Saturday, July 30, 2005

It seemed like a good idea . . .

Way back in early June, we were at a charity silent auction. Big D bid on and "won" a sailing charter for six on Lake Michigan. At the time, we figured it would be a great thing to do with his cousin (C) and her husband (T) who are here visiting this weekend. The Chicago skyline is beautiful from the lake and we thought we could bring some nice food and wine. If the weather cooperated, it would be a really nice night. We even negotiated for an extra hour - four hours boating on the lake. It would be great!

At the beginning of the week, the weather sucked. It was hot and humid and just generally sucky. But Thursday came around, the heat wave broke and Friday, the day of our sailing trip, was a gorgeous day.

Big D and T went to Whole Foods and got some yummy treats. We packed a cooler and went to the boat at 5 p.m. The boat was beautiful. I don't know much about sailing or boats or anything but this was pretty nice. It had two bedrooms and bathrooms, a teeny kitchen, a table and a small desk. The benches were covered in a creamy, soft leather.

As we moved out of the harbor, we all went on deck to feel the cool breeze. It started out great. M-Girl asked for some food so we broke out the shrimp. She, A-Girl and Big D ate a few. I was worried I might get queasy so I held off on the food which turned out to be the best choice. As soon as we got out of the harbor, we hit the choppy waves. Apparently, the Northeast wind brings cool breezes but also makes the lake near Chicago quite wavy. (As I write this, I'm feeling the sensation of the boat moving with the waves!). After about five minutes, I looked over at T and could tell he wasn't feeling very well. He made his way to the front deck and not long after that, my husband went to the side of the boat. You can guess what happened to both of them eventually.

After an hour, my husband asked the captain to turn around and head back. In the meantime, M-Girl fell asleep on my lap. A-Girl and C were the only ones doing well. I was ok as long as I kept looking at the horizon. If I looked down at all, the queasiness started and I had to look up again. I couldn't even look in a camera lens long enough to take a picture (although I did manage to get two pictures of M-Girl helping to pilot the boat after she woke up).

When we were getting fairly close to the harbor, M-Girl had to go to the bathroom which was below deck. Big D and I looked at each other in a panic, knowing that neither of us could go below without throwing up and he said "Can't you hold it?" She, of course, said she couldn't. One of the crew members was a wonderful woman and she took M-Girl to the bathroom but as soon as M-Girl got back up, she joined her father at the side of the boat and promptly threw up what little dinner she ate. Here I am, staring at the horizon watching my little one toss her cookies out of the corner of my eye while a virtual stranger holds on to her and brushes her hair off of her face. Yet another great moment in parenting!

A-Girl was ok until near the end when she made the mistake of covering her face with her sweater. Within minutes she joined M-Girl and her dad at the side of the boat.

What I feel the worst about is that we put our guests through that experience! T's a surfer, I guess we figured he'd like being on the water. Now I know that being a surfer doesn't make one immune to sea sickness. Unfortunately for T, I had to learn that at his expense.

I would hate for our experience to reflect poorly on the charter company. They were fabulous and our problems were a result of our own weak constitutions! For anyone who is into sailing, it's a really nice boat and Joe and Daneen (the captain and crew) were wonderful. If you're ever in Chicago and want to try it out, I would recommend it. Go to Windy City Sailing for more information.

1 comment:

Sandra said...

That is SO disappointing. I was green with envy when you posted about the charter boat. It just sounded like a great idea. Surprising so many of you were vulnerable to seasickness. I was on a bigger boat earlier this summer and I felt just a twinge of it once or twice, so maybe a smaller boat would be a mistake for me, too.