I was fine…..until suddenly I wasn’t

I took a preventative Dramamine before we launched out of Portsmouth, Maine. I haven’t been seasick for decades but my stomach over the years has gotten a bit more sensitive so I definitely haven’t been jumping on any roller coasters recently.

We got offshore and the wind was off the beam at almost 20 knots and the boat was bucking in the swell. It wasn’t too bad, a walk in the park for Luke and the Cap’n. But I seemed fine and didn’t want to show any weakness. I played it cool but I took a few ginger tablets over the afternoon and felt good all day.

I was getting ready for bed and was going to sleep in the front cabin. Luke warned that “The front cabin can be rough, the couch in the middle of the boat might be calmer.” I confidently responded “I’m fine, if I start to feel crap I’ll move.“

I laid down in the cabin and it was definitely bumpy but I fell asleep for a bit before the wind starting blowing harder and I woke up startled, bouncing around the bed. I spread out like a starfish to stay on top of the bed. But I still felt fine….until I suddenly wasn’t.

I scrambled out of bed and tried to get up on deck, fast. The floor was rocking haphazardly and I was pinballing around the cabin and not quickly getting anywhere near topside. It was like being in a tumble dryer. Time was ticking dangerously and my stomach was about to detonate. I lurched up the ladder and leaned over the deck rail and puked, just in the nick of time. Although if I’m completely honest, I basically leaned out as far as possible from the cockpit and puked on the deck; It was way too rough to go out on the deck and have the possibility of falling overboard!

I felt better, so went back down to grab a few more layers, a blanket and sleeping bag. I went back up to the cockpit and tucked in under the canopy to protect me from the cold, wind and spray. I wrapped the blanket around myself and stuffed myself into the sleeping bag.

Luke came up at one point to ask if I planned to sleep up there- Affirmative! No way am I going back down there.

I was the only one topside except for an occasional visit from the Captain. I faded off to sleep. Albeit a fitful sleep. I kept waking up slightly dazed at an ocean bleak and angry; a strong, blinding cold wind. The lights of Boston were barely visible as a glow on the horizon.

The boat was on autopilot, basically sailing itself. The large rudder wheel would spin as the autopilot constantly corrected course. Like some invisible entity was sailing the boat. Ghost ship.

Morning Sunshine

I woke at dawn; with the sun rising above the dark ocean and below the gray sky. The sea and wind had finally calmed, slightly. I felt good, my stomach has also calmed and considering I had slept outside all night, I was warm, dry and rested. Mind you, first thing up that morning was a big glass of water and a large dose of Dramamine.

Categories: East coast sailing - November 2021 | Leave a comment

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