Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Captain Cracks First

When I woke at 5:30 this morning, my left foot felt a bit strange. I thought I must have worked a muscle getting out of the water after a swim. By 7am it was becoming stiff and pain was increasing from the centre of the foot. It occurred to me it may be gout. For the past 17 years I have taken daily tablets to prevent this. But dehydration and a high protein diet are the worst conditions for this problem. By 8am I had discussed the issue with the crew, said I would "immediately have to drink 4-5 litres of water today." At which point, they all thought they had similar symptoms. After a day of rehydration and a handful of anti-inflammatories, I have stopped the onset of a very painful ailment, which was critical. If I had not done that immediately it could have developed into days of sheer agony. I had a gout attack when I first arrived in Tonga. Probably due to stress?

This is all tough for me as the challenge of Bligh rations is part of this adventure, but I now have to be mindful of not only gout but the possibility of moving a kidney stone. We're all thinking about this over the next 24 hours. If it doesn't rain we will have to stop in Vanuatu to restock our water provisions. Many rain clouds are on the horizon as I write this. This is a real blow to me. But at least we're on top of it. Bligh had his headaches, I've got my gout. Don.


Grant Fjermedal said...

Take on plenty of fresh water.

Your voyage is sufficiently heroic without causing damage to your internal organs through dehydration.

Just read through the blog so far. Plenty of adventure! Knockdowns in an open boat at night in the ocean sound scary -- as does your having to run along the edge of seas breaking onto coral reefs.

So . . . you've already passed the True Grit test. Feel no guilt in taking on the fresh water you need to keep your gout at bay and to keep the rest of the crew healthy.

- Grant Fjermedal, Seattle

Sahaja Sam said...

Hello Talisker crew. It occurs to me that Bligh didn't know that he and his men would survive their trip and so the basic and scarce rations that they had were enough....because it was 'better than nothing'. You guys all assume that in the near future you'll be sitting down at a lavishly decorated table for a slap-up dinner.....and psychologically this is making the reduced food stuff appear to be a bigger problem than it is. Try to keep the fresh water flowing'll all be fine !
So many thanks for continuing to take all of us on this adventure with you.