“Let’s go sailing!” “Why?”
The first time I stepped onto a sailboat, the day was warm and sunny, but I was ice-cold—frozen with fear. Sailing lessons had been my husband’s idea, not mine.
“It’ll be fun,” Frank said.
“For who?” I asked
For him, obviously. Not for me. As soon as the boat began rocking in the waves, I was terrified, but I couldn’t explain why. On a rational level, I knew we weren’t in danger; on an emotional level, I was sure death by drowning was imminent.
But although I may have been a wimp, I wasn’t a quitter. I would see the lessons through, but that was all. When they were done, so was I—with small boats, that is.
Somehow, miserable and seasick, I persevered. I even aced the written exam. But when the time came for me to take the practical exam that would give me my Basic Cruising certificate, my instructor advised against it.
“I don’t think you’re ready to captain a boat,” he said. I laughed. Not only did I have no desire to captain a sailboat, I had no plans to ever step into one again.
Frank passed his exam with flying colours, of course. And although he vowed at the time that he would never suggest that we buy a boat of our own, it was a promise he didn’t keep. Five years later we bought the Zephyr. But before I could agree to that purchase, I had to make a start at understanding my fear and coming to terms with it.
Next post: Fear of Sailing – Part Two: A Cage of Fear