Monday, February 22, 2010

The Fear Factor

I’m not a sailor. When I met my avid sailor husband, I decided to try to take up the sport, but it hasn’t really happened. I’ve done a little sunfish sailing. That’s it. Why haven’t I learned to sail? I’m afraid of capsizing and looking foolish, and, believe it or not, the threat of spiders on the boat.

The last time I went out sailing, my greatest fear was realized. Before I launched, I carefully inspected the whole boat looking for spiders, great and small. I checked every crack and crevice, everywhere they might lurk, and I insisted that the ones I found disembark immediately. Only once I felt confident that the boat was spidey-free did I tentatively set off. But the little devils are tricky, and out of nowhere, a very big, very burly arachnid suddenly appeared shortly after I was underway. To my horror, he made a beeline straight for me as I cowered in the back of the cockpit. Shrieking like a girl, I tried to splash him off before he could sink his fangs into my leg. (Actually, people say that they don’t often do that, but one can’t be too careful.)

Making a hasty and wobbly tack back toward the dock, I threw myself into the water as soon as it was shallow enough and left the still gliding boat to my eight legged antagonist. My husband on shore, aghast that I’d abandon ship in such a fashion, grabbed the unmanned boat before any damage was done. He was slightly amused and disgusted at the same time. I just felt ashamed. Frustrated, my husband pointed out that spiders would not set up camp on the boat if I sailed it every day. Despite this fact, I am disinclined to risk another excursion any time soon.

Mrs. Yarg


  1. that was a hilarious story! if I saw a spider as big as that one in your photo, I would probably jump out, too... either that or destroy my Sunfish deck smashing at it with my collapsible paddle.

    cheers, my2fish

  2. Your fears are well founded, Mrs. Yarg! Spider's and their pesky silk wreak havoc with wind vanes and other vital instrumentation. You were right to scour the tiny craft for the little pests and ever more justified in bringing this major problem to the attention of your fellow sailors upon your return to shore.

  3. You have tarantulas in Massachusetts???? Yikes! I might abandon ship to something that size, too.

    BTW, did you read the Brendan series on EVK4? Touching story of fear turning to friendship.

  4. bonnie... I may have exaggerated the size of the spider a tad, but he WAS the size of a large lime. Thanks for the link to EVK4. I would have been okay sharing my boat with that friendly creature too.