April 13, 2006

A Sea Story

Eric tells a story of bein' sea sick that sparked a memory for me.

I'm a big sailor. Oh, not a captain, but I'm a great crew. And I just didn't get sea sick. Didn't matter how bad it got, I was good. Rough seas? No problem. I just love being on the water.

Except for this one time........

We were sailing in a regatta. Now most of the racing we did was in the Sarasota Bay. Small races but lots-o-fun. This one was my first in the Gulf of Mexico. We were sailing north up the coast along Long Boat Key finishing at the very top of the Sarasota Bay. But - it was in the Gulf and that can be tricky at times.

The morning dawned beautifully. A nice brisk breeze was causing the flags at the marina to snap. PERFECT.

There were three of us on the boat that day, and the boat was big enough that we'd be husseling. I have always been a sun worshipper. So - no hat, just my bathing suit and a big shirt to wear at the party afterwards. Stay OUT of the sun? Are you nuts?!?!?!? And it was hot that day. Middle of August. 90 degrees in the morning - not a cloud in the sky. I was PUMPED!!!

So, we make the preparations and everyone is assigned their responsibilities. The Captain is very serious about his racing and this was my first time crewing for him so I was a bit nervous.

We make our way to the starting point out in the Gulf. We're early so we just float around sippin' our drinks and chatting. The other racers begin to arrive. Damn - there's a lot of people in this one. What have I gotten myself into?!?!?!

Five minutes before the start of the race and everyone starts to get ready. The silence floated across the water like smoke. All you heard was the snap of the lines and an occasional grunt as everyone was focused on what was to come.

Finally - it's time. Everyone takes off and it's a beautiful sight. Sails as far as the eye could see. Beautiful against the clear blue sky. Boats flying across the water.

We get about 20 minutes into it and suddenly......nothing. The wind is gone. The boat just stops. Now - it's hot. It's really hot. There is no way to hide from the sun. And we're just sitting there. After about a half hour you start to see the sails coming down around you and hear the motors start up. Folks were giving up. But not our Captain. He started this race, he was gonna finish.

So we sat. And bobbed. And sat. And bobbed. I did mention we were drinking, right? Oh yeah. Alcohol, hot sun, no breeze, bobbing. Not so good, let me tell you.

And there was no jumping into the water. Not allowed. We were still racing, you see. You had to be ready for when the wind picked up again.

That was the longest boat ride of my life. I puked everywhere. I was absolutely miserable. At one point I was checking the main sail and just stood there pleading with the Sailing Gods to just give us a damned break.

I've never been so sick.

Finally the wind picks up and we were able to finish the sail. We saw the sun setting as we passed through the intercoastal to our final destination. That made it all worth while. Well, that and the free food and drinks for being the only boat to finish.

But damn - made me a bit nervous about sailin' the Gulf again. I pretty much stuck to the Bay after that.

I had almost forgotten about that. Thanks Eric........for joggin' that memory. You made me smile.

Posted by Tammi at April 13, 2006 09:02 AM | TrackBack

.. you're welcome... I hope I'm never seasick again!..

Posted by: Eric at April 13, 2006 09:07 AM

Wow, I've never puked at sea before... ;^)

Something I've always wanted to do is sail. Curse this mostly land-locked state!

Posted by: Wes at April 13, 2006 04:48 PM
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