”Nothing Like the First Puke of the Day”
05/17/2014 - 05/17/2014
Charleston, SC – in transit to Beaufort, NC
Saturday, May 17th, 2014
Capt. Ordered Stand To for 04:30 this morning, with a departure time of 05:00. We had to leave at that time due to the tide schedule in order to give us every advantage of a successful departure. I know that life is made up of the little things in life, this morning’s victory came in the form my first duty of the day. I was assigned the “forward leading spring” dock line. All I had to do was, at the proper moment, take in the dock line and stow it in a gasket coil. Every other sailor in the world could and probably does do his in their sleep, however I was really pumped on it as I never was assigned a dock line on Pride. Silly, but remember it is the small things in life, right?
The sunrise was incredible. I haven’t seen one since Pride. I think that I will forever associate watching the sunrise and set with sailing and in particular, my time on Pride.
My next major accomplishment was my next very task of leading the Main Halyard. When it was time to set the Mainsil’, I would be the one setting the pace to raise up the sail. It started with four of us, then when it was time to take it to the crank, it was just me! I ended up setting most of the sail by myself! The first sail of our transit. On Pride this is a ten or more person operation the entire time. Totally new experience for me and I am loving it! What’s not to love about sailing?!?
Being assigned to the “A Watch”, my shift officially started at 12:00 noon to 16:00, so after we got the sail set and on the way, watches A & B were stood down. I went right back to sleep, which wasn’t the easiest thing to do in the world. Unlike Pride, which just heels over one direction or the other and stays there until a maneuver happen, this ship rather bounces around. The seas were particularly rough this morning with a lot of bouncing. Nothing major, mind you, but more than I am used to.
I was woken up at 11:15 to dress and be ready for lunch by 11:30. I had to be on deck at 11:50 – IN THEORY. Again my first full watch on this ship. I jumped right up and out of my rack ready to embrace my duties. I sat down to pull up my pants and then promptly vomited. Yes I sure did. First time being sea-sick to the point of vomiting. But like most things that I do in the sailing world, I got the hang of it real quick. Before I know I was able to vomit at top speeds! I could barely dress myself, I was able to make it to the head every time, just in various states of undress. I knew that I had to get on deck to recover by looking at the horizon, so I had to dress. Needless to say that I completely skipped eating lunch and barely got up to the deck on time. I would to say, however that I was on time. I really need to stress that point as that is all I have to cling to in the way of anything positive with my watch. I sat in the shade starring in the horizon until I had to dash to the lee side rail to let lose. Again and again and again. Please keep in mind that we only have two people on A Watch – myself and the Capt. So yes, please let me lose it in front of the Capt. I was not a happy sailor in the least. I even took medication, which I lost only moments later. The saltines were stale and tasted like fish to me and I found the water salty!
I spent the next 45 minutes wondering why I love sailing and what the hell possessed myself to sign up for this gig. If we had a helicopter on deck I would have asked to be air-lifted to shore and left for dead. Luckily for me, and unfortunately for James, I was not alone. He too felt ill, and he mentioned that he felt way better after taking the helm for a bit. So the Capt. asked if I wanted to take the wheel and I said sure. Within 10 minutes I had gotten the course so off that we lost the wind in our sails and come about. KILL ME ALREADY. So the motor had to be started to correct the situation, which I was assured was just fine, as we were starting to lose the wind anyways. Sure, I’ll just cling to that little nugget of hope. I gave up the wheel to Charlie, so I could go vomit again and oddly enough no one tried giving it back to me when I was finished at the rail. Instead I got permission to go and lay back down in my rack. I would have put both my head and my tail between my legs in embarrassment, but I only would have vomited on myself. Back to my rack I went, where I passed out for 5.5 hours. I woke up to a much calmer sea and I was feeling much better – until II stood up. I vomited again! Why not right? I ate some fresh saltines and took the air on the deck for a bit.
Supper was announced at this time – a green leaf salad with goodies in it, white boiled rice, a lovely fresh tomato basil sauce and oven baked chicken breast. I ate five forkfuls of rice and tried the chicken. It was lovely both times I had it. So I took another ½ pill of sea-sickness medication and headed back to my rack as I still had some time before my next watch at 20:00.
I had my wake-up at 19:30 and I felt 95% myself. I dressed and was on deck in plenty of time. I was given the helm, again, upon which I joked at my own expense “because that worked so well last time” This time I only varied 3-4 degrees on either side of my course of 070. I was properly thrilled. I had he helm for the first full hour. A sailfish popped up and was flying right past our ship! We passed each other on the starboard side. Totally awesome. My second hour, I was relieved by the Capt. and simply stood watch and did a boat check at the top of the hour. The third and fourth hours were a repeat of the first two. Easy and delightful. The seas were calm and the stars were in full force. I got to see the moonrise, which was glowing a vibrant red and then slowly fade to a brilliant white. I was able to hold an intellectual conversation with my Capt. I fulfilled a complete watch and pulled my own weight! AWESOMENESS.
Oh yea, this is why I love sailing the ocean blue.
Kit – The vomiting Deckhand, but who wouldn’t have it any other way!
P.S. We are expecting to land in Beaufort, NC sometime late tomorrow afternoon. We are planning on staying there overnight and weather a storm there. I’m off to my rack now as it is 01:00 and my shift starts in 6½ hours from now. Sweet sleep all.