When single-handed and using self-steering gear it is usually fatal.
It was around one o’clock in the dark cloudy night when a heavy storm hit the ship. Not long after, a huge wave―the biggest of all its kind―struck and almost obliterated the vessel. The huge wave swallowed me and almost instantaneously, I found myself gasping for oxygen.
But the wave was too big for me to fight against. This is the time when Nature forces a man to realize that, after all, he is not invincible.
Still gasping. The cold water of the ocean sent shiver down my spine. Panic began to settle in.
All of a sudden, my muscle was dead. Maybe it was because of the impact, maybe it was because of the cold, but whatever it was, I couldn’t fight anymore. My body sunk deeper and deeper to the ocean’s darkness.
Is this it? Is it over? The memories came back, flashing and dancing and joyously replaying themselves in my mind.
“Get up, boy!” a voice suddenly made its way into my consciousness.
“Just a minute, Friend, I want to feel this unhealthy dose of panic and doubt.”
“Alright. Just don’t forget to swim to the surface, you’re one minute away from Death. Rescue is coming.”
And somehow I felt calm. Panic no longer reigned. Muscles came back alive.