Feeling excited sick and in awe are not mutually exclusive when sailing on the seas
This is part 2 of 3 in my sailing our yacht for the first time entries. If you haven’t read the first bit, read it here: My first trip on our new yacht – Dolphins included! We left from Palma, Mallorca and were in transit to Gibraltar – a 3 day non-stop sail.
Seasickness crept in while I was making dinner the night we left
Having taken Stergeron, a motion sickness pill, I at first felt untouched by the increasingly turbulent moves of the boat. Sadly it was short-lived. Being below decks while chopping food didn’t bode me well. As you’ll notice in the picture above, I’m definitely not looking my best! I was feeling rough.
Halfway through my Spaghetti Bolognese preparation, I had to call Simon down to finish up. I then spent the rest of the evening in the cockpit feeling ‘okay’. I didn’t feel like I was going to puke, but I didn’t feel good either. Eating seemed to make me feel okay. So I simply sat in the cockpit keeping an eye on the ASI and Radar – both devices helping to keep an eye on other sea-bound vessels.
By this point we were motor-sailing – we had the engine on and the mainsail up
Unfortunately we were sailing right into the wind – a direction that makes our sails useless for propulsion but necessary for stability. That’s something I learned – having the mainsail up even if you’re not using it to sail, helps to keep the boat more stable. And I’m all up for stability!
On one hand I felt a bit green yet, on the other hand, I looked out at the moon, a reflection of the moon on the sea, absence of land/lights and I felt this amazing sense of awe. I fell in love with the experience (again). I suppose that’s what brings people back to sailing. I get so sick sometimes, but there’s something about sailing that lures me in like a drug.
I’m hoping I can kick seasickness to the curb
I know it’s all in my head so I just need to find the part of my head I need to change!
That evening, I slept in the aft cabin with my daughter. Actually, I didn’t sleep. Imagine drifting off to sleep and then jerking into wakefulness because your muscles are needed to keep you on the bed? The boat was going up and down and rolling left and right. Furthermore, the engine was on and there were all sorts of weird noises. And when Simon or Richard adjusted a sail it sounded like a bandsaw was slicing threw the ceiling.
In addition to keeping myself on the bed, I had to keep pulling Sienna close to me
At one point she rolled a few times and ended upside down on the seats next to the bed. Did she wake up? Of course not!
All in all, I wasn’t feeling great, but again, I wasn’t feeling like I was going to puke. The Stergeron was doing something. It was keeping me away from the ‘I want to die,’ zone so I was thankful for that. Twelve hours after my last pill, I quickly took another knowing that I had to keep myself in the best shape that I could.
Day two of our three-day sail started early
We were all on deck around 6 am sitting in the darkness. Eventually between 7 and 8 the sun peeped out and I enjoyed the feeling if it’s beautiful rays on my back. I made us all some eggs, ham, and coffee. It all tasted wonderful.
Once again, I didn’t feel good but I didn’t feel bad either. I felt very tired and all I could think about was the next meal. I just wanted to either sleep or eat. By lunchtime Simon had to fix the sandwiches. And afterward, I headed down into the aft cabin and took a nap. Thankfully, Sienna was an angle. She sat with me and we read a book or watched a movie and when I felt ill she’d leave me to myself. I managed to sleep quite a bit. I needed it.
That evening, I ate up on deck by myself
Simon made one of those store-bought lasagnas. I think it was a tuna lasagna as it didn’t taste like meat. The packaging was in Spanish so we couldn’t figure out what it was. You could have served dog food and I would have found enjoyment in it.
That evening from 7 to 10 pm, I joined Richard for his shift. Simon put Sienna to sleep and got his head down for a bit. I thought my time with Richard give us time to get to know each other a bit more, but I just didn’t feel that great. I didn’t really want to talk.
He asked if he could put his head down for a bit and I said, ‘go for it.’ Richard laid out along the cockpit seat and I kept my eye on the radar. Any time something appeared I’d jump up and see if I could see it for real. Occasionally, I’d put the curser over the vessel and find out what she was, how big, and what country she was from.
Otherwise, I looked at the sky and the sea and the horizon
Hmmm. Perhaps I do feel like talking? How am I going to sit here for three hours? Lucky for me, Richard was restless too. We decided to get the sails out and see what course we’d have to take if we were sailing rather than motoring. The wind was on our nose. Richard and I played around for an hour and decided that sailing would increase our estimated time of arrival by 30 hours. Not good. Engine back on.
At least we used up an hour of time
Each hour was another hour closer to getting somewhere. I must admit though that it was very weird helming at night. I couldn’t see the sails as the spray-hood and Bimini restricted my view. And there was no horizon! I really was sailing blind. The only think I could use was the wind direction instrument and the speed. Using those both I attempted to sail a course closest to the wind.
Around 10 pm I went to bed in the mid-upper-bunk
What an experience. After sleeping in the aft bed the last couple of days I was accustom to a particular arrangement. The bunk was a whole new experience. Once I got in, I used the lay-cloth to tie myself in. It was a bit claustrophobic. And the best way for me to describe it was like a hill on a roller coaster. The winds and waves started to increase and the boat was going up and down. While laying on the bunk, I kept losing my stomach – as you do on that first hill down a roller coast.
I thought, ‘there’s no freaking way I will ever sleep in this bed.’ Luckily, Simon got up and had me move to the aft bed to keep Sienna in one place. I moved back to the aft cabin and I learned that the starfish sleeping position was the only thing I could do to keep myself in the bed. I also realized that by putting Sienna above me, I acted like a break-wall. Thankfully, I was able to sleep more on night number 2 of our 3-day journey.
Watch a video that has pictures and film clips of the trips best and worst bits, watch: Sell Up and Sail Away Video 3 – Palma Mallorca to Gibraltar
Previous Chapter: 23.My first trip on our new yacht – Dolphins included!
Or…if you’d like to carry on reading all about our journey from selling up and sailing away, you can purchase my book, ‘Changing Lifestyles – Trading the Rat Race in For A Sail Around The World,’