UOW Student Profile: A Sail Tale

Nothing will stop Annalisa from sailing, even an unfortunate event in the Caribbean.

Nothing will stop Annalisa from sailing, even an unfortunate event in the Caribbean.

On a smooth summertime morning, Annalisa Kristofferson set sail with her boyfriend to the Caribbean.  By all accounts it was a holiday made for the gods, but a combination of bad luck and awful timing led for a memoriable tale to tell.

An avid sailor since a young age, Annalisa sails with her varsity sailing team back at the University of North Carolina.  Coming on exchange to UOW has given her a break from sailing which she admits, “It’s really hard to not sail the amount I’m used when here in Wollongong.  I’ve been though a lot on the water, but I’m still pretty fearless in the ocean, and crave being in open water.”  She explains how she has gone out on the water for a couple sails in The Gong but nothing compared to amount she sails back home.

So what happened on that sailing trip down to the Caribbean?  “It really opened my eyes to how much we are unaware of in any given moment” she chuckles and gazes down not having touched her overstepped coffee.

With Annalisa and her boyfriend both being well versed and experienced sailors they set off with an encyclopaedia of knowledge between the them, “We’ve done many sailing trips together before so we were just excited to take a break from work and school.”

They set off on a gusty morning in mid July.  “The first coupe days were like living in a dream.  We would wake up for sunrise and watch it over the Atlantic. Then we’d anchor the boat and jump in the crystal waters and swim to the pristine deserted beaches.” Sounds like luxurious vacation: tropical sun and loving company.

On one of their last nights, the couple were lying outside star gazing, and they had yet to ancour the boat for the night. “It’s really blissful, being in the open ocean at night. It’s always been one of my favourite things,” she beams.Suddenly the wind picked up, a rumble of thunder was heard off in the distance, and alas a wet drizzle started to set in. The couple quickly gathered their things and hurried to get closer to shore to moor.

“And then I just fell in, “gushes Annalisa.  “It was so slippery and I wasn’t thinking about that and I just slipped and, boom, fell in the dark ocean. My boyfriend turn around and panicked when he saw I had fallen.  Luckily he helped me out with out much trouble, though I was really in shock.  I lost my camera cause it was in my hand when I fell, and all the memories of that trip.”

She admits that thinking back to that experience it was pretty funny.  But explains that the initial shock still gives her shivers when she thinks about if the outcome wasn’t as lucky, “It is pretty scary falling into the dark ocean at night time.  Not only was it cold but what it there was a shark?  Or, what if my boyfriend wasn’t there to throw a life ring to me?” The possibilities are endless but she likes to brush it off as experience.

“I’m definitely more careful now when I’m on a boat, especially at night. I can’t help but to think of when I fell off the boat in the Caribbean.”  A lesson to be learned and an expierience worth remembering, Annalisa hopes to sail back to America from Australia after her exchange. “I want to, but I’ll make sure I don’t fall in The Pacific.” She laughs and she takes her first sip of coffee.