Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Mal de Mer (Sick of the Sea)

One could be forgiven for using a mistranslation of the French phrase for sea-sickness after the past 24 hours and given the forecast for the next 24. So far the state of the Mediterranean has dictated that we not stop in Sorrento but closer to Napoli in a town called Castellammare di Stabia – a place that’s only claim to fame is that Pliny the Elder died there and that it's the home town of Al Capone's family.  It meant that alternate ways had to be found to get to Sorrento and Capri but the Azamara cruise people did a fine job of handling that little hiccup.

Sidd contemplates the rather rough seas from our stateroom and ponders - which version of Meeresstille und glückliche Fahrt would be most appropriate - Beethoven or Mendelssohn?

As we were leaving Castellmmare – which looks charming from the sea but proved a sad example of what is happening in this part of Italy when observed close up – the Captain announced that once we had left port we could expect a rather rough overnight voyage to Trapani. The forecast was for 5 metre waves and winds blowing at 40 knots. That translated into 14 hours of rocking and rolling with yours truly loosing his sea legs and a bit else.

After watching a tanker make three attempts to enter the harbour at Trapani our Captain Carl Smith decided that though it would be possible to land there given the forecasted storm it would make our evening departure from Sicily difficult. He made the decision to abort berthing at Trapani and continue on to Barcelona just ahead of what promises to be a nasty spat of weather. Not that the weather we have been heading into was any great shakes. Strangely the sky has been a wonderful Mediterranean blue but again there have been 5 metre waves with winds at 40-50 knots. But at least we may avoid the forecasted 15 metre waves and accompanying winds that are coming down from the Gulf of Lions.

With the aid of a little yellow pill and a sensible lunch – no wine and small portions – have restored my sea legs and kept other symptoms of mal de mer at bay. However as the sun is setting the rocking and rolling seems to be increasing holding promise for another interesting night at sea.

Laurent is holding up well and Sidd – though his expression never changes I’ve noticed a touch of green on his face. Either that or it’s a reflection from mine.

November 5: 1955 -  After being destroyed in World War II, the rebuilt Vienna State Opera reopens with a performance of Beethoven's Fidelio.


David said...

O numi, not exactly the sort of adventure you had in mind - but I guess it IS November...That photo of Sidd looking out is a real winner. Were you scheduled to have quality time in Sicily? If so, that's a real loss.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Be still, stomach, be still!

Willym said...

Ciao David - only 6 hours scheduled in Trapani. Fortunately we'd been there back on our tour of Sicily 2011 - we did miss a great little restaurant and enoteca. The worst was being in rough seas for an extra day.

Ur-spo said...

I said it already; next time sacrifice a half dozen Tim-bits to angry Poseidon.