June 26th, 2004


(no subject)

I was on the long trip today, the 9.5-hour one. This one goes to Columbia Glacier and Meares Glacier, instead of just Columbia, and serves 2 meals.

We get to Columbia, and everything is great. We get to Meares and things are awesome, meal service went awesome, we leave Meares after watching it calve and everything is steller...then we leave Unakuik Inlet, the nice sheltered 18-mile-long stretch of water leading to Meares. Suddenly, just as we're looking at a humpback off the bow, the wind chop picks up. People start feeling queasy.

We leave the whale, motor off a ways (still in the wind-chop-from-nowhere) and find another whale. People start coming back to the galley to ask if we have seasickness stuff. We hand out a few pressure-point bracelets, a few seasickness bags, a few ginger chews. Some people duck uneasily into the heads (that's bathrooms for you landlubbers out there).

We leave this whale, which actually turns out to be two, and head toward Bullhead, to look at the sea lions, where we encounter yet another whale. More people run to the heads. I've just finished bringing a cold towel to one lady, and am getting pretzels for another (she wasn't sick, just hungry) when some random German guy who had been sitting upstairs suddenly comes running toward the heads, at which point the lady in front of them gets out of the way, and a good thing, too... *BLARG* projectile vomit on the door of the head. He slams inside, I exchange an "oh goody" look with Julie, and I finish getting the lady her pretzels. Julie's already pulling on rubber gloves when I get back in the galley, and John (the crew chief) comes out of the head right next to the vomitous one. I nod toward the door, and John does a double take...it was actually pretty funny.

"Whoa," he says. "Where is THAT guy?"

"In there," I reply, pointing toward the vomit door, unnecessarily adding, "He didn't quite make it."

He grimaces a little and says, "Yeah, I thought I heard something." He then tells Julie he'll clean it up, a task she gladly relinquishes.

So, Julie's in the galley, making sure the chowder pots don't tip over, John's wiping up the vomit door, I'm outside on one of the "Crew only" wing decks trying to get a little air, as it's hot in the galley and I'm a little susceptible to motion sickness myself, and we hear a mighty crash from the other wing deck. Some fan thing had fallen down. I count myself lucky I wasn't on that deck when it went.

Anyway, so about 15 people got sick, and guess how many didn't want their chowder. We had Greg (el capitan) make an announcement that there was extra chowder in the galley if anyone wanted any. So a bunch of people got extra chowder. But man! Easiest meal service EVER! Like 5 minutes and we were done. Didn't even break a sweat. And once we got through the Narrows, the chop died down CONSIDERABLY (to be expected) and the ride was smooth once more. And through it all, the sun was shining brightly.

Gah, my feet hurt.