The Pukening

The Pukening, or the Time I Went on a Four-Hour Whale Watching Trip and Puked Into the Pacific

Before we boarded the boat, signs were there that things might not go well.

"Don't mind me, just dropping off some souls."
“Don’t mind me, just dropping off some souls.”
our ride
Sea Wolf II, pride of Amity Island and also our ride
caCAW, motherfucker!
caCAW, motherfucker!
The fog and the sea seemed part of each other. It was like walking on the bottom of the sea. As if I had drowned long ago. As if I was the ghost belonging to the fog, and the fog was the ghost of the sea. It felt damned peaceful to be nothing more than a ghost within a ghost.* Eugene O’Neill, LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT (* until the puking started – Crystal Jackson, THE PUKENING)
beginning of JAWS
rough seas, that way
rough seas, that way
Seals and Crofts
Seals and Crofts
it was right about here when I realized my decision NOT to take Dramamine was, in fact, the wrong move
it was right about here when I realized my decision NOT to take Dramamine was, in fact, the wrong move
but, you know, DOLPHINS, so I kept my lips clamped shut and eyes on the prize
but, you know, DOLPHINS, so I tried to will the bad feeling away
at least the sun came out so we could go home with a souvenir sunburn (I brought sunblock, but it was in my bag and my hands
at least the sun came out so we could go home with a souvenir sunburn (I brought sunblock, but because my hands were firmly locked on the deck’s railing–except for the occasional picture–I couldn’t retrieve it)
whale tail
whale tail – this would have been more exciting had I not recently returned my breakfast to the sea from whence it came
whale tail - zoomed in
my only consolation is that an estimated 25% of the passengers on Sea Wolf II also gave a gift to the ocean – most of us multiple times – we’d made a pact to keep it together, but then one chick let ‘er rip and that was all she wrote – it was like a disaster film, though my two traveling companions were untouched
my hump, my hump
my hump, my hump
wow, this is so amaz–and I just puked on my braid
if some topless chick with a fish tail came up to the boat at the worst of my journey and offered to take me to her undersea city, I wouldn’t have asked about the wifi connection or whether they have Tex-Mex – anything to get off this lurching, rocking boat (which, by the way, one of the crew said experienced rougher waters than usual)
he knew, and he was disappointed
he knew what I did, and he was disappointed
at the end of the trip, my glorious consolation prize
at the end of the trip, my glorious, orderly consolation prize (look closely)

A final note: I’m absolutely going to go whale watching again–properly medicated. But if you come with me, don’t stand too close.

Comments (



  1. housean11

    I’m so sorry that didn’t turn out well for you, but your telling of it made me laugh from beginning to end!

    1. Crystal Jackson

      Thanks, Sean. It made me laugh after the fact. And was probably worth it just for the story.

  2. Robert

    What kind of bird is that?

    1. Crystal Jackson

      Are you talking about the pelican on the Pelican? Or the seagull attacking the seaman?

  3. Robert

    I was talking about the clearly labeled pelican. Looks like a still from a clever in-camera movie credit. “And starring Pelican as HIMSELF”

    1. Crystal Jackson

      Okay, wasn’t sure. Thought perhaps there was a hole in your bird lexicon.

  4. Robert

    It’s like Swiss cheese full of holes. But pelicans I know. Grew up walking distance from Burnett Bay. Plus cartoons.

    1. Crystal Jackson

      Cartoons provided my very limited knowledge of classical music.

  5. debbie

    I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time. And so glad I wasn’t there.

    1. Crystal Jackson

      Debbie, it was incredibly miserable until right at the end. As we approached the dock I realized a. this would make a funny blog post and b. it would be called The Pukening. And somehow that made it all worthwhile. Even though today I still feel like I’m drifting back and forth ever so slightly.

  6. Jim Bangs

    “Summer Breeze”
    A little jasmine in my mind
    I had a turn of selling buicks over the side of a sailboat that I got talked into going out on because I would enjoy myself……

    1. Crystal Jackson

      “Selling buicks” is a new phrase for me. Thanks for the introduction, Jim.

      I really hope this is an issue that can be corrected with medication because I love the water. My next trip on a boat will be a nail biter.

%d bloggers like this: