Mike has always enjoyed the water, and things that go in the water. He grew up near the shores of Lake Ontario and his family had a summer cottage they spent a month each summer visiting. Here, he learned to windsurf, canoe, and trundle around the lake in dinghies. a little motor boat, and small sailboats. Last winter, he even took a 3-day sailing course in Florida, so he's pretty competent -- and definitely content -- on the water. Though the purchase of a boat may have startled some people, it would not have totally surprised them, given Mike's penchant for things that float.
And then there's me. I get motion sickness. Boats and I have not always had a happy relationship ...
There was that time when I went fishing with my dad and grandpa on Lake Ontario when I was a teen, where we managed to make it out to a nice fishing spot, I waited perhaps 10 minutes, then promptly threw up over the side of the boat. I spent the next 6 or 7 hours greeting the Lake with what little my stomach had to donate, trying to sleep as I lay draped over the side, and wondering what all the excitement was about. My grandpa, an avid fisherman, later called me a trooper for sticking it out. And to top it off, the ride home grew ever more horrible as we outraced a storm. The upside -- the lure I had picked caught some nice fish, even if I didn't actually reel them in.
A ferry ride from Ireland to Wales in 1991 did not affect me too much, perhaps because of the size of the boat. I even managed to read some, a feat I cannot accomplish in a moving car. And yet, on the return ride from Wales to Ireland, I had to stand out on deck clutching the rail and gulping in the open air for a while before my stomach would settle.
Another time, when Mike and I visited his family's cottage, we went for a canoe ride -- probably my first. Things started off fine, but by the time we reached the other side of the lake (and Wolf Lake is not that wide), I found myself swallowing convulsively, wondering how the hell I would make it back to the cottage without ruining Mike's day. (On a subsequent canoe ride with his mom, everything went just fine, leaving me scratching my head as to why the motion sickness only showed its ugly head inconsistently.)
I could go on to describe a canoe/camping trip Mike and I took in Algonquin park that had less-than-stellar moments in calm, humid air, and contrast it with fun times canoe/camping the previous year. Or point out the week we went house-boating when I had little difficulties, but I think I've made the point that boats and I don't always get along, and I haven't figured out the catalysts yet. Assuming it's anything more than my imagination.
So when I told my parents that Mike and I had just bought a sailboat, they were understandably shocked, surprised, and amazed. Dad remembers that fishing trip quite well, and Mike knows all about my difficulties. We'd just have to see how this new experience all played out.