My teeth clattered together like the thunderous sound of a snare drum. It must have been a mere fifty degrees out, yet it was late August, and a dreary day because of the inferior weather. The school year was approaching, starting in less then a week.
It was the concluding day of my family’s weeklong sailing trip to Montauk and back. We never actually made it to Montauk, on the account of a delay in the trip; and we stopped in Darien, Connecticut. To my family of true sailors, this last day was dreaded; but to me it was a day I had anticipated, the day when we would finally get off the boat, and I would finally get to sleep in a real bed instead of an itchy cot. Little did I know, this would be an unforgettable day, permanently engraved in my memory.
The rest of my family was in the hull, at the stern of the boat. I was weary of them, so I had clambered up to the bow of the boat, and ducked into my usual spot under the mainsail, holding on to the halyard and resting my feet on the hatch. I took small breaths in and out and let the aroma of the Long Island Sound fill my nose. Waves collided and the sails fluttered. As my head started clanging against the boom, I knew the waves were coming in, but, little did I know how big they were, for I was drifting in and out of a light sleep.
Then my head was thrown back with vigorous force. Pain surged to my head and formed a migraine. We were in an area with three-foot high waves. I grabbed on even more tightly to the halyard. But more and more waves kept coming, drenching me, and making me numb. My attire further worsened this situation; my snug skinny jeans clinging to my skin, and my bikini top leaving my midriff near bare and freezing. I had to get into the cabin, where the linens and warmth awaited me; but here I was, grasping onto the boat, in a situation where even my trained sea legs were put to the test. I was dreading my position so I called for my dad.
“Daddy!” I screamed.
“What Nadia?” he hollered back. We were both battling to be heard over the roaring sound of the waves.
“Daddy, can I come off of the bow?” I bellowed, with almost every ounce of strength I had left from my continuing battle with the Long Island Sound. As I asked, a wave splashed and water flooded my mouth; the grimy, polluted water.
“Honey, I know you could, but with these continuous waves, it would be better if you stayed up there until they pass. I know you have the strong sea legs of a sailor, but even I would have trouble getting back from the bow. You should stay put until we get through these waves. Just hold on tight and I’ll try to get through them as fast as I can,” he lectured, sympathetically.
So I waited impatiently on the bow, every wave making me feel more chilled and nauseous than I was before. After about fifteen minutes on my watch, the waves began to control their temper. This was my chance. I scurried back to the stern and stumbled into the cabin, frail and faint. I fished around and found an apple; and sunk my teeth into it. It tasted so juicy. I had never experienced such hunger, since I hadn’t eaten that morning anyways. As I regained my strength, I ascended the ladder and shuffled back onto the bow. I stared at the tiny apple in my hand and out into the massive channel in front of me, and realized how powerless we are to the water’s rage.
Age 12, Grade 7
PS 126 Manhattan Academy of Technology