Monday, January 01, 2007

A Wild Ride!

I returned from Winter Eliot several hours early today because my passenger had been feeling ill and needed to come home. We left Seabeck about 9ish and caught the Port Townsend ferry at 11:15. What a wild ride! The wind was blowing hard and, to complicate matters, a large freighter was battling wind and current right across our path, as we crossed from Pt. T to Keystone on Whidbey Island.

I've never before experienced the captain's coming on the speaker and saying something like, "folks, we're going to have to make an abrupt course change right now so hang on to something. If you are a motorcyclist, you'll want to go to your bike and make sure it doesn't fall over in the turmoil." Right about then, we could feel the ferry start to slow and shift her course; the waves sent us up and down rather thrillingly as we seemed to be heading right into the freighter, which seemed dangerously close.

But though we bounced around quite a bit, the ferry managed to slew around behind the freighter and we just encountered the wake of the bigger ship. This maneuver caused us to veer off course somewhat, so it was necessary a few minutes later to change course and get back into the proper channel.

We passengers theorized that the freighter must have been in the wrong part of the channel, as ferries have the right of way and there are strict rules about how the shipping lanes are used. The normally 30 minute voyage took almost 45 minutes.

But I'm home again now. The basement is not fixed but it looks like improvements are underway. The laundry is done; I ate my own cooking tonight; the cats are happy.


Berrysmom said...

So when do we get to hear about Eliot, Kit?

juffie said...

Yea, let's hear about Eliot -- and your wild ride story reminded me so much of many, many uncomfortable ferry rides across the English Channel (North Sea) to France...when it's rough, it's rough. Used to just stand outside by the rail and get the fresh air, and lots of sea spray. Would arrive drenched, but not sick!

LinguistFriend said...

I rode ferries on Hampton Roads (N. of Norfolk) and up the Chesapeake Bay many times in my youth, and have never been on one that had to make such a maneuver, even in a busy harbour. That must have been unnerving. Good luck with the plumbing.
Ditto re Eliot.

ms. kitty said...

Okay, okay, give me till tomorrow to do a review of WInter Eliot. I warn you, I was pretty kayoed by December events and did not throw myself into the Eliot experience the way I usually do. I slept a lot and played hooky from many events.

But Patrick O'Neill was the speaker and he is pretty irresistible, so I did attend most of his sessions.