Sunday, July 14, 2013

A bloody good reason to wear booties

"Real windsurfers don't wear booties". I have heard something along these lines many times. Less macho, more technical guys may explain that the board feel is a lot better without, but the bottom line is the same.

In the past, I have mostly ignored them. But a couple of times this season, I forgot to put the booties back into the van after drying them, including today. Today was just a bit of light wind freestyle at Kalmus - what can go wrong? I mostly stayed away from the dark green stuff and over the shallow, sandy section. When I fell, I mostly fell flat, a move much practiced in Bonaire. Except one time, when I stepped onto some shells on the ground in hip-deep water. Did not hurt, I kept sailing for another 20 minutes. But when I went back to my van to check the time, I noticed a lot of blood on the ground where I was standing:

The front half of my left foot was bloody, too, so perhaps the cut had pierced the skin, after all. I trudged to the life guard stand to get a couple of bandaids. On my way back across the parking lot, I could tell by the bloody toe prints where I had been. I added a second pair pointing the other way for symmetry. Then I walked back a couple more times to retrieve my gear, before calling my daughter to tell her that our planned late lunch in town would not happen, since I really needed to get home to wash the sand out of the cut. I washed it a bit at the van before putting a couple of bandaids on, but my socks were turning red within a few minutes. It took about 20 minutes to get home, and the cut was still bleeding nicely when I washed it out under the outside shower. But once I put the iodine solution on, the bleeding subsided. At least no need to drive to the emergency room for a stupid cut! But I will be off the water for a few days to let it heal a bit.

This is a pretty stupid story. I have a whole assortment of windsurfing boots, from 2 mm neoprene socks to 7 mm winter boots. They all have at least one deep cut in the sole from an encounter with shells. Shells are about everywhere I like to sail, and many of my favorite spots are at or close to shellfishing areas. Why did I think my feet would fare better than the booties? Was I thinking at all? Probably not. But next time you see me wearing booties at Kalmus, you know why.
Update 7/16: 
The cut kept bleeding for almost a day, so I had a doctor look at it yesterday evening. He found no problems, but showed me how to apply the hi-tech bandaids he gave me to keep the two flaps together, and told me to watch for any signs of infection. None to be seen so far, and it looks like it's starting to heal:
The wind forecast for Friday afternoon and Saturday looks very promising. I think it will be healed sufficiently by then that I won't have to worry about it splitting open again or getting infected. Of course, I'l cover it with multiple layers - bandaids, tape, socks, and booties