One day I woke up on the boat and it was really windy. The night before I had woken up a few times and each time I felt really bad for the two crew members who were sleeping outside in hammocks. To be honest the word “hammock” does not really describe what these they were sleeping in; it was more like nets made from thick rope that connected the catamaran in the front of the boat. At one point in the night I heard the two crew members speaking excitedly in Spanish. It was 3 in the morning. I later learnt that a huge wave had come and completely soaked one of them. Ariel, the cook, told him that he could join him in his hammock but soon enough a wave from the other side came and soaked the two of them while they were sharing a hammock. Poor guys.
When we all got up, we comforted ourselves that it wasn’t raining. after breakfast I decided I was in need of exercise and that I wasn’t going to mope around like everyone else. Maybe, I thought, my swimming will inspire everyone else to swim too. So despite the wind I pulled on my polka dot one piece, snorkel, goggles, fins, and I (quite optimistically) put camera around my neck.Once I was in the water, I fit my goggles and snorkel on and tried to find some underwater friends. But without delay the waves spilled into my snorkel (giving me a mouth full of salty water)and leaked through my goggles, By this point I looked up and realized that the waves had pushed me a reasonable distance away from the boat, Since I could still see people on the boat and vice versa I wasn’t in a panic. Swimming towards the waves was no use because they just splashed in my face. So I layed on my back and using my fins I kicked as hard as I could. To my dismay and slight worry, I appeared to be moving just enough to stay in the exact same spot and not to be carried anywhere by the waves. I wasn’t getting any closer to the boat. So with a greater amount of effort I slowly inched my way back to the boat. When I was in voice range I yelled to so that they would let down the latter, which Thomas and Steve clumsily fit together. All and all, I was out there for a half hour. At least I got my exercise!
Shortly after I got back on the boat it was time to move again – first to the immigration island in Belize and then back to the Guatemalan peninsula. As soon as we were out of our nook on the reef, the waves got much larger and they freely splashed up on the sides of the boat. At first Faisal, Marilyn and I sat huddled on the side of the boat, with me at the front absorbing (literally) the blows of the crashing waves. There was not much to do; it was too rocky to read, write, or even talk and soon rain started to beat down on us. We all congregated at the the back of the boat where there was less rocking and splash (not that being wet really mattered at that point anyways) and stoically focused on the horizon. Luckily for me I didn’t feel sick and was enjoying the adventure. Faisal wasn’t so lucky, and he watched as the crew caught and bludgeoned to death the fish (the eyeball popped out at one point) we would be eating that night. Finally Faisal and I had enough of the rough seas and rain; we were soaked. We crawled into our little cubby hole and I fell asleep listening to the Lana del Rey album “Born to Die.”
One of the advantages of our cabin (or disadvantages depending on how you feel) is that only a flimsy curtain separates us from the kitchen. I woke up from my nap smelling something delicious. I thought perhaps that I would go into the salon on the other side of the boat and enjoy some lunch. Laying down I felt hungry, but every time I tried to get up I felt queasy. Finally the rocking boat had gotten to me. Finally Faisal and I ended up both laying down, our plates in the middle of us, trying to eat a small amount of rice that the cook had given to us through the curtain. I imagine that this pathetic scene was not what my parents had in mind when they recommended the boat trip to me. I have also begun to rethink my dream of owning a sail boat.
Sometime around five I because aware that the boat was no longer rocking and that I had only an hour left of sunlight left in the day. Slowly me and the other popped out of our cabins like ground hogs. That night for dinner, I felt as if the crew had tried to make up for the awful weather because we got served one of the best dinners I have ever had. We were given giant plates of fresh tomato with chunks of lobster meat in it. We were then served a giant communal bowl of lobster and crab arms an legs with a wrench to pry them open. They even gave us make-shift garlic bread, which was served in a pot to avoid getting soggy from the drizzle that was still coming down. Some of us stood, some squatted to avoid the wet deck but nevertheless I felt like I was in good hands as I ate this delicious dinner. When I was handing our dinner plates to Zaquao in the kitchen, I saw him pull out a cross-hatched pie out of the oven. I admit that when I saw this I let out a genuine huge movie-like gasp. The pie was made from fresh pineapples and might as well have been sent directly from God himself.
Maybe on the boat, I got less picky and more sensitive to the beautiful things in life. Someone on the boat with better Spanish than me asked Ariel how he made the amazing crust. He shrugged and said “flour.” However to me, the crust tasted like he had used crushed up nuts butter and sugar all in one. It was as if flour had never even entered the beautiful mixture.