Friday, January 22, 2010

Chile and Big Waves

A short post this time - it's Gale Force 8, and big ship or not, the motion is definitely felt on board. The dining room was sparsely populated this evening, and boxes of barf bags have discreetly appeared around the ship. I went out on deck three, which is about four storeys above the water. At least normally it's that high, but tonight waves are breaking on the deck two windows, and spry is flying as high as deck 6. Outside, one side of the ship was very wet, but other was dry. It was exhilarating to stand in that wind, which on the Beaufort Scale is around 62-74 km an hour, but the actual wind speed is higher because we are heading into it at 22 knots per hour. This is the most comfortable heading, the waves break on the bow, whihc causes pitching, rocking from front to back, which isn't as nausea-inducing as rolling, which is side-to-side motion that happens when the waves come at you from the side. After crossing the North Sea in Gale Force 5, in a 40-foot sailboat, nothing on this ship bothers me very much.
We've been in Chile for the last few days. I've had a bad cold and so didn't get off the ship for the first two ports, but did go for a walk today in Valparaiso. Tomorrow we are supposed to stop at Isla Robinson Crusoe, which is where the man who inspired the novel, whose name was not Robinson Crusoe, was marooned. He lived in a cave for four years and four months before being rescued, and the plan for tomorrow is to hike to the cave. If the water is too rough, though, we won't be able to stop, as the ship needs to anchor, not dock, and so we need to use tenders, which in their other guise are life boats, to get to shore. If it's too rough the ride is too uncomfortable and dangerous for most passengers, and so we won't be able to visit.
I'll write more about Chile, when my computer stops weaving about on my lap. I think it's had too much to drink, just as all the passengers who walk by, also swerving and reeling, must have had.

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