Excerpt from “Doctor’s Orders”

Excerpt from a story from English Harbour, Antigua, in Book 2 of the Wanderings and Sojourns series “On Tropical Islands and Sparkling Seas.”

Last night on one if the Face Book pages I follow inhabited by fellow former (and some yet current) yachties ….. that is to say those of us former and current professional sailors who captained and crewed other people’s boats for them, as opposed to the “yachtsmen” who owned them …. I saw someone had posted a photograph of the contenders of a wet tee shirt contest in what looked like a very familiar setting.  On questioning the person who posted it, who was actually one of the contestants in the picture, it turned out I was correct and the picture was taken during “lay day” at one of Antigua’s legendary Sailing Weeks, or Race Week as it was known back then.

Further questioning led to the confirmation that it was not only taken at one of the many Race/Sailing Weeks in which I have participated, but was the one during which I had my appendix removed, the somewhat unusual story of which appears in “On Tropical Islands and Sparkling Seas” due to be in print in May of this year.  In that story I gave mention to the very same wet tee shirt contest portrayed in the picture on Face Book.

So, in support of that brave Face Book post and the ensuing discussion among several members of that group, I have extracted from my story the reference to the contest in question and include it below as another sneak peak of what awaits in the book when it comes out. This is obviously not the whole story, just the bit that refers to the photograph on Face Book.

And if you do read it, how about going to the Guest Book on this website and letting me know you were here?  If you want to leave your email address there I’ll add it to the list and let you know when, how and where the book is available when it hits the streets.



…………….. His mind was still a little cloudy as he tried to remember the events that led up to emergency surgery in the middle of the night. He’d been in pretty bad pain on and off all day but reckoned it was too much of that gassy American gnat’s piss lager they sold as beer at the after-race party the previous evening. That was until one spasm stopped him dead in his tracks, doubled him over and forced such a moan from his mouth it caused everyone within range to turn and stare.

“Think there might be something wrong.” He’d said, somewhat lamely.

The owner/skipper of one of the other boats racing was a surgeon from Tortola and a friend of his. Overriding his protests one of his fellow crewmen walked him to the doctor’s timeshare at the Copper and Lumber Store to find out what was wrong. There was a fair crowd there and on arrival they suspected a party was underway before noticing the doctor and two of his nurses, all in shorts and, with the exception of the doctor, bikini tops, working intently on a young woman’s foot. Only it wasn’t her foot that garnered the attention of the two new arrivals. 

That day had been the lay-day half way through race week. There had been no races, but a lot of other activities were taking place. These included a wet tee-shirt contest in which the young woman had evidently been competing when she stepped on a broken bottle and opened up a deep gash in her instep that the doctor was studiously suturing. Appreciating her competitive advantages the man in pain had temporarily forgotten his own discomfort, which was a good thing for it took quite a while and several shots of anaesthetic from a vodka bottle for the suturing job to be done. True to form in such circles there was no payment involved but one of the girl’s sailing buddies did leave a bottle of Barbadian rum as a thank you for the doctor’s help.

Washing his hands the doctor turned to his new patient. With a wink he said he thought the woman would have had a larger than average chance of winning had she not had to withdraw injured from the event. His patient agreed enthusiastically. The doctor asked him what was wrong and, after a couple of prods in the right places had solicited an explosion of expletives announced firmly “Right then. That is coming out and it’s coming out just as soon as we can get it out!” …………