rm_wiz452 55M
5 posts
4/13/2006 8:24 pm

Last Read:
5/28/2009 6:30 pm


At some point in time everyone that goes out to sea gets seasick. It could result from dinner the night before or too much to drink. Often seasickness results from stress and choppy water. This is a story of a little of both.

My boat was in Deltaville after a winter of rebuild and maintenance. In late April, it was time to take her back home to Herrington Harbor, MD ‒ a two day trip. A friend needed to go to the eastern shore for business (don’t ask). I suggested he join me on the trip north. I would drop him off and wait while he finished his business then we would continue the trip. He agreed.

On Friday afternoon we went to Deltaville and saw the boat lifted from land and slide into the water. A family living on a 36 foot sloop on the hard behind my boat watched her delivered to the sea. That evening we met on my boat in the marina and toasted each other’s journeys with two bottles of wine.

The next morning at sunup, we got underway to the eastern shore. The wind was 15-25 out of the southeast. We screamed across the bay. As the wind built, so did the seas. About 10:00 in the morning, when we were in the middle of the bay, a wave broke over the bow. The waves had been building all morning with the increasing wind but I had avoided problems by maneuvering around whitecaps ‒until now. A single wave unexpectedly broke on the bow spraying salt water over us.

At this point we were in the absolute middle of the bay. The mainland was a dirty line behind us and Tangier Island was a speck on the horizon. My friend chose this particular moment to ask the question ‒ “What would happen if we sink?” I looked at him for a few seconds in total disbelief. How in the hell could he ask a question like that at THIS particular moment?? “Well,” I said, “we would die.” Simple and straight to the point. He pointed to the dinghy we were pulling behind us. “What about that?” he asked. I looked around at the thee foot seas and laughed. “We would be swamped in a couple of minutes! Don’t worry, we WON’T sink!” I exclaimed.

That was no comfort to him. He changed colors from pink to pale and finally green before he threw up over the side. He went below while I sailed. We reached Tangier where I dropped him off to meet his client. I sailed on to Chrisfield, MD and waited for him to arrive the next day. About noon he showed up on a skiff covered in mud and announced he had a broken toe. I asked if there was anything I could do. He said it was his little toe and no one could do anything. We got underway again. He went below to sleep.

About three o’clock we were again in the middle of the bay heading for Soloman’s island. Both shores were specks on the horizon. He emerged from the cabin to see water all around. “When will we get in?” he asked. “About 9 or 10 tonight.” I said. “ Will I be able to get food and a shower?” He asked. “Sure” I said. With that, he retired back to the cabin without a word.

We arrived in Soloman’s well after dark and managed to find a shower and food. He asked if we would be out of sight of land the next day. I assured him we would be no more than a mile offshore the entire day. Unfortunately, there was a dense fog the next morning and we never saw land once we left the harbor. We used GPS to guide us the entire day. In the end, it was a terrific trip, despite his seasickness the first day.

Tragically, the following week a woman and her daughter died of hypothermia on the bay after their boat capsized. They had been sailing with friends on a beautiful early spring day. A gust of wind blew both boats over an the four people clung to their boats overnight. The Coast Guard found them the next morning. Two of four survived. I was surprised two had made it that long.

When going to sea, respect the water, no matter what time of year. But, don’t let fear dictate your life. Sometimes you need to grab life by the collar and take a chance!

__Huntress__ 56M/59F

4/14/2006 6:26 am

You, my friend, weave an awesome tale !


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