The Sea-Saw Effect !

On a passage one has lots of time to think and daydream, resurrect memories and past experiences both good and bad that take you hurtling back to your past. Anyone who knows me will be fully aware that I have a memory like a sieve; most of the time I barely remember what happened last week let alone years ago, but then this morning while bouncing around my galley desperately trying to keep my balance while attempting to make a cup of tea I suddenly remembered my childhood sea-saw. Growing up before the age of computers, video games and such, my childhood was spent enjoying mostly outdoor activities, and the sea-saw my Dad made for me was one of my favorite things. Why am I talking about a sea-saw? Read on…

I love my life style, with one exception, the actual sailing, getting from one place to another. For me its the most uncomfortable and sometimes terrifying part of the whole cruising life. If I could just fly from port to port, live on the boat enjoy all that goes with that and then fly on to the next place to meet the boat I would be a happy bunny. Everyone I meet is always so envious of the way I live, the response I get from anyone I tell that I live on a yacht is always the same, “Oh that’s awesome, I’m so jealous”. My response is always “yes it is, SOME of the time”. The creation of the ‘hamster on a spinning wheel’, otherwise fondly known as ‘my over active imagination was created through sailing’.

Thankfully (for me), the sailing part is actually the smallest part of living on a yacht, and possibly, because its the smallest part, is the reason I’m still on it. We spend days, occasionally weeks at sea ‘getting there’, wherever ‘there’ might be, and then weeks or months at that location, thats the part that I love.

Hard as I try I’m unable to understand why anyone loves to sail, maybe for short trips to watch whales or dolphins I could understand, but to actually love being at sea for long periods of time is a concept I will never grasp. Bob is constantly telling me to stop worrying about the motion of the boat, just accept it and go with it, which always seems like a daft thing to say to me, particularly since I went with it this morning (several times), as I slid off the loo and nose dived into the shower, then later fell out of the shower as the boat lurched forward and sideways at the same time. Last night (having forgotten to put the lee cloth up) I rolled straight out of bed landing in a crumpled heap on the floor wedged between the bed and the sofa. While attempting to get breakfast I opened the fridge, and half the contents fell out with a large jar of pickles landing squarely on my big toe. “Going with it” just doesn’t seem to work well for me.

Attempting to safely maneuver around the boat while it’s bouncing up and down over huge waves and heeled over so far the toe-rail is in the water, takes all my energy. I spend most of my time laying down because its the only time I’m remotely comfortable or safe from injury!

To make a landlubber understand my perspective on the whole sailing thing is difficult, I really don’t think that someone who’s never been on a sail boat would have the smallest clue what its actually like.

This morning as I lay sideways across the bed having wedged myself between the sofa and the bedside cupboard, in a vain attempt to actually stay in the bed, (having still not put the lee cloth up) I thought again of the sea-saw.

For those of you much younger than myself, you may not know what a sea saw is; today it’s been replaced by Game Boy, Nintendo and a number of other electronic hand held, brain numbing devices. A sea-saw is basically a long plank of wood placed over a barrel, two or three children can play on it at any one time, one sits at either end to make it go up and down, if there are three of you, one is nominated as “Piggy-in-the-middle (short straw, usually me) who then stands or sits in the middle, with the object being not to get thrown off by the two on the ends crazily bouncing up and down like a couple of rabbits on steroids. You get the picture!

Anyway with that in mind, now replace the barrel with a large yoga ball, so that the sea-saw not only bounces up and down with some force but at the same time tips sideways, if you can imagine this, it reasonably replicates the constant movement one endures 24/7, day in, day out when under sail…

Now imagine doing simple everyday tasks like getting dressed, making a bed or preparing a meal, while trying to maintain your balance on the yoga ball sea-saw. This is pretty much life at sea, and will explain all the bruises! I really should have had more practice as “Piggy-in-the-middle”!

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