DOVKA

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JULY - SEPTEMBER, 2006
THE GREEKS SAVED MY LIFE AND STOLE MY TEVAS

So, we always say we take one year at a time, because who knows what will happen. We say we know that, in the blink of an eye, everything can change. And it did on July 5th, as we were in a serious automobile accident in northern Greece.

We had sailed DOVKA into the Porto Carras Marina to wait out the meltemi, rented a car on July 4th and drove to Mt Olympus. We enjoyed the town of Lithochora, nestled in the foothills, looking more like a Mexican village than a Greek one, stayed at a charming guest house and had an absolutely beautiful hike among the butterflies, birds and wildflowers on the lush, green slopes of Mt. Olympus on the morning of the 5th. We were on our way home, in late afternoon on a two lane highway, when a car pulled out from behind a truck, into our lane, and smashed head on into us.

We are all lucky to be alive and with, hopefully, no long lasting damage, except for a few added undetermined aches and pains. There were airbags and seatbelts in the tiny Nissan and thus we were saved. I was in the backseat and suffered internal injuries and broken bones. Sid and Fil had various broken bones and contusions. None of us had a scratch on our faces or heads! The Greek doctors saved my life with six hours of surgery that night. Six days later the Germans got a chance to do the same, after I was medevaced to Frankfurt, where Sid and I were both hospitalized. We cannot give enough praise for the medical care we received at the B.G.Umfallklinik. The doctors and nurses were fantastically skilled and so very, very kind to us. We made new friends. Our two grown sons came to Greece and took over, arranging everything and staying with us in Frankfurt, until they were assured we were well on the road to recovery. They are our pride and joy.

We also cannot recommend too highly that everyone should have medical evacuation/repatriation insurance whenever they travel. We have ours through our membership in Divers' Alert Network (DAN), which we took out years ago when we were taking scuba diving trips regularly. The service was absolutely fantastic and saved my life by getting me to the best medical care available, in Frankfort, Germany.

On August 1, we were well enough to fly home and we have been recuperating in Falls Church ever since. On September 20th, Sid returned to DOVKA in Porto Carras, Greece to sail just under 200 miles, past the Greek islands of Limnos and Lesvos, to the little town of Ayvalik, Turkey, to lay the boat up for the winter. The trip went well with the help of two wonderful old sailing buddies and DOVKA is on the hard awaiting our return. We are doing amazingly well and expect to be totally recovered and in prime physical shape (considering our ages) by next spring, when we will return to continue our sailing saga.

Have a good winter and drive carefully. Now, more than ever, we are convinced that we would rather be on the high seas, than on the highways!