September 26, 2012 in Category At Sea,Ireland,Liverpool,Scarlett Adventures...,UK

Finding My Sea Legs

The night before I headed off on my Pirate Adventure, I prepared myself by throwing a few not-quite-warm-enough jumpers into a bag, cracking open the Sailor Jerry’s and watching Pirates of the Caribbean.

“That’ll be you tomorrow!” my boyfriend said as Captain Jack swung around the mast in the midst of a storm. I laughed; partly because I was drunk, but mainly because (although, publicly, I retained the story that I was embarking on the voyage of a lifetime, and might very well never return home) I genuinely didn’t believe that a Tall Ship regatta, manned by a crew of beginners would involve too much intense physical labour.

Oh how wrong I was.

We’d spent the first couple of nights of our adventure moored up in Ireland due to stormy weather, and I’d really begun to enjoy the pirate life… the “pirate-moored-up-in-tortuga-drinking-at-the-local-tavern-every-night” life, that is. So when a crackled announcement came over the radio warning the Captain of force 8 storms on the horizon… I was nervous.

Besides a brief stint sailing around the bay that morning, and a “classroom lesson” on how to bring a ship into dock, I had absolutely no sailing experience whatsoever. Along with being washed overboard, my biggest fear was seasickness. Everyone I’d spoken to had pretty much guaranteed that, as it was my first time at sea,  I’d spend almost the whole trip battling my stomach.

So you can imagine my suprise when two thirds of the crew lay in bed throwing their guts up, leaving just me and 3 others on deck holding the fort.

The Captain stared down in disbelief at my (really bloody adorable, for the record)  panda hat and sparkly jumper ensemble, as I climbed up on deck to do my duty as one of the remaining “capable crew” members – the bewildered look in his eyes giving away his terror in the knowledge that he was going to have to count on me. After all, staggering  back to the boat on our first night after a heavy stint in at a pop-up Bulmers bar in Dublin, might have won the love of my fellow rum-swigging crew-mates, but hadn’t done much for my “reliable sailor” status. But right now, I had no choice but to step up my game…

As we headed towards a increasingly darkening sky, the heavens opened and the wind began to billow around us. Desperately trying to keep our balance, the few of us on deck scrabbled port-side as the boat dipped with the force of the waves. Just as I was wondering how on earth I was going to peel my shrinking skinny jeans from my soaking wet legs, one of the wooden stakes – holding a rope keeping the mainsail in placesnapped under the force of the gale, and the thunderous noise of over 200 metres of sail flapping in the wind deafened us.

Before I had the chance to think about what I was doing, me and two other crew members had launched ourselves at the loose rope, and straight into the path of the storm. Using every ounce of strength in our bodies to hold the sail in place while we secured another wooden stake, I thought to myself, “this is it – you’ve proved yourself as a real sailor now…” 

Little did I know, my dramatic adventures at sea had only just begun…

 

12 comments… read them below or add one

ShimonZ September 27, 2012 at 6:48 am

Fantastic tale. And I love the way you left us all hanging there, in the face of the storm… Of course, I’ve got great faith in you, now that I know you like your rum. And then, the fact that you’re here to tell the story is something of a spoiler. Can’t wait till the next chapter.

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Scarlett September 27, 2012 at 5:49 pm

Thank you Shimon! I love my rum! xxx

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Marina September 27, 2012 at 8:54 am

I love this. The thought of sailing a big ship in the open ocean terrifies me, so I think you’re a total badass for doing this in the first place (especially in skinny jeans and a panda hat). I can’t wait to hear what happens next.

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Scarlett September 27, 2012 at 5:49 pm

Ahh thanks Marina! I didn’t expect to survive never mind enjoy myself! xxx

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Kelly September 28, 2012 at 10:10 pm

Haha brilliant. Can’t wait until the next installment

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Scarlett September 28, 2012 at 11:15 pm

Thanks Kelly x

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Leigh-Ann | A Little Bit Fabulous September 28, 2012 at 10:11 pm

I can’t believe you actually did this! And well done for not succumbing to seasickness! Looking forward to hearing the rest of your tales! xx

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Scarlett September 28, 2012 at 11:16 pm

LOL thanks hun! I think it was pure luck (and stubborness xx) xx

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snowbird September 29, 2012 at 5:29 pm

Ooooooh….a cliffhanger eh? Wow…..I wish I had been on a tall ship…..as long as I wasn’t seasick!xxxxx

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Scarlett October 24, 2012 at 5:10 pm

You would have loved it xx

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Erik October 6, 2012 at 10:56 pm

Very entertaining story! Can’t wait for the next part :-)

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Scarlett October 8, 2012 at 9:31 am

Thanks Erik! xx

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