Himself is firmly of the opinion that sea-sickness is all in the mind.
I beg to differ.
He is however convinced, that if he gets me aboard his floating bath tub, on enough occasions, and if I catch sufficient fish, I will simply ‘grow’ a pair of sea-legs and be able to accompany him on voyages near and far.
To this end, one recent fine Saturday morning, I was persuaded to embark on a fishing trip. We would remain, I was assured within the peaceful and happy confines of Chichester harbour. The weather, I was assured, would be entirely ‘wind-free, and the surface of the ocean I was assured, a millpond.
As we climbed aboard the ‘queen of the oceans’ I was pleased to note that the flag in the marina clung limply to its pole. We were soon threading our way through boats large and small, and out into the harbour.
Despite coming perilously close to being tossed overboard by the bow wave from a passing speed boat, in a stretch of water that boasted more traffic than the M25 in the rush hour, within the confines of theharbour I felt I was managing ok.
The water, it has to be said, was distinctly choppy, not a millpond. “That” said Himself with just a hint of irritation “is to do with the tide” .
Interestingly, there had been no mention of ‘the tide’ earlier that morning, when I was hustled down to breakfast and hurried out of the door before I could say ‘Stugeron’ (a substance I was assured I would not need, owning to the excessively calm and placid nature of today’s waterway)
We were travelling parallel to the shore which slopes steeply off Hayling Island and in fifty foot of water we were quite close to the beach. Close enough for me to gaze wistfully at all the happy anglers setting up their rods on the shingle.
We started feathering for mackerel, and I within a few moments I had a ‘bite’ and feeling encouraged I tried hard to ignore my growing sense of unease. Normally on a boat I stare with dogged determination at the horizon, which I find helps a little. But when fishing, of course you are focusing on the rod, which I find does not help at all.
From time to time Himself would bark helpful instructions such as “Work your rod”, and “Mind the propeller” It was all very pleasant…
After ten minutes or so, and oblivious to the fact that I had now lost the power of speech, Himself suddenly announced that it was imperative we leave the harbour and head for open water so that we could escape the crowds, ‘anchor up’ and get down to some ‘real fishing’. So he started the engine and amidst the heady aroma of petrol fumes we made our way out to sea.
The choppy surface of the harbour soon gave way to a smooth and gleaming ocean, with its deceptively innocent oceanic ‘swell’. Instead of lurching and rocking, the boat now began to slowly rise and fall in a manner that Himself describes as a ‘relaxing’ and that I describe as ‘nauseating’. Anchoring the boat intensified this sensation and I soon lost the power to hold onto my rod.
“Ah, don’t worry” said Himself and disappeared into the cabin to find, I assumed some substance to make me feel better. Brandy perhaps, or a teleport device. He emerged with a ‘rod-rest’, an interesting plastic gadget for holding the fishing rods of those too lazy or too ill to hold their own. This he proceeded to clip on the rail on the side of the boat, and into it he placed my rod.
“There!” he said, clearly pleased with his handiwork. He then peered intently into my face. “You’ve gone a funny colour!” Resisting the urge to punch him on the nose, I gave him my most withering look. And with a sigh, he turned to pull in the anchor.
Our return to dry land was uneventful, but that is, I promise you, the very last time I set foot on his boat. I should probably finish by telling you that as soon as the boat was tucked in to her moorings, I insisted on heading to the nearest hostelry for a stiff drink (for medicinal purposes you understand).
The pub we stopped at is located right on the edge of the water. There, on dry land, and within an arms reach of refreshment, were assorted fishermen enjoying the morning sun.
Now perhaps my view was coloured by the previous few hours, but have a look at this photo, now tell me, in all honesty, isn’t this just a much better way to go fishing?
First published on Tales From The Ratcatcher’s Wife in 2012
Oh sorry Pippa, but I did laugh ! Mainly because I can identify, being the wife of an ex fisherman and boat enthusiast , both firmly behind him these days ! I too do not fare well on the water, nothing less than a cross channel ferry for me ! A lovely funny blog to read, cheers ! x
Thanks Kate! Glad you enjoyed it 🙂
Love this maritime tale. And no dog aboard? I recently took our pet Labrador Dudley aboard an Anglesey pleasure cruise and he loved it so much I blogged it. He behaved well which is pretty much down to your advice in ‘The Happy Puppy’ so a debt of gratitude is owed.
Glad you found the book helpful Nick 🙂