How tough is photographer Jay Nichols? So tough that even two fractured vertebrae (Read the story) weren’t enough to keep him from shooting at the beginning of the Boyne Thunder Poker Run earlier this month.
Recovering from back surgery, Nichols remains in Michigan in the care of friends. As soon as he’s ready to travel, he’ll head back to his home in Naples, Fla., for the rest of his long recovery. For all intents and purposes, his shooting season—at least on the water—is over for the year.
In an email speedonthewater.com received from Nichols this morning, he described the moment he took this image, as well as his long, painful ride back to the docks.
“I was leaning against the bolster, still thinking I was going to finish the run (haha),” he wrote. “Even the light chop in the channel was kind of stinging, but I guess I was in shock. Once we got into Lake Michigan, though, reality set in hard. Every single little bump was torture. I tried to be a tough guy but that wasn’t working. Any bump bigger than six inches and I thought I was gonna pass out. We literally had to idle back through the channel and to the marina.
“Still funny when I think about the conversation I had with the police when I got back,” he continued. “They asked me three or four times, ‘Are you sure don’t want us to call the EMT?’ I said, ‘No thanks, just get me a cab back over to Boyne City.’ They said, ‘We can’t do that. Don’t you want an EMT?’ The pain was getting worse by the second and I became convinced that way was the way to go.”
Related story: Photographer Jay Nichols Injured During Boyne Thunder Poker Run