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35- Storm

I am on a manager’s list for email and as such I get all the general annoncements about schedule and ratings and heavy weather.  Just about every trip back to Baltimore, there is an email from the Captain saying that the weather conditions could deteriorate as we head north and the corelation between getting this email and actual heavy weather, in my experience, is weak. 

I’m pretty sure it is a CYA thing so that in the event of heavy weather, if you didn’t batten things down and something happened then there is someone to hold responsible. 

So when I got the email yesterday, I didn’t think anything about it.  Now at this point between the title of the post and this lead-in, I’m pretty sure you can see where this is going, but bear with me.  Didn’t think a thing about it, until I got the follow up.  This wasn’t from the captain, it was from the staff captain.  The captain is the general manager for the ship and the staff captain is the general manager for everthing else, hotel, F&B and crew.  It was pretty much a repeat of the first one and caught my attention about as much. 

Then, as I was finishing up with my last few patients, the wind started to pick up and the seas started to grow a bit.  This was nothing we haven’t been in before and no one freaked out about it last time or the time before that.  We have had really placid seas for the last several cruises so even 12 foot waves quickly became the topic of conversation for the passengers and the crew.  As I was hanging out in my cabin, someone knocked, it was the head of security asking me to put the cover over my porthole, to literally batten down the hatch.  We have never been asked to do that before.  This could get good.

And then we hit the front.  One of the cool things about being on the sea is that you can see weather coming from a long ways away and there looming in our path were some really angry clouds.. just waiting for us.  When we hit it, it was like going trough a curtain, where one side was windy and the others side was angry.  I love rough weather and one of the things I love the most is getting out in it.  Since I had finished for the day, I ran to get my shell and went to the highest deck and the farthest forward I could get.  I have been in about 60mph winds before on the ship, so I have a sense of what that feels like, these were really different, very gusty and shifty.  I felt kind of like you were a rag doll getting beat up.  Just as soon as you felt like you had your footing, something would hit you from 90 degrees off where the last gust was.  I talked to one of the bridge guys and he told me he had just come off the bridge and it was blowing 60knts.  Ummm that is 70mph  That is a force 11 on the beaufort scale, one below Hurricane.  IT WAS AWESOME!  I went out several times to a place in the front of the ship and almost one by one took some of the spa girls with me.  They didn’t really want to go out alone and as each one of them came back saying that it was awesome, more wanted to go. 

Each time we are in heavy weather it feels a little different.  It depends on what direction the wind is coming from, what direction the waves are coming from (not always the same) and what direction you are traveling in that mix.  Last night was the first time I had ever felt the ship shake like that.  Most of the time it feels like a rolling or bobbing, but last night felt like the ship was being grabbed by the bow and shaken.

The captain just made an announcement about the weather last night and said that we had breaking waves as high as the anchors.  The anchors are probably 40 ft off the calm waterline.  I slept right through it, like a baby being rocked to sleep.  Bring it winter.

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January 23, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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