This story is continued from day before yesterday. I was describing how I spent the first day of the sailing trip emptying the green contents of my stomach all over the walls of the little sailboat’s bathroom. That was a hard way to find out that I get seasick.
All the way across the Strait of Georgia from Vancouver to Nanaimo on Vancouver Island, Eric and I heaved. My husband to be, who I’ll call Esso which is a play on his initials, skippered the boat deftly through the huge swells, laughing that his “crew” were such landlubbers.
When we arrived in Nanaimo, we met our friends Pat and Sue. Sue is a nurse so she had a whole duffle bag full of prescription and non-prescription drugs to cover every situation, including bubonic plague. She gave me and Eric some miracle patches that she guaranteed would get rid of the seasickness by morning. “Until then,” she advised, “It’s best to just drink alcohol and forget your misery.” Eric and I thought this was sound medical advice and we were soon as rowdy as pirates and looking for someone to keel haul.
I honestly don’t recall what we did that night, but the next day I woke up feeling chipper and ready to sail the seven seas. “Arrrr,” I said, “Let’s hoist the mainsail and lift the boom!”
“We probably won’t be sailing today,” Esso told me. “There’s not much wind and we’ve got a lot of distance to cover.”
“Not sailing?” I said. “Isn’t this a SAILING trip?”
“Yeah, but you’ve got to have wind to sail,” Esso explained, looking up at the limp tell tales. “Tomorrow,” he added.
So we started up the engines and motored single file up the coast of Vancouver Island. Pat and Sue owned their boat, a 35-foot sailboat named, “The Winter’s Tale.” It was black and very sleek looking. Since their boat was bigger, they got to lead the way.
The wind never did pick up, but the scenery was quite pretty – a shoreline covered with trees and rocks to the left of us, and sparkling blue ocean on the right. When you looked straight down into the water sometimes you could see fish, and on occasion rocks. Esso and Eric used nautical maps to make sure we didn’t get too close to the bottom. I liked the little gizmo that showed if there were fish under us and how far down.
After a couple of hours, the excitement of creeping along had been replaced by a sore posterior and a desire to find some shade (there wasn’t any on the boat except in the cabin down below). It was like being on a road trip except there weren’t any roadside attractions to break up the monotony. Out in the ocean there aren’t Dairy Queens or “The World’s Largest Tennis Shoe” to stop and invigorate your brain. Plus the boat seemed to move very slowly. We could stand up and walk around the little circle from the front to the back of the boat – it was about the size of a jail cell so laps made you dizzy after just a few.
By the time we anchored that evening out in the middle of nowhere, I was as antsy as an ant on a hot sidewalk. I quickly changed into a bathing suit and jumped overboard. The ocean was cold and felt great, although I had never been in open water swimming and I soon got the creeps. What if there were sharks down there? I quickly climbed back up the ladder into the boat.
We roped our two sailboats together and had a feast – Esso had pre-prepared huge meals that he stored in giant coolers full of dry ice. We had marinated steaks and twice baked potatoes and sautéed vegetables. And alcohol. We made Spanish coffees because that’s what Eric liked, and drank them under a sky that looked like someone had shaken sparkling glitter over black velvet.
“We’ll sail tomorrow, right?” I asked Esso and Erik.
“If there’s enough wind,” Esso said. Soon we all hit the hay, and thanks to the patch and Spanish coffees, the rocking boat did nothing more than lull me to sleep.
To be continued…