin area. My entire torso is covered with them. Okay, now I’m panicking!
I step out of the head, “Honey, there is something very wrong with me.” I say in a high, trembling voice. Dan immediately sits up and asks what’s wrong. “I’ve got welts all over and my lip is swollen.” I reply. I lift my shirt to show him. Ever the calm in the midst of the storm, he looks me over and tells me to take two Benadryl immediately. He never raises his voice or shows any sign of panic. Thank God because I’m doing enough of that for both of us. You see, I have anaphylactic allergies that have been known to close my airway. They are not fun and while I have Epi pens and Benadryl on board, the last thing I want to deal with when we’re 100+ miles from a hospital is an anaphylactic reaction.
I take the Benadryl and Dan re-inspects my body looking for signs of a bite or a cut. He finds nothing. Now he starts drilling me with questions. “Did you touch any live coral? Did you get stung by a jellyfish? What did you eat?” You know, all the things a doctor would ask. “No, No” and “Spaghetti, Coconut and some cheese.” I reply.
Dan tells me to sit down and stay calm. Sure, easy for him to say. He’s not feeling the need to scratch his body till it bleeds while wondering at what moment he’s going to be jabbed with a three inch needle in the thigh as he gasps for air. And then there’s the thought of what happens if the two Epi pens we have on board aren’t enough? Oh yeah, that’s right. He has that airway thing he will cram down my throat after I go unconscious. Sure, stay calm. Yeah that’s not going to happen.
I’m doing my best to follow Captain’s orders but I can’t stop scratching and I’m getting a little teary eyed at the thought of what could possibly be in my future. Dan tries to act like everything is fine but I see the look of concern in his eyes as he “nonchalantly” looks over at me every minute or so. That alone raises my panic level.
Fortunately after about twenty minutes I start to feel the effects of the Benadryl and I’m becoming quite loopy. Thank God the water is still and the boat isn’t rolling or I’d be like a pinball bouncing off of everything. Dan takes another gander at my body and decides the meds are working even though I’m certain my lip is getting fatter by the second. He suggests that I lay down for a bit and take a nap since I’m head bobbing at the table. With no energy to argue I go back to the bunk and within seconds I’m out like a light.
A couple of hours later Dan wakes me up to see how I’m doing. I’m groggy but he insists I get up so, you know, Captain’s orders. Once out of bed he checks me again. Almost all of the welts are gone and my lip is almost back to normal. Thank you Lord! I’m going to live!
We decide based on my still dopey condition that leaving for Rangiroa must wait another day. Not sure I’d be ready for night watch later. So, we let Ed & Linda know and we all agree to wait for tomorrow. Darn, we’ll have to spend another day in this amazingly beautiful spot.
By 1300 I’m feeling good enough to get out so we take a dinghy ride along the beach checking out the beautiful shore. The view and the fresh air wake me up and make me feel somewhat normal again. We stop back at SV One Fine Day for a couple sundowners before heading back to Dazzler where my sweet man makes me dinner. Yep! He’s a keeper!
I think we watched a movie tonight but I was so wiped out by the day I slept through most of it. Here’s hoping tomorrow and our trip to Rangiroa are less eventful than today. As Dan says though, “Even in paradise it can’t always be perfect.” so it’s anybody’s guess.
Until next time,