Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Ho hum, just another day in the life of my awesome, ALIVE brother( who was bitten by a SHARK last night swimming the channel from the Big Island to Maui.

RE: swimming the Alenuihaha Channel
"Ten hours into my swim at 8:03 pm, I felt a fish take a bite out of my stomach area. It was a sharp pain and stopped me in my tracks. I immediately started swimming towards Bubba who was in the escort kayak and as I was pulling myself out of the water, I felt a bite on my left calf. I reached down to see what the damage was and felt a 3” x 1-1/4” hole in the middle of my calf. I immediately pulled myself onto the kayak with Bubba and got the bleeding leg out of the water. Bubba radioed for the escort boat to come in and pick us up.
At this point, we were 4-1/2 hours into the swim, having ridden the out flowing tide taking us approximately 10-1/2 miles from shore. Everything was going according to plan. The water was 72-1/2 degrees but I was not feeling the chill. My shoulders were working good. No sign of cramps. The liquid replenishment, basically Hammer Gel, Hammer perpetuem and Hammer electrolyte tablets, mixed together in a water bottle were taken every half an hour. The fluid replenishments were working and I felt well hydrated and nourished.
It didn’t hit me until 15 minutes after I was in the boat that my goal to cross the Alenuihaha Channel in a solo swim had been postponed. It was a great disappointment to have all the dots lined up and have a freak incident abort the swim. The bite was definitely from a cookie cutter shark which rarely interacts with humans, but at the same time humans are rarely in the middle of the Alenuihaha Channel in the pitch black . . . . swimming.

I am sitting at Maui Memorial Hospital waiting for Dr. Galpin (plastic surgeon) to visit me and give me my options. Last night, they gave me a spinal tap to numb my lower body and clean the wound. My two options are to (1) let it heal from the inside out or (2) to have a skin graft. Hoping to make this decision this afternoon when the plastic surgeon comes and visits.

In the meantime, many of my friends and supporters have called or stopped by to visit and your kind wishes and thoughts are greatly appreciated. As I said earlier, this is a slight deflection and I plan on coming back and gettin’er done."




julie said...

Holy cow, Gecko, your brother is amazing. I'll be praying for his speedy recovery, though by the sounds of it he seems the type who'll surprise everyone.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

My prayers go out for your brother, Gecko.
I hope he heals quickly, and I'm glad he's okay. I have no doubt he will swim the channel when he does heal up. :^)

God bless you folks.

Gecko said...

Thanks Julie and Ben, he is pretty amazing especially for a Grandfather of two!

Anonymous said...

The glorious passions of the Zorba-like life embracers one encounters in this vale of joy and tears! And this exemplar your bro.Gecko .What a gene pool{pun -zapaloozas intended.}.

Anonymous said...

So glad to read he is doing fine – what a great spirit he has. I can’t imagine having the same attitude if I saw a shark let alone was bitten by one! Mike rocks! We hope he heals quickly and is able to get back to the water he loves soon.

Anonymous said...

Wow,that's crazy about Mike. How big was the shark? I hope he's OK...

Anonymous said...

Great Caesars Ghost,what is a Cookie Cutter Shark? The name evokes Danish bakeries just before Christmas. Rolling pins.Danny Kaye singing "Wonderful wonderful Copenhagen" { forget the questionable "salty old queen of the sea "lyric},rosy cheeked, excited,snow suited kids pressing their noses on the kitchen windowpane as the flakes drift down on the cozy festive city.The "Little Mermaid" reflected on the glass.Not the throb of the "Jaws" musical score followed by a visit from the aforementioned relative of the Bull ,Great White, Mako and Hammerhead, hoping for its bedtime version of milk and cookies,Mike the fearless eccentric.Get well soon. Aloha and un abrazo fuerte,Rudy

Anonymous said...

Dear Mike & Jill, too,
All of us back at the ranch send our very best get well aloha to you. Patience is a virtue and never forget- NA KE AKUA KE ALOHA

The crew at Rancho Chimiles

KuntryMama's Klatch said...

Your brother will have a great story to tell his grandkids!Wow, what he's doing is just so awesome! May the Lord grant him a quick healing.

QP said...

"Holy, holes in my body, Batman!"

Your brother is obviously not an ordinary man, Gecko.

Speedy recovery.

Benita said...

New York's Central Park after dark sounds safer then Hawaiian waters. Go figure that. Get well soon!