Weathered by the Sea
I write to you slightly nauseous somewhere off the Washington coast. The Sea Bird just finished her two week long south-bound trip from Sitka to Seattle through British Columbia and is now guest free for several days as we position to Portland. Yesterday was a whirlwind of saying goodbye to guests and naturalists, scouring rooms to eliminate any lingering disease, and securing the ship for rough seas.
Speaking of which, this is the roughest patch I’ve seen so far. Yesterday the crew voluntarily worked late so we could be seasick in peace this morning. If you’re wondering how to secure a ship heading for rocky seas, here’s a few things the stewards and deckhands took care of last night:
- Take all the large atlases off the bookshelves and secure them under the beds
- Close all windows and doors
- Board the main level windows with metal planks so the waves won’t break the windows
- Secure the fantail which will likely flood
- Tie down all outside furniture
- Pack all the wine cabinets with pillows and towels
- Lock and tape all the cabinets holding glasses and plates
- Make sure all surfaces throughout the ship are clear
- Flush all toilets on board three times so no backlog in the pipes makes an appearance
- Take advantage of the complimentary meclizine at the bar
And here’s how things have actually gone this morning:
7:19am – Wake up to the thunderous waves hitting right outside my coffin in the foc’sle. Get up to use the bathroom and stumble over all the objects that have fallen off the shelves and onto the floor during the night as the ship rocks up and down over 10’ waves. Put one of the duvets I have hoarded on the floor in case I fall out of bed.
8:20am – Stumble out of bed a second time and prepare for several new bruises while climbing upstairs over fallen wheelchairs and equipment that have tumbled over in the night. Hold onto the railings for dear life to avoid falling down the stairs I am so fervently trying to climb up.
8:25am – Eat crew breakfast and hold onto my plate because it is sliding across the table. Get up for more tea and find that my chair has toppled over while I stumble into a nearby table.
9:00am – Go check out the waves outside from the bow. Hold onto the railings and peer over as the waves crash against the boat and rock it from side to side as the ocean spray mists my face.
9:30am – Go lie down on my stomach in the forward lounge while I write this blog. The seasickness is starting to settle in and staying in the most central part of the boat will help minimize the effects. It appears to be midnight because all the windows are boarded and I can’t see the light of day. Time for another nap.