I love water… but I’ve also been a little afraid of the water ever since I almost drowned while river rafting. I know how powerful and uncontrollable water can be, which is why I was nervous when J,G & K asked me out for an overnight trip on their boat. Normally this wouldn’t be a big deal, but the weekend weather was calling for thunderstorms. I said I’d come and then headed straight to the store for Dramamine and those weird motion sickness wristbands.

We all met at the Elliott Bay Marina and settled onto the boat. I was a little motion sick just being docked, so I put on my wristbands, which seemed to help. We maneuvered out of the marina with a plan to head up to Port Ludlow to spend the night. About 20 minutes into our trip we decided to turn around; the water was full of whitecaps and you could clearly see that it was going to get much, much worse the further north we went. I was relieved that we weren’t going to make the two hour trip to Port Ludlow in nasty weather, but then we decided to head over to Blake Island.

While crossing over to the island, I honestly thought we were going to die. The thing about boats that I tend to forget is that they don’t have shock absorbers and you feel every jarring crash in your spine. The boat was rolling so hard that I thought we would tip over. We hit one wave and the cooler came loose and K made a bold and daring leap from the top deck to save it just as it was going over. I occupied myself with holding down all the other things that could potentially go over, including me.

Once over at Blake Island we found a protected stretch of beach to anchor for lunch. Even with the wristbands, I was so queasy that I wasn’t sure if I could keep food down, but hunger won out. Dizzy and stumbling around in the kitchen I managed to put together the seafood salad I had brought for lunch: butterleaf lettuce topped with smoked salmon from Trader Joe’s (surprisingly good), Dungeness crab and halibut cheeks that I had previously sautéed in butter, garlic, ouzo and parsley. I topped it off with my Russian dressing with lots of spicy horseradish and a side of toasted rosemary bread slathered with butter. It was delicious and managed to cure our sea-sickness.

Luckily the ride back to the marina later that day was much, much calmer. As soon as we were safely docked we broke open a celebratory bottle of champagne and pretty much kept drinking all night. For dinner G had bought filet mignon from Lobel’s, which he marinated in olive oil and then grilled on the cute, tiny boat grill. The grill was hooked up to a propane tank, but the flame kept going out and we were getting a little tipsy so we kept forgetting to check on the meat. Miraculously, we managed to cook the steaks perfectly and we ate them with an amazing gorgonzola butter that G made. They were by far the best steaks I’ve ever eaten; incredibly juicy and tender with a surprising amount of flavor.

The next day we woke up and the weather was gorgeous. So we took the boat out again for a few hours. The difference was night and day. The water was smooth like glass and the sun was brilliant and warming. G noticed that two seals were following us around so we stopped and about fifteen seals surrounded the boat to check us out. I decided that I liked boating after all.