That’s Sea Law

Sometimes things don’t work out the way you thought they would, and that’s how I went from living in Germany to clinging to an aluminum rod and trying to keep down my lunch on a 37-foot sailboat in the Gulf of Mexico.

I’m a journalist, but I put that part of myself on hold, and did other fun stuff for the last year. Now I’m back in a newsroom– or will be tomorrow. Before I moved to OKC, N and I visited his dad and his dad’s sailboat. I get horribly seasick all the time every time, but I’m on this ‘try new things’ ridiculous kick and I convinced myself this time would be different. It wasn’t.

It was my first time on a sailboat and I planned to take cool pictures in my swimsuit and Ray-Bans, sunning myself by the sails. Instagram was going to get slammed with pictures of my face! Actually, I only managed to take one crooked blurry photo of the sails.

Do you know how hard it is to look cool while trying not to puke? Harder still to take good pictures. Apparently, I only succeeded in looking angry, but I always look angry, so whatever. The sunglasses did help fool everyone into thinking I was totally not about to blow chunks.

N’s dad started talking to me about how the helmsman has to keep the wind on his/her face while steering the boat, that the boat should be steered like a car with a loose steering wheel, and that sailboats have the right of way because… I don’t know…it’s sea law or something. I thought he was just making conversation, so I was all, “Yeah…Sure… Obviously… I totally get it.”

Mistake.

Moments later he said, “Ok, we’ll put the sails up you man the boat,” and walked away.

I just clung to this steering wheel the size of my body, and kept repeating, “Face, wind, loose steering wheels, don’t puke, don’t die, don’t knock these guys off the boat, I have the right of way.”

It went exactly as well as that time I played the guitar, that is to say, not well. Be glad you weren’t with me, or maybe be sad. It really depends on how much you trust me to keep you alive while I’m panicking.

I ended up driving in a circle. Seriously. N and his dad got hit on their faces with the sails because I couldn’t go in a straight line, but I didn’t crash or tip over, so… I’m basically a sailor now, no big deal.

I wasn’t the only one having a tough time. N got sea sick too, but he played it off better, or maybe his sunglasses covered more of his face.

He had a lot of fun working the sails and yelled,”I am like an expert sailor…”

Moments later he went to sit down, lost his footing, and broke some thermometer or something. He appropriately yelled, “I belong on the land.”

After a couple of hours we were sailing back to shore, and I was happy I never actually lost it. Then N said he saw a dolphin and he and his dad decide to explore.

What fresh hell is this! I tried to melt his face off with my death stare, especially because this supposed dolphin never reappeared.

Don’t feel too bad for me though, my father-in-law had offered me some sea sickness medication before we sailed way, and I was too cool to take it.

Sailing is fun. I know because I managed to have a great time in spite of my horrible sea sickness. Next time I’ll just take the damned pill.

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