Seasick...

.... Rob brought up a not-so-fond memory for me the other day.... sea sickness.... specifically, he asked for people to tell their stories of sailoring woe..

... now, I'm not much of a sailor... I come from a long, long line of guys who could barely even swim.. hillbillies, farmers, ridge runners, etc... not much call for being able to swim when the only water you ever get into is the six inches you run into your bath at night... sure, they could climb trees, jump ditches, and ride horses... but they steered clear of The Ocean...

... I traveled far and wide as a young man and relished the thought of doing new things... so when I found myself on an island off the coast of Siberia at 19 years of age, I leapt at the chance to head out into the Bering Sea with a group of my mates to hunt halibut....

... I remember starting out of Kuluk Bay that day... everyone else was in the cabin escaping the freezing wind... but I was hanging over the edge of the railings watching the two orcas who were following our boat.. big, meaty beasts with eyes that seemed to wink at me every time they surfaced just yards from our craft....

... the Captain of the little 30ft boat slid open the door and yelled out to me... "better get in here, Lance Corporal.. the weather says we're going to hit some rough stuff as we round Cape Adagdak.. "...

... I left the gaze of the killer whales and staggered into the warm cabin... and along with the other five "fishermen", I listened to the Captain verify weather reports....

.. it seems that the weather front was coming in from the Southeast... and was coming up behind us as we skirted the edge of the island heading northward... finally the grizzled sailor looked at us and said, "boys, we've got a decision to make... with the storm coming the way it is, if we round the Cape, we are committed to going all the way around the island to get home... if we don't round the Cape, we can turn back and be back in Sweeper's Cove in an hour..."..

... someone piped up, "so the fishing is off for today?"...

... the Captain grinned and shook his head... ".. just you wait and see... there will be no fishing today... we need to get back to the harbor... "...

... we turned south into the storm a few minutes later..

... at first, I was terrified... a 30ft boat smashing into 20 and 30ft waves... water crashing over the entire boat.. the ship being tossed sideways.. the groaning of the engine as it struggled to push the boat forward against the raging wind... I just knew we were going to die... but like I said, I am not much of a sailor...

... after twenty minutes of being brutalized by the Bering, I started to feel the first rumblings of seasickness... and then, with an incredible swiftness, it set in..

... someone else already had their head buried in the boat's commode... so the First Mate handed me a bucket that they had used to hold halibut bait... and as horrible as that prospect sound, I didn't care...

... never in my life have I ever felt such an overwhelming apathy... I did not care if the boat sank... I didn't care that the water would kill me in three minutes because it was so cold... I didn't care that I was puking onto three-day old chunks of baitfish... I didn't care about anything... I was too consumed with the lolling and rolling of my head and stomach... it was almost like being sedated - and still unable to stop puking...

.... fortunately that was the only time I've ever been through the effects of seasickness.... and I hope I never hit those same high notes ever again...

... but I do so still love me some halibut steaks...

by Eric on April 13, 2006 | Bullshit (5) | TrackBack (1) | SWG Stories
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Bullshit So Far

You pussy!

It's just a good thing that you weren't with me and Catfish when you got sick. We always tend to the wounded when we go deep sea fishing by waving squid and bloody chunks of dead fish under their noses while asking if they're hungry. The fish bite better if somebody chums the water.

I've had seasick people threaten me (between barfs) with a slow, miserable death for doing such shit, but they never followed through and actually killed me. By the time we got back to shore, they were so got-dam happy to get off the boat that they forgot all about whippin' my Cracker ass.

Bullshitted by Acidman on April 13, 2006 12:09 PM

... showing your sensitive side again, I see... you're all heart, you are...

Bullshitted by Eric on April 13, 2006 12:13 PM

Holy cow! It's a wonder you weren't scarred for life! (And frankly, I am amazed you can still eat Halibut...)

Bullshitted by Richmond on April 13, 2006 02:16 PM

So, I'm a sailor and Mr. Man (AKA my husband Ray) and I just got back from a little over a week in the San Juan islands.

I still get a little woozy now and again; when the sea's rough and I'm making lunch and don't look outside enough, I feel a bit weird.

A 30 foot boat in those seas is not anything to sneeze at; you could easily pitchpole or get knocked over, so it's a credit to you guys that you did okay (doesn't even sound like you had a close call). That being said there's a few important things that help stave off sickness in moderate seas; stay as warm as you can, stay as hydrated as you can, don't be hungry (eat crackers if it's all you have), and try to look at shore.

All this being said, we're wussies too I guess; even in a 47' boat, we dont' want to go out in a small craft advisory or 25-30 knot winds. The idea being, if we're in no hurry to get anywhere, why should we make the ride uncomfortable? We were in an Advisory crossing the Strait of Juan de Fuca once- 8 foot seas overtaking our stern and a current along with other stuff made it a long and unpleasant ride.

On the other side of that though, we anchored once for an extra day in Reid Harbour in the San Juans when the winds outside were kicking up to 30+ knots and there was a small craft warning North of us. If you're anchored and properly set, it's no worse than being rocked to sleep. =)

Bullshitted by Hanya on April 13, 2006 07:18 PM

Well done!
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Bullshitted by Ben on May 4, 2006 08:41 AM