sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : Sailing dream-turned-nightmare by trekking accident
Sailing dream-turned-nightmare by trekking accident


'King George Falls anchorage with Banyandah and some catamarans'    .

At Sail-World Cruising we have often told of the idyllic times that cruising sailors have in the cruising grounds of the world. However, sometimes things don't go so swimmingly, and it's even worse if you are cruising remotely, away from any kind of help. Here Jack Binder, sailing with his wife Jude on their yacht Banyandah, tells his own tale of their dream-turned nightmare while trekking the cliffs of the Kimberley coastline in the remote uninhabited regions of north west Australia.

It was past noon on a hot windless day when we reached the wide, flat rock riverbed that backs away from the falls edge. Stained black by eons of wet and dry, the watercourse radiated heat like a sauna. Severe dry after a poor wet had all but evaporated every drop of water, so the twin falls released only a fine angels’ mist, and the pools we had swum in last time were coated with dry slime cracked and peeled like baked skin. Sweat poured from our bodies. Our two litres of freshwater soon went, so we trekked upstream more than a kilometre before finding a delicious deep pool of untainted water. Surrounded by harsh Nature, we stripped and swam, drank and then hid from the sun while reminiscing past adventures and making plans for the present one.

The track taken by the Binders -  .. .  

In all our travels to the furthest lands and faraway seas, we have never ever called for help. We are explorers who pride ourselves, like the 'Scouts,' on being prepared. That’s not to say we haven’t the gear to shout for assistance. Even on this day walk, we carried a personal location beacon (PLB) that can send a MAYDAY with traceable GPS position. On board Banyandah, there is a similar, larger device that floats, plus a Yellowbrick tracker that can send personalized alerts. All utilize the satellite network so they are always online. We are cognizant of the expense and danger to others when one of these devices is set off, but far more importantly, for this lifestyle to be safe and successful, quintessentially you must look after yourselves.

Off away from the river we noted flowering Kapok, their bright yellow petals odd amongst the sea of black and red, so we packed up to explore once more. Jude has always been a shutterbug, and digital photography has increased her shot rate dramatically. I run a video, and admit to being smitten in the same fashion, and we spent a few hours capturing the flowering bright orange grevillea, honey yellow acacias, cool green cacti and of course Kapok, bare of leaf, their green pods fluttering with what could have been yellow honeyeaters, all while the lowering sun’s lengthening shadows turned on beautiful Earthy tones.

The lowering sun also brought a cooling breeze, so in high spirits we snapped and filmed Kimberley’s magic while proceeding towards home, a much-desired cold beer high in my thoughts. Reaching the falls, the changed light and long shadows demanded more filming and leaving my partner behind -'I’ll just rush to the edge for a final shot,' I turned my back. Seconds later, Jude’s shrieks of pain followed by an anguished sob, 'I’ve broken my leg,' turned me around to find her in a heap, wrapped in thorny bushes at the base of a rock ledge. She was clutching her leg, writhing in pain. Swarming out the bushes and onto her blouse were angry green ants. 'Look,' I said, 'I’ve got to get you out in the open, hold tightly.' And then dragged her ever so slowly away from those nasty biting creatures while she told me that she’d stepped off the rock edge and into a hole covered by vegetation then had fallen forward. 'I heard something snap,' she said between clinched teeth, her face ashen white.

Looking west, only two fingers spanned the distance between sun and ridgeline. In an instant, our dream had been shattered, a nightmare had begun.

Straightaway I dug out three pain relief tablets and Jude took them with 1/2 litre of water while I examined her leg. To our immediate relief, it look all in place, no broken bones sticking out from a bloody wound, and I started hoping she’d just twisted her ankle. But that didn’t solve the dilemma of getting her across the river flats and down the steep slope before darkness overtook us.

Would sending a MAYDAY be wise or necessary for what might be a sprained ankle? The rescue helicopter probably would be called out from Darwin, a flight taking several hours. In fact, the rescue might be delayed until first light. And then what? Banyandah left alone at the base of the King George Falls. Better to test her leg with me taking her weight. So, after bandaging her knee, I hefted Jude up on her good right leg then put an arm around her while she slung her left arm over my shoulder.

Our first step was awkward. The second saw us almost tumble to ground. And the third brought Jude to the offending rock ledge upon which I lowered her while my eye measured the fall of the sun.

'Look, we’ll be out here all night unless we can get our timing right. I’ll call out the steps. You put your weight on me and do your best.'

Our eyes meet and hers seemed to ask, 'Can we do this?' So I nodded and she gave me a strained smile.

'Step.' We hobbled one step forward. Pointing to an open spot in front of her good leg I called 'step' once again.

We’ve had our fair share of scary dramas – more than most in a life exploring Earth, and these have galvanised our partnership into a 'we can do this' mentality. Part of that is Jude is super strong for her years, and tough, especially when facing a night hurt in the open. So, by true grit we took the next step, and then another, and then more across the bushy land separating the two falls where I plopped her down to reconnoitre. We had to negotiate a person’s height down onto the flat riverbed.

The black rock was much cooler now that the sun had fallen below the ridgeline, and its flat surface made for fast passage until confronted by the bushy rise on the other side. It was awkward in many places where bigger boulders or stouter trees stopped two people abreast, but somehow we managed until reaching the rocky slope down to the river.

By this time I was pretty knackered and when we tried going down, me ahead with her hands on my shoulders, in a clumsy moment we both almost toppled down the slope. Reading the haggard concern on my face, she said, 'I’ll go down on my bottom.' Which she did, rock by rock, some nearly her height. Those she slid down.

Jude on her painful way home -  .. .  

In last light, she hoisted herself aboard Little Red then demanded to row us home. That bravado was short lived. Getting her up onto our deck proved difficult and I toyed with the idea of slinging her up on a halyard. Instead she pulled her weight up gripping the handrails then hopped her good leg onto the thwart before pulling herself up backwards with some assistance.

Painkillers big time came next, the prescription ones, and then off to bed after a big slug of water.

Now alone with my thoughts, I thank our maker for sparing her, then got a bit giddy on red wine with one vision recurring, Jude springing from bed in the morning, wearing nothing but a sheepish grin and showing her thanks, then asking for a day’s rest before we start our grand trek. Optimism runs deeply within me. Alas, reality is not always so fine.

In the morning, Judith couldn’t move her leg. It was yellow and blue, puffed up, skin stretched tightly, her knee hugely swollen, and her ankle one great puffball. The good news was she could wiggle her toes and just move her ankle. We started her on a course of anti-inflammatory drugs and she spent the day in bed. By nightfall she could flex her knee joint and we celebrated.

After three days with little improvement, when the cruise ship True North eased past us to reach the falls, I called to ask if they had a doctor on board and explained Jude’s injury.

True North happened to be passing - how lucky was that! -  .. .  

Miraculously within thirty minutes a workboat came alongside carrying a doctor on holiday from NZ, a bright cheery lady who just happened to be an orthopaedic surgeon! After an examination in our cockpit, the doctor told us she could not rule out a fracture of the tibia or ligament damage, but felt both were unlikely because Judith had mobility and had recovered so quickly.

Then we discussed our options. Considering our remote location, she said no further damage would be done if Jude continued to rest, and when improved, she agreed we could sail to a location for x-rays and ultrasounds. Jude, thinking the doctor came from a small country, mentioned that further treatment might be four, even six weeks away. The doctor reassured us, 'If it’s fractured and not set right, it can always be reset later.' Her visit gave us both peace of mind and information to make a decision. Thank you Margaret and thank you True North.

Doctor Margaret’s unique house call -  .. .  

This happened just yesterday but Jude’s condition worries me. Best we find out exactly what’s wrong with that leg of hers. Stay tuned. Oh, for those that have heard I can’t cook or wash up – best reconsider!

To follow Jack and Jude's blog, or to purchase any of the DVD's or books they have written click here.


by Jack Binder/Sail-World Cruising

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=113869

9:16 PM Fri 30 Aug 2013GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on
Adventure Sailing

Related News Stories:

19 Aug 2013  North West Passage - ice levels alarming for transiting yachts
17 Aug 2013  North West Passage in 33ft Dodo's Delight - gales already
16 Jul 2013  Polish crew to circumnavigate the North Pole in Lady Dana
09 Jul 2013  Sailor Jeanne Socrates, world's oldest non-stop female circumnavigator
08 Jul 2013  Circumnavigating French sailor in 8ft boat rescued in Torres Strait
22 Jun 2013  Jeanne Socrates - near to victory in Victoria
16 Jun 2013  Book Review: 'Suddenly Overboard' by Tom Lochhaas
27 May 2013  Who am I? Solo sailor lists the breakages
21 May 2013  Incredible Jeanne crosses equator - one more leg to victory
13 May 2013  Francis Joyon about to challenge Trans Atlantic record from New York
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World









Audi Melges 20 World Championship - Final race to decide champion by International Audi Melges 20 Class Association,










Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show - 13 things to See and do by Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show,




Volvo Ocean Race: Update from Team Vestas Wind in images by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz,








Audi Melges 20 World Championship - Classic Garda conditions on day 2 by International Audi Melges 20 Class Association,
























Audi Melges 20 World Championship - Alessandro Rombelli's 'STIG' leads by International Audi Melges 20 Class Association,












Audi Melges 20 World Championship - Day 1 images by Max Ranchi
Clagett Regatta names first Executive Director
Transatlantic Race - Fleet expanded for 2015 edition
IFDS World Championship overall
Anna Tunnicliffe: Alinghi finishes second - Extreme Sailing Series
2014 18' Skiff International Regatta - Day 2
2014 Audi Melges 20 World Championship - It's go time in Garda
2nd Annual Keith Dinsmoor Regatta September 13-14
Aldo Alessio Regatta - Three days of tight racing
PWA Alacati World Cup - First blood to Van Der Steen and Offringa
Oakcliff Sailing hosts the Nacra 17, 49er and 49erFX Nationals + Video
International 18ft Skiff Regatta underway on San Francisco Bay
Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2014 - Quality fleet for Maxi Classic
Sailing Champions League - which is Europe's best sailing club?
Weta fun at the Wine & Roses Regatta
Extreme Sailing Series: The Wave, Muscat claims victory on Cardiff Bay
International 14 World Championships 2015: Not just for boys
Rio de Janeiro achieves 50% treatment of sewage outflow *Feature
2014 AWT Quatro Desert Showdown - Event memorable videos
2014 18' Skiff Int Regatta: Day 1 at San Francisco - Reversal on beach
Emirates Team NZ: Last race boost cannot save team from table bottom   
PWA Alacati World Cup - Furious slalom is upon us   
J/111 World Championships - The Winner is Shmokin Joe!   
J/24 US National Championship - Victory for Will Welles’ Cougar   
Extreme Sailing Series: View the Final Day's action - Replay   
NYYC Grandmasters Team Race - Reign continues for Noroton Yacht Club   
WSSR announces new World Record Around Britain and Ireland   
IFDS Worlds 2014 - Final day photos by Tim Wilkes   
2014 Detroit Cup - Morvan wins   
Newport Bucket Regatta 2014 -Images by George Bekris   
IFDS Worlds 2014 - Final report: USA qualifies for Rio 2016   
Extreme Sailing Series: Absent With-Out Leave – Ben Ainslie Racing   
2014 IFDS World Championship - New champions claim medals   
2014 IFDS World Championships - Sunday’s race images by Tim Wilkes   
Shark World Championships underway in Toronto   
Anna Tunnicliffe: Alinghi second o'all - Extreme Sailing Series, Day 3   
Formula Kite World Championships - Nocher and Bridge crowned Champions   
Emirates Team NZ: Frustrating Day 3 in Extreme Sailing Series, Cardiff   
Extreme Sailing Series: Light winds help The Wave Muscat - Day 3   
Extreme Sailing Series 2014 Act five - Absent without leave – the wind   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL WAS US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT