This Saturday, with the help of my good friend, Ann, we busted serious ass in the community garden. With the recruitment of Ann, who is a seasoned gardener and ferociously hard-working, we were able to get a lot more accomplished than we would have on our own. After turning our soil into "chocolate cake," we had enough energy to stick a tiny tomato plant in the ground. 4 hours of shoveling, sifting rocks and mixing compost had me beat. But it felt good to work that hard, and I like the idea that some day I might have a muscle.
Needless to say, on Sunday I was ready for a long day of relaxation. But Ann and her dear husband decided it would be a great idea to go on a whale-watching expedition on a boat, and would I like to join them? Their treat? If I was smart, I would have said "no." I was tired. But it seemed like the kind of thing only a lazy nerd would turn down, and Ann assured me we'd only be gone a couple of hours. So I said, "Sure, I'd love to go."
They got me a ticket and we drove down to the bay that afternoon. I took one look at the boat and said, "Uh oh. Is this going to make me throw up?"
"Nah, you won't get sick on a boat this big," was the reply.
So we got on board and wandered around. I amused myself taking tons of pictures and tried not to choke on the thick exhaust fumes from the boat. Then the captain made his welcoming speech, mentioning that we'd be going out to sea for 3 and a half hours. My stomach sank. I looked at Ann and said, "Three and a half hours?" She shrugged. Everyone knows that a "three hour tour" always ends badly. My first instinct was to get the hell off the boat and take a cab home, but I stuck it out. It was a beautiful day.
The first hour was fun enough. I managed to take some cool pictures of seagulls hovering overhead. As the waves got bigger and walking became difficult, Ann got the giggles and we teetered around like drunks, laughing.
But that was where the fun ended and the nausea kicked in. I spent the next three hours trying desperately not to throw up, clutching one of the "seasickness bags" that were kindly provided on every railing.
This bag should obviously say "Chunk Blower." As my stomach tried to shove itself out of my mouth, my inner dialog went something like this:
I hate the ocean. I've never cared less about whales in my life. I'll never step foot on another boat again as long as I live. Damn you Ann. Wait, I should be meditating. What is my mantra? All is well in my world. All is well in my world. *burp* Please don't throw up in front of these people. All is well in my world. This is what hell is like. I hate you, mother nature.
When I went on deck to get fresh air, the arctic cold penetrated my ski jacket. When I went in the dining area to warm up, it was impossible not to inhale exhaust fumes. The experience sucked on so many levels, I was surprised to see only half of the boat's occupants puking and looking as miserable as I did. At one point, when I saw just how far away we were from land, I found a nice quiet corner to hide in and wept. It was pathetic.
Ann, who was impervious to the rocky ride (she said it was like being rocked in a cradle) felt pretty bad about it. Between her husband and I, she had her hands full of sick people. By the time a whale made an appearance, I was too green to walk to the other side of the boat to witness it.
When it was all over, we hugged and laughed and made fun of ourselves. But like I told Carly the next day, if a whale had jumped out of the water, into my lap, and read me a poem, it would not have been worth that trip. But that's not entirely true. If you ever see me on a boat again, it will be because I'm on my way to see snuggly whales who talk.