Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Navimag Day 2: Attention Passengers, The Ocean Is Going To Get Rough

During the first night in my coccoon like bunk (more on that later) I woke up during the night to the rolling of the ocean and the hum of the engine thinking "this is new". I turned over and let the motion rock me back to sleep.

Now that is a sunrise
7:30 am and we get our "good morning everyone, breakfast is being served (general moan)....pause... and there are whales on the right side of the boat (general chaos). Ok about our beds. They are bunk beds but not in the traditional sense. They are bunk berths and about 3/4 the size of a normal single bed. Each berth has a privacy curtain that blocks out the light so sleeping is easy. We are the dorm bunks so there are 4 in row (2 x2) then the bathrooms then 4 more, all in a hallway. Everyone has a large locker so secure up your goods and its alot better than it sounds. I was 105 C (100 level was drunkenly refered to as Harlem and people were afraid to come to your neighbourhood) and 105 D was empty so I had nobody above me and a second locker. Lottery time!
Anyways back to the whales. Curtains are pulled back in quick unison and I jump out of bed ready to start the day. However it only took a nano second to realize I was standing in a hallway in just my underwear.....and so were 6 other people. Everyone just stood there for a second with dumb ass morning grins, then laughed and we went about our business.
Husting outside to see the elusive whales I caught the sun fighting with the clouds to for control of the morning skys. It was all 8 bit greyscale but more beautiful then most sunsets I have seen. No picture could do the scene any justice.
Ah, the whales. Now I like meinke whales. They are small and have a dolphin type quality to them and from 500 metres away watching blow hole spurts and not having binoculars was still a great way to start the day with the symphony of oohs and aaahs

While enjoying a post whale, beautiful sunrise, excited to meet new fellow travellers breakfast of what can only be described as 14th century gruel we get the following announcement.
"Good morning ladies and gentlemen. At approximately 3:30 we will be leaving the channel area and heading out into the Pacific Ocean. There is a 100% chance the seas will be very rough with the waves high and strong. Take your pills at 2:00 and our doctor will be available as needed. Please enjoy the rest of your breakfast"
*gulp* What the heck did that just mean. No seriously everyone knew that going in so it was not a surprise. the surprise was just the casual way the announcment came over breakfast and that the waves would be high and strong. Well as the water was 5 degrees celcius, death would be quick, about 4 minutes I was later told.

I spent the rest of the morning talking with new friends, reading in the common area where the sofas were oddly very comfortable and walking the deck taking to many photos of the changing landscape. There was a cold morning beer, ok 3 cold morning beer while we waited for the destruction to begin. The nervous dark joke of the day was "remember that one of the people who survived the Titanic was the cook because he was hammered". Makes sense to me, bartender!!

With a bit of but not overly indulged courage we heading onto the front deck at around 2:00. We were going to face this monster head on. The deck was safe and we all knew that stupidity was not going to be tolerated. It was just have fun and start shooting those pictures.

Bow during calm seas
There seems to be an absurd amount of anticipation for the rough seas that were creeping towards our happy little existence. There was more dark humour and boxes of wine started appearing in large quanities. I like human nature. Screw it, its going to be scary so lets celebrate!
The bow of the ship was probably the most photographed. I think its a cool shot. Travellers openess having broke down most barriers we were having a real nice time until, almost like the Scene from Forrest Gump, Mother nature made her appearance. As if on cue the wind started blowing and whitecaps let us know that it was time. You cold see everyone finishing thier drinks and putting everything away. I like human logical thinking.
The the boats cruised and crashed over its first decent size, out of nowhere swell. Holy shit!! Everyone looked at eachother with a quiet "ohhh this is going to be interesting look" The rain picked up, the swells more severe and often and the wind. Knock you on your ass hard gusts. After about an hour we wobbled back to the bar. I had a coffee as I was numb cold. We watched the ship roll but it was not until you look through the window that you could guage how much we were actually rolling. It was at least 3 to 4 metres (9 to 12 feet). Not huge by storm standards but enough to drain the color out of the faces of many many people.

This is NOT a camera tilt, that is a boat tilt

For those of us lucky enough to not give our breakfast back to the sea and keep the colour in our faces it was a carnival like atmosphere. Everyone giggling like school kids, some people heading out to the deck to try and walk and even dance but we were nobodys fools. I found my second box of wine.

Dinner was spagetti! It was surmised because there were no sharp edges and therefor easy to give back to the sea if you had to. It was amazing as pasta alwasy seems to be when you are really  hungry. 
Post dinner, back to the bar. It was more a common area but a bar none the less. However it was eerily quiet and only a handful of hardy souls remained. It was about 8pm. I think many people had enough and went to bed to ride it out because it was getting worse. As one of the hardy and foolish souls I hung in there and enjoyed it more then anything..well me, Steve and Kevin from Australia, Marci and Kashia from Poland who were alot of fun, Joe from Australia, Ruth from Switerland, Nesli from Turkey and her English husband, and a French couple who were really nice,  and a handful of others at various tables.

 Kevin had bragging rights about a photo he took while on the bridge handing with the crew. Now became the need to get a better shot to shut him up. It was game on!!
I am nobodys patsie, I was first up and out. On deck I had a "Holy shit moment" then wobbled to the front where I could hang on. I just stood there watching the waves and rollers come towards us. It was not Poseiden Adventures waves but scary enough. I found my rythem and with shutter burts was able to start getting some shots, and it was really fun. A few joined me and played the photo game for a while but the Cold of Pantagonia started telling us to get our asses back inside "or else". We listened.

I went to bed around midnight, a little more than drunk but the ships rolling left to right with its "baby in a crib" motion put me right to sleep. I dont know what time but sometime during the night I woke up with my head and feat alternating highest elevations. The ship was now rocking bow to stern. WTF!! I could also hear the waves crashing against the hull and water crashing down above. Interesting, but I am going back to sleep. Again during the night I woke up, and all was quiet and calm. In the distance I hear someone snoring.

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