copyright 2007 Rebecca Peck

Please sit back, relax and enjoy the second installment of… The Sailing Vacation From Hell!

The sun rises slowly, scattering golden kisses across the shimmering water.  It warms the wings of the colorful birds gliding overhead as they enjoy their ride on the warm ocean breezes.  Is it a beautiful dream?  A tropical fantasy?  No, it’s the beginning of Day Two on …THE SAILING VACATION FROM HELL!

Ok, I’m thinkin’ to myself, it’s morning, that damn dog is gone so I can finally pee, and the boat floor is almost dry.  This might not be so bad.   The BF and I head to the marina office to check out.

“Do you have charts for the trip?” the nice lady asks.

“Oh, we need charts?” the experienced boat owner, aka my dumbass Boyfriend, says.

“I guess we can loan you some,” says the nice lady.

Since I have never laid eyes on a sailing chart before, the nice lady explains what all the symbols and numbers mean.  Since our boat needs four feet of water to float, she tells me we need to stay away from any numbers lower than four.  I make a mental note of that, then ask her what the little football shaped symbols mean.  She proceeds to tell me that those are “submerged piles”, and we definitely need to stay away from those.  Then she goes over “The Rules”:

Rule #1  Never sail into any waters that you don’t have a chart for

Rule #2 Never, ever run the boat at night, we’re not experienced enough sailors

Rule #3  Never, ever, ever run the boat at night

And finally, Rule #4  Never, ever, ever, ever run the boat at night!

Finally, with borrowed charts in hand, we cast off, promising to be back in a week with the boat in good condition (or not).

We manage to get out onto the open sea with no major incidents, the BF steering the boat and me reading the charts.  I’ve never met a map I couldn’t handle.  The water is blue, the sky is clear, and there are several other boats out on the water as well.  In fact, we’re sailing along in the same direction with another sailboat roughly the same size as ours.  That’s when the inevitable happens-the testosterone kicks in.  Damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead, the race is on!  BF and the captain of the other boat start to duke it out on the high seas.  The ropes are humming, the water is spraying up over the bow, and BF has a maniacal look in his eye.  I let him have his fun for awhile, then I realize the sun is beginning to set.

“Honey, the sun is starting to set,” I say.

“Don’t worry about it, we have plenty of time to get into a cove,” says the speed-crazed BF.

“It’s really getting dark.  Don’t you remember what the lady said about running the boat at night?” I say.

“I used to own a boat, remember?  I know how to (insert loud WHAM here) What the hell was that?” the BF shouts.


Lesson #4 Don’t let a testosterone-crazed dumbass run the boat at night.


Ching, ching, ching, my wallet is flashing before my eyes.  The boat’s not moving, so my BF jumps into the water to see what the problem is, and lands on A ROCK.  A FREAKING SUBMERGED PILE!    He decides he’s going to push the boat off, and instructs me to turn the wheel.  Well, the wheel won’t turn because the rudder is stuck on the damn submerged pile.  He gets back on the boat, yanks the wheel really hard, then jumps back in the water and after a lot of cursing and grinding, manages to get the boat off of the rock.  He gets back in, then we spend the next hour trying to navigate into a cove in the dark.  We finally give up and end up anchoring in open water.  This means that the boat rocked and bucked like a wild bronco all night long.  Every few minutes or so I was certain that we had lost anchor and were adrift.  Then the bilge pump started to run, and run, and run some more.  It is now the end of the second day of our vacation, and I’ve still had no sleep.  Could this get any worse?