The alarm went off at 4 am sharp! We quickly got out of bed, dressed and headed down to St. Augustine, Florida. The boat was leaving at 5 am no matter what! We had been invited by one of my husband’s customers to go deep sea fishing for the day. My husband had been several times before and was glad to share the experience with me for the first time! I had been bass fishing with my dad many times growing up, but never deep sea fishing. I had no idea what to expect, but was excited to actually spend the day with my husband!
As we were unloading the car, his customer rushed over to introduce himself and his wife to me. They were avid fishermen and couldn’t wait to go watch me catch a huge fish! While entering the boat his wife asked a very poignant question, “do you get seasick?” – I had no idea! I wondered – if I do get seasick, what could anybody do about it at this point! I started to feel trapped! The same way I feel when riding a rollercoaster, once you are strapped in and moving, there is no going back, you are going to make a sharp drop somewhere whether you like it or not! That is why I avoid rollercoasters I get an overwhelming urge to climb out as the coaster is dropping! In fact, I’ve been photographed trying to climb out of a log flume ride just as it was making its sharp descent into oblivion! (Luckily my 8 yr old son, at the time, pushed me back in the seat!) I kept all this anxiety to myself, because MAYBE I wasn’t prone to seasickness.
We left the dock and headed out to sea, it took nearly 45 min. or so, to get to what the captain thought would be a great fishing spot! He stopped the boat (let me set the record straight you never STOP a boat at sea it is constantly moving!), and we began baiting the hooks. Now I have baited hooks before, but never while my surroundings were in constant motion! The crewman seeing my struggle kindly took over the procedure What a blessing! Everyone had their hooks in the water and we were hopeful to get a bite! Only a few minutes into this patient sport and I was already realizing just how intense the movement of the ocean was. I was starting to get that sick feeling when the captain realized the fish weren’t biting and he drove off to find us another spot.
I was quite grateful to be moving swiftly through the water I enjoyed that part, it was the so called “stopping” that I had a problem with. Sure enough he found a spot and we began casting our lines. Soon someone got a bite and I was asked to net the fish – usually not a problem, but with the constant motion, I couldn’t keep my focus! By now it was apparent to all on board that I was getting seasick. But the fishing was great in that area! I continued to cast my line, within moments though, I knew there was no climbing out of this rollercoaster or could I climb out of the boat and swim for a while and maybe start feeling better? Not a chance! I knew the inevitable was about to occur, so I waited till everyone had a fish on their lines which thankfully didn’t take long and then I proceeded to get violently ill. Before I knew what happened, an ice cold grease-ridden towel was thrown on the back of my neck! How wonderful that felt! The only other woman on board stopped fishing long enough to dip the nearest towel in the cooler and throw it on me I was ever so grateful!
The one thing about deep sea fishing is you don’t go back to shore until the end of the day. Seeing how we started at 5 am and it was by now only 8 am, I was in for a miserable day. After I lost all there was to lose from my system, I sat down and either passed out, or fell quickly into a deep sleep. When I awoke I felt 100% better! I sipped on a Coke, and that is when the captain told me the secret to not get seasick I would’ve been put out with this late breaking/life saving news, but we had a long way to go, and I needed that vital information, so I listened intently. He simply said to never stare at any one thing for too long, keep your eyes moving from one object to the next. It worked! Believe it or not, it worked! I decided not to fish anymore (mainly out of complete embarrassment), but continued to sit next to the captain and chat with my new friend!
Several hours had passed and no bites for anyone. I was getting anxious to get back, but said nothing! The only time the fishing was good was while I was so sick. Finally the captain announced he would take us to one more spot to see if they could get anything, if not, we would go back to shore. I felt horrible for silently praying for this, but if God didn’t want them to get a bite, it was okay by me! Then the most extraordinary vision I have ever seen took place, a huge beautifully colored sailfish majestically shot straight out of the ocean with his entire body in full view then gracefully dove straight back in it was as though the fish was in slow motion! I waited for someone to comment and demand the boat go to that area. No comment. What?! Was I the only one who had the privilege of witnessing that gorgeous fish?! I was silent. Within seconds the captain said he thought they were all done biting, and we better head back. The whole way back across the sea I was stunned! The only two that witnessed the incredible sight was me and God! Silence can be golden.