Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Didn't do a heck of a lot today - stayed on the south / west shores mostly.

At Salt Pond Beach, there's a roughly 15-foot-round rock formation about 50 feet offshore, coonected on onshore rocks by about 2 feet of water over irregular rocks. 3-foot waves regularly break over the underwater causeway.

I waded across the underwater causeway, staying put through waves and not snapping my ankles on the irreguilar rocks. I made it to the offshore formation. I stood there. I went to sit down, not realizing a wave was coming. It broke on the rock before I could get a handle, spinning me around and scraping my left side on the rocks.

I got small cuts and scrapes on both hands as well as my left ankle. However, the worst damage was my left thigh, which got a series of scrapes about 4 inches long by 2 wide from the sharp volcanic rock.

I was able to pick myself off the rock and walk back over to the main shore. I stayed in a protected area of salt water for about 20 minutes to watch the waves, wash away the blood, and disinfect the wound. I then went to where my family was sitting and dried off and slathered antibiotic cream on the wound. It stopped bleeding (never any nasty bleeding, but just a constant trickle) after a few more minutes, and I never actually put a bandage on it.

The wound is pretty shallow, with very little more than a sixteenth of a inch deep. However, the sharp volcanic rock cut it pretty good, and due to a small amount of residual blood and injured tissue the wound is still very red. It'll probably leave a bit of a scar; ironically it's right next to a scar from poison ivy that's about five years old.

I actually got very lucky. I was able to grab onto handholds at the beginning and ending of the wave passage; this sacrificed a bit of my hands but saved me from more serious injury to my leg. I was sitting (stupidly) at the time; this means that I was merely pushed and didn't fall, so there were no blunt force trauma or puncture wounds. Because it was all surface wounds and not a blunt injury, I didn't lose a lot of blood or go into shock, and thus I was able to get off the rock, steady myself, and get to safety. If I had gone into shock, which is okay when I'm on dry land, then I might have gotten hurt even more by the nexy wave, or gotten pushed over crossing the channel back. Finally, I was lucky enough to take my spill on bare rock and not seaweed-covered rock or worse coral, which apparently tends to leave proteins in wounds that delay healing.

It's a andty wound that'll hurt for a few days, itch a bit, and probably leave a scar, but it's an interesting story and probably saved me from doing something stupider.


mandachan said...

and i thought i was the queen of stupid scars. you had to go and outdo me again ;)

@eloh said...

You need to keep an eye on it, you never know when you are "out of your element" what kind of odd little vermin may be living on those rocks.