I don’t really do fear. I have no time for it and typically punch it in the teeth and move on.
I am flippant at best, and probably reckless at worst, but I just don’t tolerate fear. People who live in fear kinda annoy me and if I can stay in the game with them long enough I want to help them be done with it too.
I was especially not afraid of boats/water, etc….I am not a huge fan of fish – but I can work around them with enough splashing. Nearly everyone asked me “aren’t you afraid” when I told them Bo’s giant sailing plan.
Honestly never crossed my mind to be afraid. Maybe that was my downfall. Because last weekend I became VERY aware of how afraid I should be.
Since I have been aboard we have done multiple overnights and they were great. Sure, we were tired, and sure it is boring at 2am to stay awake and look for giant ships, but totally do-able.
We recognized we have always had great weather and great crossings and pretty much great everythings. Until last weekend.
The one thing I have said from day one that I can not handle is tipping over. It doesn’t matter how many times people try to explain the physics to me about keels and heaviness and yada yada yada, I do not want that sucker to tip over and crush me under water. I have been SUPER vocal about this and everyone around knows this is my *thing.*
Imagine my surprise when we were hit completely unprepared (no tethers, no life jackets, no ditch bag, nada!) by a squall and that dang boat was as close to tipping over as I ever want to be. Bo and I both sliding towards water, the rail under water and water coming over the side. Yep – in my book, TIPPING OVER.
I managed to huddle on the floor and squeak “i’m afraid” while Bo raced all over trying to fix sails and get us up again. True to form, Selah popped right back up – but by that time I was done for. My PTSD kicked in and I slid downstairs and didn’t re-appear for 18 more hours. It didn’t help that we bashed into super uncomfortable conditions for the next 18 hours. It didn’t help that the kitchen window was open and water poured into my home. It didn’t help that everything on the left side of the boat now slid to the right side of the boat – including my potato dinner.
Have you any idea how LOUD a bashing sailboat is for 18 hours? Every 3 seconds the boat moaned like she was gonna crack in a billion pieces. Thank God she didn’t. Although a Coast Guard rescue was my idea of a good time. I wanted off that sucker fast!
All the while, all I could think was how AFRAID I was. For 18 hours my headspace consisted of the following dialogue:
“I want off this boat”
“We are going to die on this boat. I am not ready to die”
“I will never sail again”
“When is the coast guard coming? How do I call them??”
“Are we there yet?”
“How many more hours?”
“I don’t think I can do this”
“I don’t WANT to do this”
and on and on and on for 18 hours. It wasn’t pretty. Meanwhile, Bo is upstairs trying to keep us on course and frustrated as hell that we are making about 3 miles per hour in that mess. He finally convinces me to come upstairs and I won’t die about 10am. Turns out we still had 5 MORE HOURS. Holy sugar does it take forever to get anywhere in a sailboat. Especially when all you want is to get off!!
We did eventually get off. And I did eventually get a shower and a better perspective. Turns out this is what I signed up for. And I should have been afraid. A little healthy respect for the ocean and Mother Nature is probably not a bad idea.
Bo immediately wanted to discuss all the things we learned and could do better next time. I immediately wanted to eat my feelings in the form of an ice cream and take a nap. All I learned was that I was afraid. And don’t want to tip over ever again. Lesson learned.
The thing is – we probably will. And it will probably still be terrifying and terrible. Welcome to life on a boat.
Anyone want to come sailing??? We can practice being brave together!