"Join me on the ship," he said. "It'll be fun," he said. So there I was in Corpus Christi, Texas getting on a launch boat that looked like it wasn't fit for purpose, to go fifteen nautical miles out to sea with my Sailor to join his ship. The 'fun' started when the skipper of the launch boat handed me a huge roll of blue hand roll … The type you find in commercial kitchens to dry your hands … Saying, "You might need this when we get out of the harbour because it's going to be a bit pitchy and the Windows leak!"
So there was definitely quite a swell and the Windows did indeed let in water and there we were on a leaky boat on our way to join his ship. The journey out was …. Well let's put it this way – this MN WAG was brought up by the sea, sailed dinghies in lots of very windy weather and basically was a sea salt herself and I've never been so anxious! Thankfully, unlike my Sailor, I wasn't sick but it meant we couldn't get alongside the gangway to board the ship.
The options were … Return the fifteen nautical miles in the leaky launch or climb up the stern of the vessel on a rope ladder! The vessel was in ballast meaning that it was really high out of the water and I was never great with heights nor was I ever able to manage the rope ladder to a friend's tree house. Neither choice was particularly appealing but never one to shirk a challenge … I climbed up the rope ladder step by step watching my beloved luggage be hauled up on a rope! This was about 26 years ago and I can laugh about it now but in a recent conversation with my Sailor, he admitted that in nearly forty years of joining and leaving ships, he had never before and never since had to join a ship in this manner! And actually … I've joined him several times since this first experience and also never had to join in this way again …. Yet!!!!