The White Horses of the North

By Ben // Thursday 27 Sep // 21:45:27 // No Comments

Sickness arrives. It has been ushered into the Noorderlicht by white horses galloping across the sea.

She’s a salty sea and an unforgiving one. Every swell pitches the boat into a violent two-stroke rise and fall. A pattern emerges–heavy tilt to the starboard, snap back to vertical-but while your body attempts to learn this new gravity, the rhythm is disrupted, punctuated by an irregular swell or as the ship’s course slips from true (which happens aplenty with our amateur helmspeople). It’s a scene that’s part slapstick comedy and part poorly produced disaster flick. Glasses careen through the Noorderlicht’s upstairs salon, bodies flop, benches overturn. A bell hanging above the bar shows us hanging about 25-degrees from horizontal. At times (check that-most of the time) it feels like an amusement park ride that doesn’t end.

I’ve managed to avoid the fate of many of my companions. Despite the persistent low-grade threat of ill that sits in my gut (much worse when in the boat’s lower interior level), I haven’t succumbed to any real high-grade sickness. I don’t know whether to credit the copious consumption of raw ginger, my cabin’s fortunate position towards the middle of the boat (meaning a mere 10 foot vertical drop between swells rather than the 20 foot or so plummet felt by those in cabins towards the bow), or simply good fortune and lucky genetics.

Still, the day that will hopefully prove the trip’s most violent has provided us (well, those of us who’ve emerged from our cabins to commiserate) with plentiful laughs and, no doubt, a lifetime of memories. I even managed to film some video that should prove a youtube hit. Spirits remain high with the walking wounded, or “stumbling bruised” might be a more accurate description, as I think we’ve all collected a body full of bangs, and the “drop and slide” across the floor has become a familiar and practiced maneuver. We’ve also found some fun in gravity games, tossing one another fruit across the salon and watching its twisted trajectory. (Oftentimes botching the reception.) It’s the simple things now that bring the best stimulation.

Wishing my parents a very happy hello. hi Ma, hi Dad! Remember saying how jealous you were of this trip? Well you needn’t be envious of this seaward stretch!

Representative quote of the day: “That was my moment of elation.” –Matt on singing Dire Straits while steering the ship a mere 5 minutes after “having a sick” over the boat’s side.

Tags: Ben Jervey