( Photo courtesy of the America's Cup website)
My breakfast went into the ocean
My dinner went into the sea
My supper is all in commotion
Oh, bring back my dinner to me
-- From The Scout Jamboree Book (1929)
These days, when I think of oceans, I think of sailing. The America's Cup, the sailing world's most prestigious regatta, commences next month. Its prelude, the Louis Vuitton Cup, has already begun.
How do I know this? Because mine Alfie loves sailing, and he's all caught up in it again. He's renewed his subscription to Sailing World. He's watching the kids' progress at swimming lessons with a keen eye, no doubt dreaming of the day he teaches them to sail. I think he's rooting for Larry Ellison's BMW ORACLE Racing team to win because the winner gets to host the next event. The prospect of having the next America's Cup held at the Golden Gate Yacht Club here in San Francisco is enough to make him pee in his pants.
How unfortunate for Alfie that I am not a sailor. I don't know starboard from port and I can only tie one kind of knot. I frequently refer to boats as ships, and vice versa. But worst of all, I get seasick. I cannot stay on a boat for longer than ten minutes without feeling queasy. The boat doesn't even have to be at sea. Recently we were at a boat show, touring the inside of a medium-sized powerboat. Just being below deck, feeling the boat sway with the motion of people going in and out of the boat, made me nauseous. I love the ocean, yes. But only when I'm standing on the beach.
Alfie has always had a sneaking suspicion that my seasickness is a bit like hypochondria; it's all in my mind. I expect it to happen, therefore it does. But I swear it's not. It has something to do with the inner ear, not my mind. Believe me, I've tried. I've gone out on sailboats, speedboats and powerboats. I've travelled by ferry several times, once overnight. All with the same result.
His retort: so why don't you puke when you go on love roller coasters that twist and turn? You know, I honestly don't have an answer to that. Rides that go round and round, like carousels or the caterpillar, make me nauseous, but I'm fine on roller coasters.
If anyone has an explanation, I'd love to find out. Because I really would love to be able to sail. I'd love to understand the longing he feels when he looks at a photo of a sailboat out on the ocean, in the middle of all those waves. I'd love to be able to feel the swell of the waves beneath my feet and taste the ocean spray on my face without feeling like I'm going to be tossing my cookies at the next swell.
For more thoughts on the Ocean, click here.