01 Nov 2015

Expedition To South Georgia Island by Maureen


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12:00am The ship's rocking and rolling went from bad to worse. I fell asleep fairly quickly, probably due to the Dramamine and the general feeling of being unwell. I was woken up quite a lot during the night. The way our beds are situated in the cabin, the rocking rolls us from head to toe, not side to side. Throughout the night, I was very aware of gravity pulling on my toes, sometimes moving me down the bed a little, then pulling me up by the head, causing my head and shoulders to scrunch up into the pillow. Back and forth, toes then head, toes then head. Occasionally, there was the loud ker-SPLOOSH of waves hitting the side of the ship, sounding like waves crashing on breakers. And rarely, I could hear the heavy pelting of rain against the ship, though not as much as I would have thought. Every now and then, the ship would also give an all-over shudder, like an earthquake, and I'm not quite sure what caused that.

~1:00am Back and forth, toes then head...

~3:00am I never actually looked at a clock this night, so the times are guesses. It felt like a very long night. At some point, the items in our room started moving across our floor. I could hear something dragging across the bathroom floor, but couldn't come up with what it could be. Our desk chair scraped backwards from under the desk, fell over, then moved half-way across the cabin. I moved to the end of my bed and grabbed a chair leg and heaved it back to where it belonged. There are noises coming from all over the ship -- from within our room, there was lots of creaking and sliding; from across the hall, the Hospital sounded like many things were moving around and jangling from the walls; and then the outside noises of waves against ship, the ship's motor chugging along, and general rattles and bangs.

~4:00am Back and forth, toes then head...

~5:00am Swells are still going strong. In fact, the largest one causes the desk chair to again slide back from its position, topple over, and slide up against the cabin entry (~15 feet), followed by Irene's luggage. Think about this feat: the ship needed to be rolling over steep enough (and long enough) to cause the chair to move as far away as it did!

~7:30am Ted wakes us up with morning announcements. He tells us that the storm we are in the midst of is big. It is rated a 10 out of 12 on the Buefford Scale. He tells us that the average swells outside are 6 meters high and that they're causing the ship to roll about 20 degrees; the highest swell was caught at 10m, the largest roll was 25 degrees. It's weather like this that causes Mal de Mer -- seasickness -- in the best of sailers. Breakfast will start in half an hour. I will not be there. Irene informs me that it was the bathroom's trash bin that banged around in there all night.

~8:30am Ferdinand, our cabin steward, checks on the room to tidy up and sees I'm still in bed (Irene is somehow able to function); Ferdinand was super sweet and brought me back some bottled waters, fruit, and a yogurt, then tidied up my cabinmate's side of the room. I did not attempt to eat anything.

~9:00am Back and forth, toes then head...

~11:00am I start to get ready to head out of the cabin so that I can join the lectures happening throughout the day (I've already missed a few). I'd also like to see outside. Our cabin's portholes are tightly shut while in open seas. I manage to get dressed, washed, and brushed, but that's it before my seasickness kicks in. Back to bed for me.

~12:30pm Irene brings me back a bread roll from lunch. I'm still not feeling up for eating anything. Time for more napping. Back and forth, toes then head...

~2:00pm Irene comes back to the room and guilts me into eating. I eat the bread roll and the breakfast from earlier: watermelon, pink grapefruit, red grapes, and strawberry yogurt. It's time to go down to the Lecture Room to get fitted for the boots we'll take ashore. I decide I feel well enough to do this. I make my way down, suggest a boot size which is then brought out to me, and as I'm trying on the boots, a cold sweats breaks out. I quickly acknowledge these boots will work great, put my shoes back on, then start heading back to my cabin, getting tossed from side to side as I attempt all these things. I feel the first heave from my stomach as I'm trying to get up the stairway, the second heave as I get through the door from the stairway into my hall, the third heave when I'm almost to my doorway, and the final heave as I'm pushing up the toilet lid and kneeling to the floor. I throw up pink. Not too bad since it wasn't digested and, as I said, it was pure pink. Back to bed for me.

~4:00pm Back and forth, toes then head...

~6:00pm I feel able enough to unpack my duffle bag and get things put onto cupboard shelves. Then it's back to bed.

~8:30pm Irene brings me more bread rolls from dinner. I eat them in bed while we chat.

~10:00pm Ready for bed. Back and forth, toes then head...

Photo: Curtains moving as the ship rolls