For anyone who missed the Wed. session: Marie
My attachment function is not working so I tried this.
ON THE SEA, ON THE SEA, ON THE
I had never been to Martha’s Vineyard
but had always heard about it. Its
history was interesting and it had its own mystique. My daughter, Barbara, her friend, Sue, and I
had planned to spend a long weekend there.
We had found a little bed and breakfast inn, called the Admiral Benbow
Inn, which sounded very charming and Victorian and was centrally located right
near a bus route which could take us almost anywhere we wanted to go on the
island. When the time arrived in August
of 2009, we felt lucky that a hurricane which had just swept along the coast of
New England was more or less gone. We
arrived at the ferryboat dock early on a Friday morning, again feeling so
fortunate that our trip had not been postponed or, worse, cancelled. We bought our tickets and joined the throng
of other passengers. We had decided
since this was our first trip to Martha’s Vineyard, to see as much as possible
on the ferry crossing. So we hurriedly
made our way to the outside seating, providing a view of the sea during our hour
and a quarter long trip. We noticed that
it seemed a little rough, but figured that that was due to the previous day’s
hurricane-strength winds, known as Hurricane Bill.
After about twenty minutes, my
daughter began to look a little pale and I think I heard a faint moan escape
her lips. Sue and I looked at her,
asking, “Are you all right?” She didn’t need to answer. It was obvious that she was not all
right. I sent Sue for some paper towels
and sick bags, but before I could be of any help to Barbara, the boat began to
appear kind of wavy. Either that or my
vision was playing tricks on me.
Suddenly I felt terribly sick, the kind of ailment where you want to be
in your own house, not on a lurching boat full of strangers. Very soon, there were two of us moaning and
completely unable to function. If you
have never experienced such motion sickness, try to imagine a combination of
stomach flu, a roiling, churning version, and throw in a good dose of vertigo,
and maybe a severe headache for good measure.
Barbara had packed some Dramamine in her purse and Sue was able to find
it and get us some water to get it down, although belatedly.
The trip seemed to take far longer
than an hour and a quarter; it felt like hours of suffering. As we finally approached the landing dock, I
began to wonder who was going to carry us and our luggage off the boat, because
I could not make my legs work or open my eyes.
Finally the boat came to a stop. The world was right side up again, due in
part to the anti-vertigo medication.
Somehow we forced ourselves, after everyone else had disembarked, to
grab our bags and stumble to the exit.
How we ever made it off that boat is a mystery---or a miracle. With the help of terra firma and the
immediate effect of the medication, which, by the way, we should have taken
before we left, we found our way to the Admiral Benbow Inn, led by Sue, who was
the only good sailor among us.
The owner must surely have thought
that we were slightly drunk or at least hung over, but when we explained what
had happened, she was very solicitous.
She asked where we had been sitting on the boat. That’s when we learned that we had been in
the worst possible place for someone prone to seasickness. Instead of the stable lower level in the
center, we had been as far to the outside as one could get. We also learned that the boat had experienced
14-foot swells, throwing us up into the air and then crashing back down again,
repeatedly, similar to my worst nightmare of a carnival ride. Not wanting to waste any precious vacation
time, we all set out into the town. By
now the side effect of the Dramamine began to take hold. I walked and felt like a sleepwalker, a
zombie-like one. Every time I saw a
chair, it beckoned to me. Even the
cement sidewalk looked inviting. It wasn’t until the next morning that Barbara
and I felt normal again and could enjoy the sights and experiences that
Martha’s Vineyard offered.
I tried hard not to think about
getting back on that ferry for the trip home.
But now we were educated about where to sit and what to avoid. We planted ourselves in the lowest, most
stable central area possible while Sue decided to go outside in the open air
section. You don’t think she was trying
to get away from us, do you? She claimed
she wanted to take some pictures. Thank
heaven this part of the trip was uneventful.
I will add that I have been on a ferryboat since then, but not in the
immediate aftermath of a hurricane.
Barbara and I often laugh about this dreadful experience-----now.
July 15, 2013