i was sort of offended at myself for getting seasick. i mean, the ocean is my primary source of spiritual solace, the physical entity with which i most closely associate the divine. and here i was, in the middle of it, a beautiful monterey day, and i could hardly keep my eyes open without wanting to hurl. it wasn't so bad at first - i had the excitement of my first time on a boat at sea since second grade, and we were going along at a good clip and bouncing over the waves. bouncing was okay. it was when we slowed down and began rolling that my breakfast started doing things that already-eaten food shouldn't do. moving, namely. when they killed the motor to stop and watch a raft of sea lions
bobbing and waving, i very nearly lost it. even when we started up again, i had a hard time feeling anything but miserable. i tried reminding myself that my blood and tears have the same salinity as the water, i tried thinking of the ocean as a great womb that i floated upon and imagining the motion as muscle movements, i tried chanting to myself, i tried drinking lots of gingerale and holding very still with my eyes closed.
what finally saved me was the whales. someone gasped and cried out, and i opened my eyes, and there was the perfect black triangle of an orca dorsal fin sliding into the water, and then the strange pocket of smoothness
that the biologist called a footprint. then another fin arcing out of the water. and another. we followed the pod for the better part of an hour, and i was so caught up in the huge beauty of it that i totally forgot how sick i felt. we watched a backdive
and i must admit i felt euphoric. the trip back was smoother, and we pulled into the dock just as the rain was beginning. to my delight i found that despite an earlier certainty that i would never, ever eat again, i was hungry. and happy. not a bad start to my event-planning career.