Bit Of A Blow

Whew. Here we are in the port of Monte Carlo waiting to disembark and say farewell to our vessel, the Regent Seven Seas Navigator. We’ve covered 1,589 total nautical miles, but this last 142 from Corsica were the most memorable — not for the right reasons.

I’m hearing that the ship plowed right through the middle of a night-long windstorm with sustained 100 kph winds and gusts up to 130 kph driving the swells past the 20-foot mark. No clouds, no rain… just a whole lotta blow generating spectacularly roiling seas and occasionally tilting the boat to starboard to a rather staggering degree.

A fellow passenger behind me just now likened it somewhat blissfully to sleeping in a hammock, but I think it was a bit more like trying to grab bits of shuteye on a hammock that’s on a rollercoaster that’s in the middle of an earthquake with someone pounding on the walls and ceiling.

I never felt in any danger… in fact on several occasions I got up to wobble to the sliding glass window and marvel at being so very close to the ocean’s fury under incredibly and somewhat incongruously clear star-filled skies. It was weird to be right in the teeth of the melee yet to look up and see a thousand points of light shining peacefully down as if being in two places at the same time. Heaven and hell.

The most disconcerting of the night-long ordeal was whenever I’d finally nod off and then awake suddenly as the boat dipped into a trough between swells leaving my stomach hovering in some sort of purgatory a couple feet above me.

But we made it through intact and now we’re off to Monaco for some daytripping before checking into our room for the night at The Hermitage Hotel. Then tomorrow it’s the bullet train to Paris.