During our 11 years of cruising and living aboard, my wife Theresa and I had a few close calls, but none involving the usual things many people worry aboutóno pirates, no survival storms, and no amorous whales. The most serious incidents involved something we too often take for granted: our health. The final installment of Practical Sailorís four-part series on medical kits in this monthís issue (page 19) brought to mind one particularly scary incident. We were tucked behind a cape on the northeast corner of Flores Island in Indonesia. After two weeks of nearly windless sailing, we looked forward to a cool dip and the chance to plant our feet on the deserted coral beach beckoning 50 yards away. I grabbed my mask, jumped in to check the anchor, then swam toward shore. Theresa dove in a few seconds later. In my haste, I had not put on my water shoes, so I picked my way through the rocks on the way to shore. A few feet from the beach, I felt a sharp prick between my toes. Below the surface, I saw the demon, pectoral fins flared, teeth bared, venomous spines raised on its back. Instinctively acting in its own defense, the scorpion fish had found its mark.