Want to be more conscious about what you eat, and get a workout without trying? Then our boat is the place for you! Though living on a boat in such small quarters makes setting up a treadmill or an elliptical bike impossible, and with only being able to run so many laps around the deck, conventional physical activity is limited. A daily routine is essential to a happy boat so we wake you up at 7 (depending on what time zone) in the morning; this is after working a four hour night shift at the wheel. The smell of eggs and potatoes brings you into the world of rocking and rolling once more, and another day has begun. The dinner consumed the night before, of Baked Beans and Toast, is nothing but a memory in your growling tummy. Consuming every last bite and filling your tummy, you lay back and watch the water flow by. After getting a bit woozy from the constant movement your breakfast may resurface, no longer looking, or smelling, as appetizing as before. With an abyss in your stomach, a pop tart seems like an easy snack, and is quickly consumed before the incoming squall hits.
“Grab the halyard and pull” mom shouts over the screaming wind and a flapping sail. In attempting to not get thrown overboard you quickly check that your vest is connected to the life line and squeeze the mast with your knees. With each pitch and roll you attempt to stay as up right as possible, using every stomach muscle that you didn’t even know existed. If you don’t feel challenged enough remember that line mom asked you to pull, well by golly you better pull!! Heave Ho, the entire force of the wind feels against you as you attempt to lift it a quarter of an inch. With legs sore, stomach tense, and no feeling in your arms, I assure you the salt water crashing over the bow and soaking you once more is only encouragement for what a great job you’re doing, and is only meant to refresh your weary limbs. You fall into the cockpit, glad to escape the open terror, and are greeted with the handing off of the wheel so you can steer giving the bone weary parents a break. Afraid to eat anything of substance you open the V8 and grab a hand full of almonds. But make sure whatever you put into your mouth you chew fully, for there’s a possibility it might not stay down for long. So you see we are very conscious with what we eat, and a workout just comes with the job. So if you ever want to get fit just move aboard, I assure you won’t leave disappointed, if you survive the first three days!
As we sailed away from Key West into the Gulf of Mexico all I could thing bout was LAND. As we went further and further away it quickly grew on me, like a barnacles on the bottom of a boat, worrying if we were ever going to see land again. The boat rocked back in forth repetitively and I started to think that the boat was going to flip. Finally after the longest three days of my life Palm trees and hotels came into view. I was SO relieved when I saw land that I almost jumped over board and swam to shore, but seeing that the boat was headed to where my eyes wandered, I chose the dryer route and stayed aboard. When I helped drop anchor all I wanted to ask was “if we could go to shore now” but knowing that we were in a different country, Mexico, we would have to check in first. As I was stuck on the boat for more time than I ever wanted, the anxiety I was feeling had no cure, except for solid ground itself. So instead of satisfying my want for sand and socialization I put on my swim trunks and swam around the boat. When I climbed back up the swim ladder, resting on the deck once more, my thoughts traveled a short dinghy ride to land. But alas I was stuck, and on the boat I stayed. When finally alighting upon my blessed savior, the beach, I found Mexico lively and I had fun showing off my one semester of Spanish.
I was feeling kind of woozy and sick and all that, but when I go up on the bough I feel better. So one evening I went up on the bow, and all my sisters came up to join me, with the goal of keeping me entertained. While talking Marina sporadically started singing a tune of da da danum da da danum dun dun….. (The tune to Tom’s Diner Written by Suzanne Vega & D.N.A) and we started to replace the words with our own personal desires and fantasies. When we started to sing I didn’t feel so bad anymore. “I can’t wait to see land” was one line Marina sang and we all whooped and shouted in agreement. Hannah sang “I want the best cheese enchiladas in the world” which once more brought a loud agreement and a chorus of laughter, other snippets sung where about hot Mexican boys, no more sea sickness, and having to go clean the boat. Unthankfully the the sun set and we had to go make dinner, ending our fun for the moment, but the memory shall for ever live on.
I like sleeping because when I do I tend not to throw up or get nauseous. I think the reason for this is because when I’m sleeping I don’t feel anything, and I don’t feel the amount of rocking as when I’m awake. It also feels like it goes a lot faster, and I get to dream about pretty things. I dream about Blanco, and all my friends that I miss dearly, and horses, which is hard to ride while on the ocean. I dream about church and cake- oh how I dream of food. Icecream and cheeseburgers dance through my dream, which is kind of ironic, considering I just spent the last five minutes puking my lunch into the toilet. Once after Hannah told a “scary” story, of a food monster, I dreamed my own personal food monster attacking me, and he was composed of all the food that I wanted. Once I had a nightmare about math; there was papers everywhere, and Zach’s head kept getting in the way so I couldn’t see the math problems, and I was scared I was going to fail my test because I couldn’t write down the equations- and NO I’m not that big of a nerd! While sleeping I feel like it goes faster because while I’m asleep time has no meaning, and I can sleep forever. Never have I had a problem getting to sleep at night- and I always manage to fall asleep while on my night shift with Marina, the best sister in the world!!
It was really exciting when they yelled that a fish had been caught. I wanted to get in the dinghy, but I knew that Daddy was going to fling the fish in there, such as he did last time. And then in the 3 minutes that Dad was trying to reel in the fish, I had this feeling that was really exciting. But in those minutes after the fish let go I just started to not feel as excited, I just turned back and started looking at the waves again. And then when I heard that Dad had hooked the next fish, I just KNEW he was going to catch this one. Anyway and then I told myself, “ I know what we’re having for lunch” but then he reeled it in, but the fish let go once more, leaving us with an empty hook. But I know it wasn’t Dad’s fault, it was just an accident. And now I really know that catching a fish is really hard, I think I’m gonna learn a bit more before I begin catching my own fish. Then the next morning, when I saw Daddy start to cast the fishing poles out I just knew that he was going to catch a fish today, I just knew it. But then I began to feel sick, and then a couple minutes later Connor came out, and I was feeling really bad, even worse that when I was in Miss Kip’s class in 3rd grade and began to feel sick. So when I leaned over the side, and looked at the waves, though it really wasn’t helping that much, and in 30 seconds I knew I was going to be really sick. I continued to look out, but then it happened…. I puked. Then about an hour later Daddy had hooked the next fish, and I knew not to jump in the dinghy, but it was such a good seat. Dad was down below cooking breakfast when the line stated going, and the line just kept running and running, finally he came out, and took hold of the pole. He started reeling in the 60 or so feet of line that had gone out, and the fish was still on it. The fish wasn’t tugging as hard as expected and I wondered if another fish had come up and eaten the fish that was on the hook, and left only the head connected. But when we reeled in the hook, the entire fish had come off. The first three fish that we caught all seemed to look the same; there must be a lot of that kind of fish in the Ocean. At about lunch time the line started running once more, and now I really really was just wondering if we’d actually catch this one. I could tell that Dad felt confident in catching him this time. We were going at a speed of about 7 knots, and when we lost another one, dad thought it was because we were going too fast, and was creating too much tension on the line, so he said to mom “that next time we catch a fish we should turn off the motor.” But another chance never arose, and we got to Mexico with no more big fish stories.
I liked seeing the baby dolphins at sunset. There was more than four, I couldn’t tell exactly how many there were, because they were swimming to fast, and kept jumping out of the water. Only once did one jump fully out of the water. And seeing it I thought it was really pretty. And I got very excited. They were swimming and jumping on the Port side of our boat. They swam with us for what felt like a long time, but I’m not sure exactly how long. I can’t wait till I get the opportunity to swim with a real live dolphin.
We saw whales far off on our port side, Dad spotted them first, and we all ran up to look. All I could see of the whale was the back, and saw him spew water out of his blowhole.
“JELLY FISH!!!” Whenever all the girls and I were sitting on the port side of the deck we were seeing how many jelly fish we could spot. Every time someone spotted it first would scream “JELLY FISH” and point to where it was floating on the surface. Seeing the jelly fish was so much fun, we’d also scream out “SEAWEED, BUBBLES, WAVES, SALT, WATER….” and pretty much just screamed in general.