09/10 –> 09/11 – San Francisco to Monterey – My First Night at Sea (Makena-age 13)

I felt my heavy eyes droop closed. The incessant thrum of the engine lured me to sleep. I awoke to a loud crash of metal. The wind howled between our taut lines. The boat lurched forward and groaned under the pressure of the harsh pitiless seas. A blinding light made me lurch back. My mom crawled out of the quarter-birth on hands and knees, her headlamp was the bright light. I struggled to pull myself out of my tight lee cloth. My sleeping bag was hot and only made me feel drearier. I attempted to stand, a very large wave threw me easily onto my bed. I heard my mom call to me and say, “Makena if you want to come up, put on your waterproof gear.” I squinted into the blackness for the small bag that held what I needed. I stood up and groped the nearest stabilizer. I bent down to retrieve the bag, the whole world spun. Sounds. Lights. Yelling. The boat tossed me this way and that. I clung to whatever I could. I felt the sour bile crawl up my throat. I grasped my foul weather gear and stood up for mere seconds before being thrown back down. I ended up messily shoving my pants on, while sitting. I felt my pants beneath my water proof ones all messed up and folded up my legs. I ignored it and focused on the situation. I was seasick. Bleh. I asked my mom if I was updated on my anti-nausea meds. She replied cautiously saying, “no, sorry Makena, I didn’t wanna wake you up.” I was so mad at her. But I decided why pout about it when you could do something to help yourself now? I yanked on my Helly Hanson jacket and grasped the stairs. Dad yelled at me over the howling wind, “NO MAKENA STAY DOWN!!! DON’T COME UP!!” I nodded slightly and just focused on the good. I was alive. The sky lit up again. Lightning. I crammed my legs into any nearby space. I laid my head on the top stair of the companionway. I spoke softly to the boat, I said, “you are ok, thank you for providing this adventure among me and my whole family.” A single tear slowly slipped down my cheek, reminiscing about all of the fond memories our trusting boat provided for us. I grew closer to my family. I watched my tear slip away and drip onto the boat. Like a rush, sounds and feelings returned to me. I climbed out onto deck my dad’s screams flying past me. I sat down and clung on for, literally, dear life. I looked out at the seemingly endless ocean flailing around in random directions. I heard my dad call almost reading my mind,“The current/swell is going against the wind.” His words were almost lost to the howling wind. I screamed back, “HOW LARGE ARE THESE WAVES DAD?” He replied saying, “10 FEET ONLY A FEW SECONDS APART, THE WIND SUSTAINED 30 KNOTS, GUSTS UP TO 38 KNOTS!” I felt our boat get tossed up, I tightly curled up waiting for the sudden drop. Our boat was thrown down on its side, my side. The wave of water soaked me. Our boat groaned and creaked. The sky became light again. I ran through the procedure of how to set up the life raft. I just braced myself and closed my eyes tightly. After a while, the Micro storm or Squall passed mostly. Pure exhaustion had me tumble nimbly down the stairs. I peeled off my wet gear and without a single care in the world tossed it to the floor. I tumbled into bed. I checked my phone, the light blinded me reading 4:06 A.M. I tossed it aside and closed my eyes, as darkness beckoned me. I felt the world drift away. Good night storm.