Tag Archives: sunburn

Puking, fish bites and sunburns, OH MY: My 39th birthday


While on vacation with my family in Maui, I celebrated my 39th birthday. I had pretty high hopes for the day, considering we were going on a 6 hour snorkeling excursion. Of course the fact I had only been snorkeling once in my life, and not from a boat, I might add, should have crossed my mind at some point. But it didn’t. The only thing I was nervous about was the fact that I tend to get motion sick extremely easily. But I was willing to give it a try.

I woke up to my alarm at 5:30, ready for a day of adventure. Made a pot of coffee and went to double check the paperwork to see what all we needed to bring with us….only to find out we had looked at the wrong address and the place we actually needed to be was at least 45 minutes away. We rushed out the door and booked it to the location, which was not as easy to find as we had hoped. All that aside, we got in line, filled out our “if we die, we won’t sue you” waivers and boarded the boat. It was a beautiful catamaran named the Quicksilver.our catamaran the quicksilver

The crew was awesome. In fact, one of the crew was celebrating her 18th birthday that day as well. Small world!

our crew

Anyway, we headed out to open sea, and I was waiting for the familiar nausea to hit me. But it really wasn’t that bad. Until we were about 5 minutes out from our first destination: the Molokini Crater. The weather in Maui this week has been unusually windy, causing lots of choppy water and bigger swells than normal. That being said, my stomach was quite literally in my throat upon our arrival, but I managed to hold it together. The hubby told me if I got in the water, it would probably help me feel better. He gave me a quick rundown of how to put on my snorkeling equipment and that was that. I really didn’t think it would be all that hard to figure out. And for a normal person with normal coordination, it probably isn’t. But for me? Well….I’m not normal.

Boo and I took the plunge together, which I immediately realized was a horrible mistake. How in the hell was I supposed to help my 11 year old daughter not be freaked out by her first time actually swimming in the ocean when I was snorting and gasping for breath like a boston terrier in need of a CPAP machine? And the more I struggled to breathe, the more panicked I got. The more panicked I got, the more freaked out Boo got. The more freaked out Boo got, the harder she clung to me and the quicker we sank. Thank the Gods the hubby had jumped in right behind us, because he was able to grab Boo and haul her back to the boat. In the meantime, I flailed around and tried like hell to figure out how to snorkel. Took me about 20 minutes, but I figured it out. It was so beautiful, with all the colorful fish, coral and sea urchins! And quiet!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

All of a sudden, the earlier nausea and panic, along with a bunch of salt water, quite literally flooded my system and I was puking….right there….in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Remember those colorful fish? They swarmed around me like hungry piranhas, literally biting the crap outta me.


Which induced my second panic attack of the day (I swear I heard the Jaws music playing in my head), followed by screaming and flailing around, trying to get the damn fish to stop looking at me like a middle school lunch lady. I swam like mad to get back to the boat because I was DONE. Done, I tell you!

Got on board and continued to feed the fish (puke my guts out). Which was rather unfortunate for a little girl who just about jumped off the side of the boat INTO my vomit. She caught herself JUST IN TIME. Phew! Crisis averted! And nature’s freakin’ janitors were right there to clean up the evidence. Awesome.

The ride to the next location was okay. I was only enticed back into the water because my stomach felt pretty good at the moment and I wanted to have another go at it. Plus, this area was sea turtle territory and how cool would THAT be? Got in the water and adjusted much more quickly this time. Wasn’t out very long before the motion started turning my guts AGAIN, so I swam like a crazed maniac back to the boat, pushing past an old woman in my haste. I WOULD NOT BE ATTACKED BY THOSE DAMN FISH AGAIN!! Got on the boat. Puked again. <sigh> Damn my stubbornness!! Why the hell didn’t I just stay on the boat??

It was at this point I realized I hadn’t applied any sunscreen since the morning and decided to reapply. I forgot the sunscreen had alcohol in it and it actually burned on my face, so I knew I was burnt. GREAT! Now, I was basically praying for the last two hours of our pleasure cruise to be over. The smells of diesel and pulled pork sandwiches were making my stomach flip and flop and it took every ounce of my being to NOT give the fish another hot lunch.

When we pulled in to the dock, I had never been so happy to be on dry land in my life! It will be a long time, IF EVER, before I get back on another boat. <shudder> Don’t get me wrong: I’m glad we took a chance and tried something new and exciting. I don’t regret doing it. AT ALL. Well, except the fish attack, that is. Puking in front of strangers wasn’t nearly as mortifying as I thought it was gonna be either. And it really was beautiful out there.

On the drive home, we stopped at a local eatery and bought little mini pies (Boo & the hubby both got chocolate pie with macadamia nuts, my step-daughter got an apple crumb pie and I got coconut cream). There was a fresh produce stand too and I bought two mangoes. The day was looking up!


We got back to the condo, stripped out of our swimsuits and wet clothes, threw them in the washing machine and everyone jumped in a shower to rid themselves of the remaining vestiges of salt. It was then I noticed the bites. FOUR OF THEM. Nice. Stupid asshole fish!

main fish bite

The hubby had made me a light bite to eat, while the girls scarfed down their pies like they’d never seen food before. We just hung out, all sunburned, trying to decide if we were hungry enough to go out to dinner. We decided we WERE hungry, but didn’t want to leave the condo, so we ordered Chinese food to be delivered. And it was delicious. All the exertions of the day, good food and a ginormous glass of wine had me in bed and asleep by 9:30.

So as you can see, I don’t do anything by halves! I can hardly wait to see what my 40th (next year) will have in store. Any way you look at it, this year is gonna be hard to beat.