Sailing. Who doesn't love it?
That's right. Me.
I think in my life I've had two enjoyable sailing excursions. And by enjoyable, I mean tolerable. From an early age I have experienced colorful degrees of motion sickness varying between semi-queasiness to full blown projectile vomiting. Planes, trains, automobiles and naturally; boats. Growing up on an island water travel was inevitable, and dreadful. However one of my earliest memories was heaving into a paper bag as our plane touched down in Cape Town. It's less embarrassing when you're 5. Kids are always doing disgusting things like throwing up.
Since reaching what they say is adult hood, I've learned to manage those feelings of nausea. I can generally struggle through it in cars and on planes. But boats are a different story.
. After that most recent and horrifying experience I was a touch apprehensive about setting out on a sailing adventure a few weeks ago on the Sunshine Coast. As it happened, the water was like silk, so it was literally smooth sailing. That is if you ignore the part where I jumped off the side of the boat in lace underpants then panicked as the boat drifted away from me. It was toasty warm and I needed to cool down. In theory it was a great idea. Boyfriend was with me and tried to tow me back to the boat, but I got fussy and in a classic movie rescue scene, kicked him away. This is why people drown.
Fortunately I did not drown. I just showed a boat full of men my underpants. It could have been worse. And then it was. When apparently my underpants became increasingly revealing when wet. However the sailing part was great! I got to drink cold beers and soda pop and eat fried chicken. I got to jump off the side of a boat and go swimming. All good things. When a few weeks later we were invited to go on another friend's boat for the evening I was totally up for it. I survived my last trip, plus it was boyfriends birthday and he loves this crap. The craft seemed
and was bigger than the last one we were on. What could possibly go wrong?
The ocean. That's what.
Turns out last time I wasn't actually sailing. In order to sail there must be wind. There wasn't. That's why I had such a great time. As I would soon find out wind changes things. Boats tilt, pitch and bounce around like crazy. It seemed okay at the beginning, I was even steering, and didn't hit any freighters or wind surfers. Then we hit open water. Open water being a few more hundred feet off the shore. That's when everything went sideways. Literally. The boat tilted (heeled) and one side of the boat was 6 feet in the air and the other was within inches of the water. I clawed my way to the "not so bouncy" part of the sailboat. But within 15 minutes or so was told to shift position because the wind needed to be on the other side of us or whatever. I was being jostled. While friend #1 was white-knuckling it back to a non boom-y spot friend #2 was trying to feed me dry crackers and make me laugh. Boyfriend was asking me if I had taken good photos of him captaining. I told him to stuff it, then proceeded to scramble to the starboard side where I vomited for 15 minutes straight.
I felt awful. I looked awful and I had successfully ruined my boyfriend's birthday, as well as my friend's sailing adventure. Boyfriend was great and convinced Cap'n to ditch us on a near by dock as we were likely going to be on the water for another 2 hours. We drifted into a super fancy marina thing and without slowing down were told to jump off the boat onto a rickety looking dock. "I hope the gate's unlocked!" yelled Cap'n as the boat gently sailed off into the sunset. Our friends waved to us as we stood on a dock in the middle of nowhere.
We found a cab about an hour later and were back at our car about 45 minutes and $70 later. We exited the cab to see a lit mast floating into the marina in the distance.
I ate nothing but soda-water and saltines for about 24 hours, and text boyfriend mid day the next day. "remind me I hate sailing"