4.) Share the story behind your current Facebook and/or Twitter profile photo
I will start by saying that I am not a good boater.
A bunch of years ago, on the weekend before the tragedy of The Perfect Storm, I went out on a deep sea fishing trip from Gloucester MA. It was beautiful. Clear skies, nice seas. Back then, I loved boating. During the trip, however, the weather conditions changed. The skies remained clear but the two storms that were coming up & down the coast met and the seas became crazy. High waves. Scary moments. The boat was a good size - maybe 40'? Without warning, a wave hit us on one side and sent that side almost straight in the air. I was on the other side that went over toward the water. I can still see it all in s l o w motion. We came so close to taking on water but we didn't. We righted quickly then got slammed by a wave. I have never been so wet with so many clothes on. I mean soaked under my skin. Then that was all - nothing else happened to us. One giant wave. We watched other boats nearby have the same thing happen. The captain told us that the Coast Guard was on the way to rescue someone from a sister ship who had a heart attack. It was like a movie - they had to lower a stretcher from a helicopter because the sea was too rough to get near them. Three hours after we left port and the tides changed enough to settle the water, we returned home (ala Gilligan's Island.
Since the boating incident I have never been a good boater. I always need to be near the life raft or know just where the life jackets are (and be able to see them & reach one quickly). I've tried - wine helped me on a whale watch last summer - but I never really relax. We went about 16 miles off the Maine coast last month and I didn't take a good deep breath until we were on land.
I have been in a kayak in the ocean. This summer, my husband wanted us to kayak in Maine where my stepdaughter Jill lives. I was afraid to try it. Basically, I was afraid of tipping over and drowning. Simple. To help me be less afraid, he got us a tandem kayak. This allowed me get a feel for it but not have to be alone. And I loved it. I really had fun once I got used to the motion. It was a great workout and we did not flip over and drown, which I consider to have made the day a success. Being in the tandem also allowed me to take some great pictures, including the self portrait I'm using on Facebook.
This past weekend we went back up to kayak with Jill. The water was choppy and it was windy. Small craft advisory in effect. Small craft = us in kayaks. I went out with Brad in the tandem while Jill went in the single. On the way back, Jill & I switched and I took the single. Not so easy without Brad in the back. I felt every wave and every gust of wind. I was actually swearing out loud when a boat went by. But I made it back without flipping over and drowning. Hooray for me!
I may never be a good boater, but I have been in a kayak in the ocean - twice - and that's pretty cool as far as I'm concerned. If you are afraid of something - I say to you - get in the tandem kayak first so you know what to expect then set yourself free. It's scary but it feels good (and you'll have the pictures to prove it).