Part 1 - Emergency Dental Work

Part 1 - Emergency Dental Work

“Oooouuuch”, I said as I bit down on some cabbage salad for dinner. “I’ll skip the crunchy salad tonight”, I told my crew.  The tooth pain I’ve been experiencing for the about a month or more, has now reached a new level of pain while eating.

I told Garth, “It doesn’t hurt that bad.”  He said, “Bullshit!!!”.  He is probably right.  I’ve been hoping I could wait until I got back to the states before seeing a dentist.  I am now in the middle of nowhere, safely anchored in Miles Inlet, on the British Columbia mainland coast.  There is no phone service, let alone internet access to search for a dentist here.  The joys long-range, off the grid cruising.

Good thing I have an Iridium GO satellite phone, that can be used to call or email for help and advice anywhere on earth.  Garth emailed his dentist friend, who advised me to see a dentist ASAP, or at least get some antibiotics to help minimize the risk of the infection.  I phoned my cousin who lives in Alert Bay, near the end of Vancouver Island.  He told me Port Hardy would be the closest dentist, and provide me their phone number.  We pulled up the anchor and headed for Port Hardy.

I called the dental clinic at Port Hardy while in route. They said they could get me in for an exam today, but I would have to come back in a couple weeks if I needed any work.  Not only that but they had no dentist in for the rest of the week and would be closed until Tuesday due to the long holiday weekend.  I told them, “I’m on a schedule and couldn’t wait around the port for their services”. 

By now I was close enough to a cell tower for internet access.  I frantically Googled for a dentist.  Because of the long holiday weekend I targeted Nanaimo for a dentist.  I figured if I kept moving, I could get there by Monday. I found one and scheduled an appointment for 8:30 am on Tuesday.

With Port Hardy dental work no longer an option, we diverted to Alert Bay.  I was hoping I could see one of the First Nation doctors for an antibiotic prescription.  I got there late on Thursday evening after the clinic was closed.  The next day my cousin Tom ran me up to the clinic.  I got my prescription and then was chauffer to the pharmacy.   I got my meds, headed to the marina and started motoring Nordic Sun II southeast, towards Nanaimo.

I’ve taken two doses of antibiotics now.  The pain is better.  But now the strong wind forecast may impede my transit to Nanaimo. Current forecast is for wind to rise up late overnight, with maximum wind strength of 30 knots.  A while ago we had a gust of 23.5 come through.   

With the strong winds, I’m not worried about our anchor dragging.  I’ve got 350 feet of chain out and an 85-pound anchor shackled to the end.  But it is a little bouncy and rollie.  I’m more worried about the other motor yacht anchored directly up wind of us.   What kind of ground tackle does it have, I wonder.

I’m staying up on anchor watch for a while.  Mainly to keep an eye on the other guy, while the winds rise.  It is currently 1:14 AM on Sunday 9/4.  The southeast winds are supposed to abate sometime this evening. I hope these rising winds do not keep me from making my dental appointment.  Guess I’ll just have to wait and see…

Stay tuned for Part 2 of “Emergency Dental Work…”

Outside the Pharmacy