June 30, 2014

Day 289 - June 30, 2014: Weathered in and a trip to Sudbury

The forecast is for more rain and a possible thunderstorm this afternoon with attendant high winds from the south and on the beam. Not a good day to be out in the bay. There are still epic amounts of pollen in these waters, and it is covering the water and surrounding Great Laker at the slip. This massive pollen dump has been evident for several weeks now.

Rain and storm clouds over Killarney

Yellow pollen choking the channel and marina docks
There are also thousands of shadflies, also known as mayflies, clinging to the sides of the boat and the buildings in the marina. These flies start their lives as nymphs living in the water and eating algae, plant matter, and smaller invertebrates found on the bottom. After about a year in the water, they emerge, split their skin, and become a winged adult that can take flight. As poor fliers, they can not evade predatory birds and are easily caught and eaten. So their evolved strategy for continuing to exist is for all the shadflies to emerge at the same time and overwhelm the birds appetites. With no mouth to eat with, the shadflies mate, give birth, and die all within a few days. And the cycle of life goes on.

Shadfly, also known as a Mayfly (about 1" long)
Anne has a sore throat and has been coughing for over two weeks now. We thought is was a reaction to the pollen, but are no longer sure that is the case. It keeps getting worse, so we went up to the clinic here in Killarney and discovered they no longer have a doctor and their nurse was not in today. I looked into alternatives including cruising to Little Current (not a good idea with the weather) or a trip 75 miles north to Sudbury to the hospital.

After talking to the Sportsman's Inn staff, Caroline stepped up and volunteered her time and car to drive us to Sudbury. It was unexpected, but important, so I accepted.  Caroline, a delightful young woman, grew up in Sudbury and, knowing the city, took us directly to the hospital emergency room. Unbelievably, they wanted $751 for a doctor to examine Anne.

Just for comparison, we tried the clinic just down the street, and they would do the same for $100. After lunch and within an hour, we were inside seeing a very nice doctor. He concluded that Anne's problem could be a bacterial infection, and antibiotics were prescribed and purchased at the pharmacy next door. Caroline, who had gone home briefly to say "Happy Birthday" to her father, picked us up again, and even agreed to stop so we could get some fresh food before bringing us back to the marina. On the way back we saw a black bear cub and two red tailed foxes. What a nice thing for Caroline to do, and what great service by The Sportsman's Inn. Many thanks again, Caroline!

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