Cabin fever

by Christine Kling

The wind has been blowing non-stop since Monday and nerves here in the Abacos are as much in need of chafing gear as our anchor snubbers are. Why is it that high winds are so irritating? For one thing, when there are white caps in the anchorage, nobody feels like going ashore and getting drenched during the dinghy ride, so we stay pinned down on our boats. And we develop cabin fever.

According to Wikipedia cabin fever is a “claustrophobic reaction that takes place when a person or group is isolated and/or shut in a small space, with nothing to do for an extended period. Cabin fever describes the extreme irritability and restlessness a person may feel in these situations.”

I know I have cabin fever when I rush to the VHF radio to switch channels and eaves drop on every conversation whether I know the people or not — even when it’s in a foreign language.

I know I have cabin fever when I make the home page on my computer.

I know I have cabin fever when I find myself not just playing tug-o-war with the Yorkshire Terror, but getting down on the cabin sole, taking the other end of Mr. Monkey in my teeth, and then whipping my head back and forth and growling so loud the dog lets go and retreats into his crate.

I know I have cabin fever when I entertain myself by writing my own one star reviews of my one star reviews on Amazon.

I know I have cabin fever when I am supposed to be writing but instead I am staring at the bag of dog treats in the net hammock on the other side of the main salon and wondering what Pup-Peroni tastes like.

I know I have cabin fever when I start giggling over the idea of using my iPad to make Skype crank calls.

I know I have cabin fever when I decide it would be a good idea to try to floss the dog’s teeth.

I know I have cabin fever when I take the last cold beer out of the fridge and then start eying the EPIRB.

And finally, I know I have cabin fever when I decide the hell with getting wet, and I grab the dog and jump in the dinghy to go visit Mike and Mary on Rough Draft.

In fresh air, good conversation, and friendship — at last I find the cure.

Fair winds!


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About Christine Kling

I have spent more than thirty years living on and around boats and cruising the waters of the North and South Pacific, the Atlantic, and the Caribbean. I’ve written articles and stories for many boating publications including Sailing, Cruising World, Motor Boating & Sailing, and The Tiller and the Pen. When I was married, I helped my husband build a 55-foot custom sailing yacht. After launching her, we sailed through the Panama Canal to St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands where we chartered for over two years. While in the islands, I received my 100-ton Auxiliary Sail Captains license. It was that sailing experience that led me to set my first nautical suspense novel, SURFACE TENSION (2002), on the waterfront in Fort Lauderdale. Featuring Florida female tug and salvage captain, Seychelle Sullivan, the first book was followed by CROSS CURRENT (2004) and BITTER END (2005). The fourth book in the series, WRECKERS’ KEY was released in February 2007. At the end of the 2010-11 academic year, I took the motto of this blog to heart. I quit my day job as an English professor at Broward College in Fort Lauderdale (just when they offered me tenure, I said no thanks and took early retirement). I was living the dream of full-time cruising on board my 33-foot Caliber Talespinner on my very tiny pension and whatever I made from my books having parted ways with the big publishing establishment. I self-published two books on my own: a small collection of four short stories entitled SEA BITCH: Four Tales of Nautical Noir and my first stand-alone sailing thriller set in the Caribbean, CIRCLE OF BONES. In 2012 I was offered a publishing deal with Amazon's mystery/thriller imprint Thomas&Mercer and they reissued CIRCLE OF BONES. The sequel to that book, DRAGON'S TRIANGLE came out in June 2014. And as for me, I'm no longer a singlehander on my little boat. I met Wayne Hodgins in 2013 and after a whirlwind Skype courtship, I flew to meet him in Fiji and we sailed a nearly 2000 mile passage to the Marshall Islands for our "first date." We now sail together aboard LEARNATIVITY, a 52-foot motor sailor with our family including Barney, the Yorkshire Terror and Ruby, the Wonder Dog.
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4 Responses to Cabin fever

  1. Jan Clemons-Sizemore says:


  2. Kathleen says:

    Oh, Chris, I am truly laughing my ass off. Don’t know which I love best – Pup-Peroni or monkey!!

  3. Marcia says:

    Chris, where are you anchored these days? Sounds like MH. Miss the islands, but looking forward to coming back in mid-November.

  4. Hey Chris, loved your ‘definitions’! And it was certainly good to see you too! And you may not have seen her, but Belle sat on the very front of the boat and watched you and Barney motor away all the way across the anchorage.

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