Water Trauma: Why We Won't Be the Wynns

Last week, I wrote a post about some of my favorite YouTubers, and Gone with the Wynns was rated highly for me. My husband has mentioned more than several times how much he wants to be the Wynns. We recently watched a video where they literally packed up their cat and took him for a walk on an empty island [time 11:25]. I can definitely see the allure - how awesome would it be to live on a boat with our cats [Colby might be okay with this; Zharo would probably hate it]?!  However, I have to remind him that I have not had the best luck with being on the water.

Our first major water outing took place in Puerto Rico where we went kayaking at one of the bioluminescent bays. I believe it was Laguna Grande in Fajardo. We kayaked down a narrow waterway where Francisco nearly impaled us with the pointy tree branches jutting from the surrounding land and then crashed into the kayak in front of us. Not entirely our fault because they were missing their makeshift glowstick brake light.  Forgivable - we'd never been kayaking before, and we didn't hurt anyone.

Maybe not so forgivable was when I puked on somebody's boat the next day. We went snuba diving, which is basically a combination of snorkeling and scuba diving; you remain tethered to an air tank that floats on the surface so it is far less complicated than scuba diving. I highly recommend it if you've never tried. Well, we were in the water for a long time; we used up all the air in our tank, and I was literally on the ocean floor when I realized, hey, I can't breathe anymore. When we got back on the boat, I ate a granola bar and we began the journey back to land. I began to feel very, very nauseous, and I was just hoping to hold on to my cookies [er, granola] until we made it back to the shore. I was so close, but then I lurched to the side of the boat and evacuated as much as I could into the water, but uh, yeah, they had to hose their boat down afterwards. Francisco left them a sizable tip. :-P

It was a couple years before I got back in a boat, but it's hard to not want to be on the water when you're in Hawaii. We went ocean kayaking and got to see some sea turtles. Francisco abandoned me in the middle of the ocean while he stalked his beloved turtles.  
That's cool. Turtles are awesome. I get it. I swam in a circle but couldn't find anybody, so I figured I'd just stay put. Well, my husband eventually abandoned his turtle to come back for me, and we went to get back in the kayak. Hoisting yourself out of of the ocean onto a lightweight kayak is a delicate operation. Once we were back in the boat, Francisco was wiggling around trying to get his flipper out from under him. All of a sudden, we were back in the water, and the hard-backed kayak smashed down on my face. It left me with a sizable lump on my forehead, but thankfully it wasn't TOO obvious in photos. The other couple we were kayaking with said that they expected me to surface with blood pouring down my face, so I guess I got off easy.

Our ocean kayaking fun wasn't quite over as we still had to make it back to shore. This was a rough return, and a decent-sized wave carried us back to shore, causing us to crash and the boat smacked me in the ear this time. Francisco also managed to drop all of his snorkeling gear in the water, which could have been really bad. Luckily, the guy we were with was able to find all of his stuff. My face was understandably sore, but we still went through with our snorkeling trip at Molokini Crater the next morning.  The visibility here was so amazing, but I'm pretty sure I was one of the first tourists to retreat to the boat.
Ok, so, I was learning. Maybe don't trust Francisco to navigate boats and just generally avoid having any watercraft thrown at my face. And definitely have a large stash of Dramamine accompany me on all boat trips. Totally made our Alaska cruises in 2011 more enjoyable for me and anyone within vomit range. Although I still stuck to the back of the boat to be on the safe side.
Finally, I took on my biggest water challenge the following year. I was going to scuba dive at the Great Barrier Reef!
How many ways could this go wrong? Well, for starters, I was coming down with strep throat, which I would have for the entire time we were in Australia. All of that breathing through a snorkel was especially aggravating to my throat. We had a decent-sized wait before it was our group's turn to get in our heavy scuba gear. Once in the water, the instructor worked with each of us to go down a couple feet under water. We were forewarned that once we were under, we couldn't just come back up by ourselves. We would have to come up slowly to acclimate to the changes in water pressure. I kept panicking and shooting back up to the surface, which was getting me yelled at by the instructor. I don't know what it was. I felt like too much water was leaking into my mask, and I was forgetting all the steps on how to clear your mask and there was probably a touch of claustrophobia. In retrospect, I am not even sure if I "should" have been diving considering I have a health condition that could cause sudden loss of consciousness, which could possibly lead to drowning, but I was blissfully ignorant of what my condition meant at the time. (Interestingly, I did actually have a heart episode on this vacation. On an airplane. Is there anyplace more terrifying for this to happen?)

In any case, I gave up and went back to the boat. It was disappointing to not be able to complete the awesome experience of scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef. My husband did, and that was awesome, so I placate myself by saying, sure I totally scuba dived here - like 2 feet under the surface and for like maybe a whole minute. :D

Despite questionable water experiences, I even surprised Francisco with our very own kayak for one of his recent birthdays. Um, you wanna know how the first outing went? We're paddling away in the middle of the lake, and Francisco remarks "um, there's a disturbing amount of water back here." Apparently, he forgot to close one of the drainage holes, and we had to furiously paddle back to shore. Oh, and the last time we were in the boat, a ginormous spider crawled across my leg, which made me scream bloody murder. A couple on shore literally pulled out a pair of binoculars to see if I was being murdered.
So, it's unlikely that we'll ever be the Wynns, for reasons big and small, but it's definitely an inspirational life to learn about. And I'm sure Francisco will continue to persuade me to consider abandoning land for a life on the water. 


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