Monday, February 15, 2016

When the ship hits the sand

It is tough to live in Baltimore, Maryland, a great port city on the Chesapeake Bay that also happens to be near an ocean of some size, and have the lack of interest in boats that I have.

From a rowboat to the 168,666-ton Anthem of the Seas, I'm not interested in getting on board, and that is hard for some to understand.  I don't have anything against riding in a boat, be it powered by wind or motor, and I figure that just leaves more room for my fellow townspeople to get out on the water.

And by the way, yes, I can swim. ships?  

I know lots of people who say they are the best vacations ever, and I'm sure that they go on lots of voyages in which people have lots of fun and no one gets Legionnaire's Disease or a virulent illness or tossed about like a toy in a gale.

You just don't hear about those cruises.

What you do hear is stories like this: that same Anthem of the Seas took off on a cruise to Port Canaveral, FL and the Bahamas, last week, and cruised right into a storm that had been forecast, resulting in damage to the vessel and dozens of shaken passengers.

When the ship ran into the storm, it began to pitch and roll about in the sea like a drunk frat boy on spring break, and the passengers were ordered to stay in their cabins.  

The shipping line said that "extreme wind and sea conditions" were not expected, and the captain said the day was among his most challenging ever at sea. Wave heights reached 30 feet in the area, and gentle sea breezes of 122 mph were tossing the ship about. Furniture, dishes and glasses were flying around, windows broke, and ceilings and walls gave way.

Out of 4,529 passengers and 1,616 crew members on board, only four reported being injured.  All the rest remained in their cabins, watching movies on the ship's cable system.  They had a choice of "Titanic," "Life of Pi," "The Blue Lagoon," and "Cast Away."

All right.  I made that part up.  But nothing about being domiciled in a tiny cabin, rocked about on ocean waves and confined with several thousand people wearing white belts and patent-leather shoes strikes me as a fun time.  If you like it, I wish you smooth sailing!

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