Ferocious waves pounded the side of our little fishing vessel. The water in the pails of live bait sloshed across the deck, mixing with the white ocean foam.
I clung to the sides of the bench, eyes closed. My stomach pitched along with the boat. The wind roared and the boat crashed, riding the crests and crashing into the wells between them. One hard fall jarred us and threw me from the bench. The eyes of the crew filled with concern when I looked up at them. They spoke rapidly to one another in Spanish and gestured toward the sea as they helped me back to my bench.
“You okay, Senora?” the smallest man in the crew asked. I shook my head. The constant pitching reminded me of a Tilt-a-whirl, throwing me this way, then that way, then swinging me around.
The breakfast churning in my stomach rose up into my throat. I staggered up from the bench, out of the cabin to the side of the boat, and hurled. The boat pitched, I held on. I hurled again. One of the deck hands grabbed my arm. He patted my back, and in a few minutes, when the need to vomit had calmed a little, he helped me back into the cabin.
Rain slashed at the boat, the wind roared. The boat pitched, and pitched again, again and again. I stood, and this time, the deck hand hurried me to the small room on board they called ‘the head.’ At least there I would not fall overboard while spewing out every last bite of my gi-normous breakfast, and I had a little privacy.
When I came up for air, convinced there was nothing more in my stomach to throw up, the nice crew member handed me the only thing he could find to wipe my face with, a red rag which smelled of grease.
“Do you want to go back?” Chad asked. “We aren’t even out of the bay yet!”
I glanced out at the angry ocean, scanning 360 degrees. How could that be? There was no land in sight. All I could see, from horizon to horizon, were swells ten feet high and troughs between the peaks. We rose and crashed, rose and crashed.
“Let’s go back.” I begged, and retched again. I bolted for the head and retched again, and again.
Slowly, the boat’s heading changed 180 degrees and our course was inbound, back to the pier on Acapulco Bay.
I laid on the bench, the oily rag spread over my forehead, my eyes closed. I prayed, and prayed some more. Would I live through this? I wasn’t sure.
The putt of the engine, the roar of the wind and the stinging spray of salt water went on and on as the boat and I rose and fell, rose and fell, rose and fell.
Someone shouted. The pier was in sight. I lifted my head and saw an empty bay all around us, and an empty pier ahead. Shorly after going ashore we learned that the Bay had been closed due to the rough waters. And as far as getting any money back – forget it. Our concessionaire was not sanctioned by the hotel or by our tour, and – after all – hadn’t we taken a fishing trip after all?
Back at the hotel, after a long nap, I was finally warm again, and my stomach had settled. The storm blew away. The sun came out.
And it stayed out for the remaining day of our honeymoon. We walked on the beach and sat in the sun. No pina coladas for me. And no Mexican food. So much for Paradise.
(I am happy to say that we made in back to the states in one piece. It didn’t matter that we didn’t have a ticket. Our marriage lasted eleven years.)
((Join me next week for the start of another story and mini-prompts to get you thinking. Meanwhile, check out my books at http://www.amazon.com/author/marycoley, and my Facebook page, MaryColeyAuthor.))