Wednesday, May 24, 2023

the boat dream

we were in a powerboat. it was a bright, sunny day, blue skies with just a few wisps of cloud. we were just heading off the coast, out of a marina. it was quite warm, but the boat had its fabric roof on. the roof had transparent windows all around to see out of. I was sitting at the back of the boat, not on a seat but on the back of the boat itself. there were a few other people (about four or five) seated in the rest of the boat ahead of me, and there were a couple of vacant seats in the last row. the seat on the rear left had a wheel and a throttle, but the skipper was at the front at the main set of controls.

we were somewhere off the coast of Northern Ireland - although it's hard to say exactly where we were. as we got out of the marina into the sea, we turned toward the left and followed the coast, while gradually moving away from it. I pointed out that there was a strange swirling formation of clouds towards the right, over the ocean. The skipper looked at it too but didn't react to it. Other people in the boat commented to each other that they've never seen such a thing before. The general reaction was of curiosity and not concern, and we continued as before.

I noticed the boat was speeding up, although the engine didn't see to be running any faster. The course we were moving on was also weird - we were being pushed along the coast and toward it. As the boat picked up speed, it seemed to be curving back towards the coast. The speed was crazy now, and things were moving really quickly. We seem to be being pushed into a port of sorts, which had a wide entrance which branched off into a few jetties. It seemed like the skipper tried to avoid getting pushed into the port by turning to the right and accelerating a bit. It didn't seem to help - we were pushed into the port anyway, but as a result of trying to avoid it we were now very close to the right side of it. Given the speed we were going at and the proximity of the jetties it didn't look good at all. I'm not sure if I said it out loud or thought to myself but I found myself going "no, no, no!"

The next thing I noticed was there was a rock coming up towards us on our right side. As the boat sped towards it, I remember thinking to myself that this is it and it's going to be a terrible disaster. I quickly grabbed the steering column and got myself into the seat behind it. Just then the boat hit the rock, or it felt like it should have. There was no actual feel of the impact though - the boat just seemed to slide up it and launch up into the air. It quickly spun counter-clockwise, and we hit the water upside down.

Time seemed to almost stop and the moments stretched to what felt like an eternity.

The cabin was now in the water and the boat was above it. The fabric hood kept the water out though, but I knew it was a matter of seconds before the water was in. I took a deep breath and looked at the water outside us. We were still moving, and the skipper was shouting something at everyone - I think she was trying to get us to one side so our weight would get the boat to spin around back up. Everyone moved to the left, which was the side I was already on.

The boat continued to rotate counter-clockwise so it felt like it would right itself, but it was slowing down so I really hoped it would right itself before it stopped.

As the boat was now getting on its side and water rushed in. As I took another deep breath, I clutched the handle on top of the control column and closed my eyes just as I felt the water wash over my body. It didn't feel as cold as I was expecting it to be, but we were quickly submerged and completely underwater. I just kept my eyes shut and kept my mind as blank as I could so that my last breath lasted as long as possible. I felt the boat continue to move but ignored it to keep my mind clear. I could see the light filtering through my eyelids and from almost pitch-dark it was beginning to get brighter.

After what seemed like an eternity it seemed like the light outside filtering through my eyelids was as bright as daylight. Surprisingly, my face also felt like it was no longer under water and I opened my eyes and simultaneously took a deep breath.

We were still in the boat, and it had righted itself. I didn't notice the water in the boat, as I was so focused on the environment outside. The hood had ripped off and the boat was now open from above. We had almost stopped moving and were coming alongside a pontoon on the left. The pontoon was right next to the shore (the other side of the pontoon was touching land) and there were trees growing off the land that looked almost tropical - they were broad trees with thick green leafy foliage. As we got towards the pontoon and the trees covered the sky above, I closed my eyes again and the light filtering though looked greenish though my eyelids. Before I could finish my thoughts about being thankful to be safe, I heard the skipper should that we need to attach ourselves to the pontoon before the boat drifted off or hit it or sank. There was a rope tied to the side of the boat and the rest of it was lying loosely inside the boat. I grabbed the rope and managed to loop the bit between the end that was attached to the boat and the bit that was in my hand to a cleat on the pontoon as soon as it was within arms reach.

Another person on the boat managed to do the same and we stopped moving immediately. The boat was being pushed against the pontoon so it was easy to hop off the boat and we all were off quickly - I was one of the last people to get off as I was holding the rope and had not tied it after looping it around the cleat. The pontoon was almost at shoulder level, and that's when I realized the boat was almost completely submerged and I was in water from the waist down.

I exhaled deeply as I climbed off the boat.

And that's when I woke up.

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