Saturday, October 2, 2010

Sailing Lessons

Sailing is HARD WORK! My first day of lessons was miserable.
I had to wear pants and long sleeves, as well as a hat with a flap over the ears and neck, to block the equatorial sun. It's 90+ degrees in Puerto Rico this time of year and I was working my butt off. Add to that the glaring sun and all those clothes.
The heat was really tough; you just drip sweat constantly.
Worse yet, I learned that I am prone to seasickness, which is exacerbated by becoming overheated . . .
I started yawning (apparently, the first visible symptom) and my instructor ordered me leeward and aft. He was right.
I stopped lurching long enough to sit in a daze in the cockpit, stomach in convulsions. My one fellow student, a doctor, complimented me on my "quick recovery time," as if I were better. Uh, huh.
When Captain Michael started ordering me around again, I knew the kid gloves had been removed.
I really had tried to prepare for this. I ordered motion sickness prevention patches, which were sitting in a pharmacy in Toledo; it closed earlier than I realized. I got some OTC meds, but they are labeled as causing drowsiness, something you can't afford while working onboard a sailboat.
So, after sleeping on a lurching boat all night, I tried again the next day.

Repeat of Day One. Besides the heat, work, sun and vomit, I did notice how clumsy I was with the ropes.
Skippers have no mercy for seasickness. Captain Michael ordered me to clean the boat. His boat. After I paid him for sailing lessons . . . Seeing the doctor on his knees with a scrub brush, I sighed and joined him.
The doc, whose lessons were complete, gave me his number so that I had "someone in PR to call in case something happens." Aww, how sweet!

I called off sick. Screw it. What's wrong with sailors??

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