We returned from the British Virgin Islands just a few days ago and I've posted a few underwater photos from the trip. We've been to the BVIs a few times, first on the Southern Cross for sailing, then for Evan and Hoa's wedding back when Devin was a toddler. At Lynn's suggestion, Evan rented a 40' Navitech catamaran and we spent 10 days sailing and diving.
We weren't sure what to expect since the islands were hit hard by hurricane Irma last year. And evidence of the storm is still easy to see. Boats tossed up and land and abandoned, dive operations closed for good, and the sound of Skil saws in every town we visited. But they're coming back to life, and we were able to get great diving support from Sail Caribbean Divers and drinking support from Foxy's at Jost Van Dyke.
Probably the most fun part of the trip was seeing all our kids learning to dive. Devin and Elena are already certified, but Robert K and Asha P both got their C-cards and got right to diving. There's something really special about diving with your kids.
Speaking of kids, Devin stayed on in the BVIs for a sail/dive summer camp. Lucky boy. We've been getting dispatches from his boat and it looks like he is - once again - having the time of his life!
I posted a few pictures from our recent BVI trip and realized I hadn't posted about my latest skiing accident. Yes, I had another one. I took a fall coming in after a great ski day at Squaw, tripping no more than a couple hundred yards before the end of the day and the start of a beer or two. Broke my humerus (that's the upper arm bone for those of you who haven't learned anatomy via ski accident).
I was on easy terrain, in complete control (if a bit fast, I admit) when I must've hit something. All forward momentum was translated into rotational momentum and I hit the ground, hard, right on my shoulder. To make a long story short, I took a sled ride down, had surgery a few days later, and am now, 7 months later, working on a frozen shoulder. But I'll recover and ski again next season!
So I'm still recovering from my ill-advised hike over to North Bowl at Squaw on the 4th. My rib still hurts like hell but I'm getting the staples out on Monday. Woo hoo!
After some time to reflect on the incident, I've concluded I'd probably do it again, but next time I'm going to make that first turn. The GoPro video was pretty clear - that second turn was simply incompetent. I overthought where I was and, instead of just diving in and getting it on I traversed too much in an attempt to establish a good start. As I result I did just the opposite.
That was one of a few falls where I was actually relieved for the first couple of seconds after I stopped sliding. I hit those rocks so hard I heard a crunch (that must've been my rib). Since it was back-first, I was seriously worried I might have had a major injury.
I'll heal. Here's my Facebook post with all the details. Written on July 4, 2017:
So I had a vision for today that didn't quite pan out. A few laps on Shirley, where the lift line was sure to be long and the scene sure to be entertaining. Then we planned to hike into North Bowl to round the day (and the season) out. Pretty much the best way to send 2016/2017 into the record books.
The first part of the plan went off without a hitch. Dave K, Lynn Lucas, Larry Bonham and I enjoyed the Shirley Lake freak show that was just a couple of square inches of clothing from being, shall we say, not family friendly. Soft snow, big ego bumps, and long lift lines that gave us plenty of time to enjoy the people watching.
At about 1:30 we started our hike up to North Bowl, which is a steep expert run that demanded about 45 minutes of high-altitude hiking to reach. Dave, wisely, opted out and took a few hike-free runs more on the beaten path. The 3 of us got there, clipped in, and started our descent. I chose a narrower chute while Lynn and Larry opted for a more open pitch.
About 3 turns in, my skis hung up a bit in the soft snow. I ended up scooting too far right, lost my footing, and took a high speed slide. I tried to self arrest but ended up bouncing off the rocks, twice, before I stopped. I'll admit, I was scared shitless.
I stood up knowing I was racked up but not knowing how bad so I took a couple of minutes to assess. Head OK, hands and feet still moving, good news. Left calf hurt like hell, ribs hurt like hell, lots of blood on the snow. Not so good.
I skied down and, after getting assessed by patrol (God bless those guys), I went to the clinic at the base. 15 staples for the worst of the back lacerations, 5 more in my elbow, and an ambulance ride to Tahoe Forest for a CAT scan to see if I had damaged my kidneys or spleen. Negative on both counts. Amazingly, nothing broken. Had I taken that fall without a helmet it would have been a different outcome. I'll probably need a new helmet.
Back at the cabin now, trying to find the position that doesn't make me wince.