I don’t know how to write this without sounding like a crazy person, but I often wonder if I am built for sailing. Every time we get prepped to go sailing, whether on a crossing or just a “fun” day sail I get super anxious. I know it has to do with my horrible first experience sailing, and some other sailing incidences that happened on following trips, and the fact that we sail with two little ones and I worry about them, but now I ALWAYS fear for the worst. And there is nothing specific that I am afraid of, it’s not like I am thinking “oh no what if someone falls overboard” or “what if we start taking on water”, its just this anxiety that builds up in me for all of the imaginary but possible “what ifs”. It makes it so that I dread day trips and even if the seas are gentle I will have my teeth clenched most of the trip and will not take a relaxed breath of air until we are back at anchor in the bay. However I also know that after a few days out at sea my nerves will calm and those waves will not feel quite so big, but the weight on my shoulders is still there. I am almost ashamed to admit to this anxiety. I often try and neglect it thinking that if I write and voice it, this fear monster will only get bigger, and I do not need to overly freak myself out. Does this make me less of a sailor, maybe a little. But I will admit it. I get anxious, for myself, my daughters, my husband, our family.
I do love living on the boat, in these foreign and tropical places. We have been doing this for almost four years now, have raised our daughters doing this, have done many passages, and are not planning on stopping in the immediate future. But I have come to see that maybe I am not so much a sailor but more so a traveler. I enjoy traveling to and in these places, and sailing is just our means of getting from point A to point B. So fun day trips out on the water, not so much my cup of tea, unless we have a destination in mind.
Today was no different. We have guests with us right now, and like we do with most of our guests, we took them out for a day sail to show them what it’s like. The day went according to plan, wake up, stow everything while Arias was at school, pick her up and head out for a few hours. The winds were calm and the waves were decently rolly, at about 1.5 height and 10 sec intervals. Eben and both our guests had the Scopolamine patches on to ward off seasickness. I opt out of any sort of meds since Ellia is still nursing part time. We got about an hour out and Eben was feeling queasy, one of our guests was feeling ill, Arias started wimpering of feeling sick, and then Ellia threw up. My anxiety levels were pretty high, mixed with a sense of guilt that we are essentially putting our girls in a position where they are felling nauseous. Now we fully understand the reason for all this seasickness was due to the fact that we have been sitting in an extremely quiet bay for the past six months, where the water is as still as living on land, and we have all lost our sea legs. Our stronger stomachs will return after a couple of days out sailing, but that guilty feeling still remains. Once both girls fell asleep from feeling ill, and our guest felt that she had had enough of a sailing experience to feel satisfied, we turned the boat around and heading back to the bay. An hour later we were back amidst all the other sitting boats, and once again I could breathe. There was nothing that went wrong, aside from seasickness, with this trip. I mean the boat is still in one piece, nothing broke, no one got hurt, the weather was fine, the sun was shining. I will have to add today in to my repertoire of uneventful (which is how you want good sailing to be) memories, so that I can reference back to on future trips when the anxiety starts to percolate.
Things start off well with a napping baby
All smiles before she got queasy
Our guest Bri starting to feel the waves a little
Still loving “Handless Hendricks” our autopilot
As guests you can’t pass up a “Titanic” photo op
And the seasickness starts. At times this is what “our necessity” does to us. Me, cuddled up between two sick kids who passed out after throwing up.
At least when they fall asleep I don’t feel as bad
Back in the harbour, on a mooring ball. Eating some snacks to refill the stomachs, boost the energy, and get some smiles.