Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Stormy Weather

Housekeeping note: As I write this post, the ship is nearing Fort Lauderdale. I’m sure it will take me several days to unpack and do laundry, let alone get the last minute Christmas things done. But I have several posts scheduled (one will post per day until they're all posted). I hope you enjoy them.

Before we left on the cruise, Matthew asked what we would do if we ran into a storm at sea. I told Matt that this was the wrong time of the year for storms. I should have said it’s the wrong time for hurricanes because I was completely wrong about storms. We left Ft. Lauderdale Friday night and ran right into a storm. The ship rocked and pitched. Passengers started popping Dramamine like peppermints.

We walked around the ship and watched the swells. Clouds of sea spray filled the promenade. After a few strides you could taste the salt on your lips and feel it on your skin. Later we climbed to the crow’s nest, and I clung to the rails of the ladder that led onto a platform enclosed by windows. Despite the protection, the winds whipped over the wind break. Even though the rains hadn’t started yet, the winds stung like pin pricks and pressed your clothing so tightly to your body it was like a second skin. When I turned my back to the wind, it pasted my hair around my face like a heavy veil.

Of course, the rains started and we had to go below decks. It was our turn to take Dramamine, drink tea, and pretend we felt fine. By Sunday evening the weather had improved though swells continued to make passengers stumble the halls and bump the walls. Everyone looked like they’d had one too many martinis.

Eventually, you do get used to the motion, especially at bedtime. I told the kids it was like getting rocked to sleep. They gave me their “your-mind-has-been-blown-loose-by-the-wind” looks. But that’s what it’s like. I could really get used to it. It’s soothing. Most of the time.

Here's our ship the Statendam at our first port St. Maarten.
Note to my NEH grant art students--Notice the visual rhyme!