Posted tagged ‘Australia’

Tasman Sea Devils

September 27, 2019

I am so done with the Tasman Sea, referred to down under as “the Ditch.” The last time I was on it I described it as the roughest water I’d ever experienced. This time, it’s even rougher.

Last night we sailed out of Eden, Australia, headed for the fantastically beautiful Milford Sound, with the Captain’s warnings about 15-foot swells and the importance of holding the handrails ringing in our ears. I dutifully swallowed a meclazine tablet and got into bed, preparing to go nowhere but to sleep, and resigned to a long night and approximately 1200 nautical miles of reconsidering the wisdom of this trip.

And in fact the night seemed to get rockier as the hours passed. I awoke for the umpteenth time as something hit the floor with a resounding thwack. In the morning I discovered that the ship’s clock had flown off the wall and shattered its glass face on the carpeted floor. I also discovered why the night had gotten progressively more miserable.

A fellow passenger had become gravely ill about 120 nautical miles out of Eden. Because the weather was so bad the Captain was not able to arrange for a helicopter medevac, and so he had turned the ship around, facing back into the weather, and headed back to Eden in order to get the passenger to a hospital.

That put us 240 nautical miles behind schedule, which means that we will not be able to sail into Milford Sound, obviously one of the much-anticipated highlights of the cruise.

So now we are blasting full steam ahead back over that same water, and walking around the ship is an exercise in faith and balance that exceeds my current capacity. I’m more or less resigned to staying in my cabin and catching you up on my time in and around Sydney.

I certainly don’t begrudge that poor passenger what we all hope was a ride back to health and safety, but it’s a definite disappointment for the rest of us. And I think I’ll avoid the Tasman Sea in the future, since apparently the Tasmanian sea devils didn’t get the memo about the fleet being blessed, and probably never will.

From here on out I’m ditching the Ditch.