When my friend Lee (which means “Fatty” in Cantonese) invited me to join him on a fishing trip with some friends on a boat, I was very thrilled. I had never been on a boat before, much less a fishing trip. I looked forward to it with much anticipation. I imagined all sorts of wonderful things I would be doing. Little did I suspect that it would turn out to be quite the opposite.
We left Port Kiang on a hired fishing boat at about 9 p.m. We headed for an island some miles from the mainland. The fishing is supposed to be good there. There were eight of us — Lee, Jimmy and his girlfriend, Arul, Mary and her brother Joe, the boatman and me.
The first part of the trip was pleasant. Lee had brought along plenty of food and drinks. I ate a great deal while facing the cool night wind as the boat cut across the sea. It was wonderful — plenty to eat and drink and the company was great.
It took about an hour to get to the fishing spot. After the boatman had cast anchor, we got down to the task of fishing. I cast my line, into the dark sea expectantly. It was a cloudless but moonless night. The stars shone like sparkling diamonds in the dark sky. It was a spectacular sight to behold.
Gradually my enthusiasm turned to an increasing feeling of discomfort inside my stomach. Very soon I was feeling really sick My goodness, I realized I was seasick. I had never been on a boat before so I never knew that I would be seasick. What a time and place it was to find out.
As everybody was enjoying himself or herself I had to adjourn to the cabin to lie down. I felt horrible and wished that I was on land again. I wanted to ask the boatman to take us back but I could not possibly spoil the others’ fun just because of me. So I endured as much as possible.
Soon I had to get up quickly to vomit the contents of my stomach into the sea. How embarrassed I felt. All the others were all right, except me. I even had to hang on to the side of the boat to throw up a couple more times before there was nothing left in my stomach. After that, I felt a bit better but I still had to He down. If I attempted to stand, nausea would overwhelm me.
I spent the whole night stretched out miserably on the floor of the cabin. That was the worst night I ever had to endure. I promised myself that I would never ride in a boat again, ever.
All through the night and the next morning, I lay in the cabin. I was so glad to hear the engine start-up to take us back to !and. As the boat headed back to shore I felt better so much so I could get up and sit next to the boatman as he steered the boat. I realized then that I was sick when the boat was anchored. The gentle wobbling of the anchored-boat must be the cause of my sea-sickness. When the boat was moving steadily I was all right.
Anyhow, I was very glad when we finally got back to Port Kiang. Stepping onto the jetty was like stepping into heaven. How wonderful it was to have my feet on solid ground again. My traumatic boat-ride was over. It took me another two days before I became my normal self again.