Fish Hook Removal

During our recent visit to the Ragged Islands the Captain had the misfortune to lodge a large grimy fishing hook into the outside of his calf on his lower leg. He was attempting to toss a hand line out into our fishing spot that resembled a stock pond. We were pulling fish in so quick that it was hard to keep pace. Anyhow, during the process of tossing his Bahamian style hand line into the water the line with the hook flipped up on its forward motion and…. ouch! The Captain hooked himself! He said it didn’t hurt much going in but he was sure it would hurt coming out. He babbled off a list of items he wanted me to gather; heavy duty wire cutters, forceps, alcohol….the adult beverage type with the final words, “Please hurry!” So off I scurried to gather the requested items as swiftly as I could as well as my own list of items; rubbing alcohol, peroxide, band-aids, topical antibiotics, and a piece of chocolate to go with the rum. Upon my return I discovered him sitting serenely in the cock pit attempting to eradicate the piece of bait that still held fast all the while assessing the damage to his leg. He blurted off instructions as he eyes remained on the wound and his mind on the impending pain he was about to endure. He instructed me to take the mack daddy wire cutters and cautiously cut the eye of the hook off. As he pulled his skin back taut so I could cut the eye of the hook, when unexpectedly he seized my hand and confiscated the wire cutters, he explained that he would feel more at ease doing the cutting himself. He reached down and grabbed his leg while I attempted to hold the skin taut a smile crossed his face when an abrupt click broke the awkward silence as the cutters snipped off the eye of the hook. The Captain looked up still smiling and said, “That was the easy part”.

Next he instructed me to grasp the end of the hook where the eye once was with the forceps and forcefully twist up and out, “Just as you do when you have a fish on that needs to be released” he explained so calmly. So I anxiously but carefully cleaned the hook, the wound and the skin around the area. Next I vigilantly took the forceps and grasped the end of the hook until the forceps locked in place, I took one deep breath and held it, with one eye closed and in one swift motion up and out with all my power I propelled the hook through the muscle and ligaments that held it securely in place, surely that did it I told myself. I opened my one closed eye and to my surprise only the tip of the hook came through the skin, the barb remained in the Captain’s flesh!

I looked up at him with disbelief; he looked at me with pain in his eyes and sweat frantically dripping off his brow. He sat back took a shot of rum and a bite of chocolate while I prepared myself to continue this torture to my Captain. After a few minutes of rest I once again attempted the same process but the hook would not budge. Now at this point in time I have sweat dripping off my brow and I am psychologically feeling and sharing the Captain’s pain as this hook stubbornly remains captured in his muscle tissue. The Captain finished indulging in the chocolate and took a few more sips of rum before he took the forceps into his own powerful hands in an attempt to remove the hook.

The sweat dripping profusely from his forehead, his hand shaking and a determined look in his eyes he set forth to divide and conquer. Unfortunately it took in excess of 35 minutes and many sips of rum to set the hook free.

I insisted that the Captain take oral antibiotics for at least 3 days and have the wound cleaned with peroxide and topical antibiotics applied twice a day
in which he agreed to do. 5 days later I am pleased to announce the punctures remain free of infection.

I think most of us know that Captain Montgomery can be a difficult man to get along with,

he is hard headed, bossy, controlling and downright cantankerous at times. But after observing some of the shenanigans this year involving other captains that are sailing out here on the high sea I decided that it was time to give credit where credit is due. Not only can Captain Montgomery remove fish hooks embedded deep in his own flesh

but most important he has many times guided Mary Rose and crew safely through many complex situations

with never a hint of panic or anxiety. He is a giving soul
who enjoys, as much as I do, the spirit of giving for only a smile and thank you in return. He is kind hearted being who will stand and fight for those he loves and also for strangers being wronged. If he cares about you he will go out of his way to give you what you want or need.

He is blessed with wonderful friends and family and I have great admiration when I see them interact together.

His grandchildren adore him.

He can make you laugh during hard times, he enjoys playing with others.

He is a man who can wear many hats.

He is strong, smart, determined and

not afraid of hard work. Captain Montgomery is a guide

and a teacher

he is not always polite but as he will explain to you if asked, “I’m not here to make everyone happy, my job is to make sure everyone is safe.” One cannot forget how the Captain is also a lady's man!

So during those times when I am frustrated with the Grinch I remind myself how genuinely lucky I am to be the crew for such a wonderful man, captain, and friend.

My love and respect go out to you Captain Donald Montgomery.

1 comment:

Shane Montgomery said...

This is a really nice post. Insightful honesty, good comedy, and excellent pics.