As we left the heads of Sydney Harbour, the returnee crew were down below, making up their racks. It was a mild, drizzly January day, and the Sydney summer storms were brewing. The wind was picking up as a front rolled through, and the ship rolled along...

 

I’m an off-the-beach catamaran sailor, who also escaped any sea-sickness on the youth development voyage six years prior. Confidently, I asked the girls in the 12-berth “who’s going to be the first to toss their cookies?”

 

Before anyone could even respond, I was on deck, sending my lunch to the dolphins. Never climbed a ladder so quickly. 

 

And that, my friends, is what they call “jinxing yourself.”

 

White watch were first on guts watch. Midnight to 4am. I’m a shift-worker in my land-lubber life, but I wasn’t prepared for this. There was no nap, no espresso... Suffice to say I was the most useless watch member Young Endeavour ever did sea. (Pun intended.)

 

Foetal position on starboard deck, rain drenching me to the bone, only moving to feed to dolphins (with delectable crispy-skinned duck for dinner) I was wondering two things: 

-Will these four hours ever end? 

-Why am I here? 

 

Two hard days of summoning sea demons (apparently that’s what I sounded like, who am I to disagree?) and I never wanted the voyage to end. 

 

If nothing else, gaining your sea legs reiterates my dear grandfather “Popeye’s” mantra: 

 

THIS TOO SHALL PASS.

Madeline Gillard