Monday, August 9, 2010

A Weekend Sail

My husband and I live aboard a sailboat with our feline companions. The orange guy in the portal is Autolycus, an eleven year old bobtail male. Cute, ain't he? Great purr. Big personality. Likes to sleep on my head. Very endearing. The down side is that Mr. Congeniality gets sea sick. Really sea sick. Saturday dawned cool and rainy just to piss off all the people tied to the log boom on Lake Washington to watch the Seafair hydro races and the Blue Angels. We got up, went to breakfast, came back, and cleaned up the boat in preparation for guests. This tipped off the cats that something unusual was happening. And by their definition, unusual = bad. Our guests arrived, we showed them around a bit to familiarize them with the boat, then we cast off. The moment the diesel engine started, the hearing cats hid. The deaf girl got up and came out to the cockpit. She *loves* going for a sail. The other cats shun her. We had 12 knots of wind out of the south and increasing rain. I bundled up in my foul weather jacket and my life vest (no going on deck without a PFD). Cleared the deck and then invited our guests forward so I could show them the sail workings. We set the main and then trooped back to the cockpit (and inside the dry, warm enclosure). Keith killed the engine. I helped set the head sail. We fell off and were sailing. Good speed. Easy beam reach and the while there was a little bit of chop, it really was a pleasant sail. Until I went below.

Hatshepsut had deposited her breakfast on one of the sleeping bags - the bag the deaf gal uses as her bed. Erie, our deaf matriarch, was not impressed. It's okay. Really. The bag is washable.

Then a line caught on a hatch. It scared Autolycus, which translates into the cat yakking up his guts. Great. Which set off Hatshepsut. Again. How can she have anything left to throw up?? Then the terror poop began. It isn't like cats poop roses to begin with, but there's no mistaking terror poop. Nose hairs curl in protest. Eyes water. Our youngest guest desperately wanted OFF the boat at that point...except that we were in the middle of Puget Sound. I opened all the windows. I cleaned up. I sat our guests out on the transom where they had fresh air. By the time the rain really began falling, we'd made it most of the way back to the marina, Autolycus had yarfed on both dry-clean only bed covers, and the smell from the terror poop had dissipated.

I shudder to think what sort of impression sailing with us left on our guests. They bundled up and went back to a house with central heating. Keith helped me get the dry cleaning up the dock to the car. We dropped it off then went to grab a burger. (You cannot live with children or animals and remain squeamish.) He brought me back to the boat where I did the washable laundry while he went to a Rush concert. Yeah. Laundry covered in cat barf versus Rush. I got the better end of that deal.