I woke up as the closet door kept sliding open and shut. I had moved the shampoo, conditioner, soap, lotion, toothpaste into the appropriate holding locations, so that the ship’s turbulence would not send them flying in the night. I had moved our fragile items – the computers, camera, phones, etc. either onto the floor, or into a drawer, but I had not anticipated the swaying of the door. It took me a while to figure out how to keep it from moving, by the time I did, I was wide awake. We had been warned there were rough seas ahead, the crew had just completed an emergency drill, and the captain reiterated in his announcement that we were safe and not to worry. Somehow though, having someone tell me not to worry, made me more nervous.
Through the double curtains I could see lightning illuminating the night sky. This I could not resist. I got up to watch the storm. After the initial fascination with the weather wore off, I decided I’d try going back to sleep. There were still a great number of students awake and having a good time on the Lido Deck above. I could hear them having fun with the more extreme movement of the ship, running from side to side and hollering with the thunder of the storm. The students eventually retired for the night, and the ruckus above quieted down.
As my mind shifted from fascination with the storm to desire for sleep, I lay there listening to the room squeak, creak, and whine. These were the roughest seas we had had yet. Morgan, who was fast asleep, was being tossed from side to side on the bed. Luckily for her, she did not fall onto the floor, nor did she wake up. Thoughts of the first voyagers to cross the Pacific, drew pictures from films and books, of ships sailing through storms of unthinkable magnitude, blind to the duration or severity that they might encounter. Fortunately for us, our ship is large, has tremendous stabilizers, an advanced computer navigation system, and a very experienced crew. The night was long, bumpy, and not without stress. Certainly nothing a bike ride and solid run on the treadmill couldn’t fix. Without much effort I was able to imagine a good trail run with lots of twists, turns, and roots underfoot. I relished the feeling of a good sweat.
A day later we are back to calm seas; last night in contrast was smooth sailing, the melodic rock of the boat is back and sooths even the most well rested of us into a state of slumber. However, the promise of rougher waters lurks in our future as we near the port of Japan.