Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Adventures on the high sea

I don’t know why I drive myself crazy watching these kinds of videos. They only serve to further convince me to never step foot on a cruise ship. This scary footage was taken aboard the Pacific Sun Cruise liner in July 2008, off the coast of New Zealand. The ship was carrying more than 1,700 passengers and 670 crew members when it encountered a severe storm. The thought of being on that ship totally terrifies me – the fact that the entire situation is out of my control, and that there’s no place to go be “safe”. Had I been on board, I would have found two massive concrete blocks, tied them to my legs, and thrown myself into the sea, just to get the whole thing over with.

Back in 2002, we took a three-hour, high-speed catamaran from Bar Harbor, Maine to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. We boarded at about 7:00 am, and there was a line, dozens people deep, of folks lining up at the snack bar to gorge themselves on scrambled eggs, pancakes, and sausage. It wasn’t ten minutes after we pulled away from the dock that a voice came over the loudspeaker. “Ladies and gentleman. We’re going to be experiencing some rough seas ahead. If you have any Dramamine with you, this might be a good time to take it.” I grabbed two extra-strength Dramamine and swallowed them dry – I wasn’t about to leave my seat – and pulled the hood of my sweatshirt up over my head, and hunkered down. For the next 2 hours and 50 minutes, we bounced across the water – and the contents of all of those stomachs filled with breakfasts bounced across the decks of that ship. Luckily, Dramamine pretty much knocks me out, but I remember putting my fingers in my ears to block out the very unpleasant sounds that surrounded me and trying very hard to focus on keeping my breathing steady and slow.

When we docked in Yarmouth, the hundreds of pasty-faced passengers got off the ship, and Peter and I jumped on our bikes and raced out of town for fresh air. It was a beautiful autumn day, but the entire time we were exploring, I kept thinking about the three-hour ship ride back to Bar Harbor that was in front of me. Long story short – the ride back was relatively calm, and since I had taken another two extra-strength Dramamine, I pretty much slept the whole way home. When we arrived back in Maine, I was never so happy to get back on solid ground.

So tell me. Are you a fan of cruises? Am I a big baby – or are there other folks out there who have no interest in the ups and downs of vacationing on the high seas?


  1. Ha! When I first saw this video it reminded me of my days as a cruise ship host aboard the S/S Norway back in 1994-95. We had some rough days at see, especially during hurricane season. I only got seasick once. But I remember it vividly. I turned green for about a day, then after I visited the 'porcelain god' and deposited my lunch, all was right in the world.

    Ah...good times.

  2. That video is wild but I love cruising! At least on the big ships. Your story reminds me of the time I went to Vegas from Socal in a two seat airplane. Bounced all the way there just like rough seas. I kept my head between my legs the whole time to avoid the upchuck. Dreaded going back just like you but going back was smooth.

  3. Hey Mike..

    Thanks for cruising over to my blog for a peek... As for cruises on BIG ships... I love it. While in Miami I probably did 5-6 cruises, some better than others...

    I spent my youth cruising on a 70' sailboat and of all my family I was the only one to never get sick... It's actually one of the reasons I became interested in cooking... SURVIVAL!!

    I am adding you to by blogroll





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