Dropping Like Flies

by Guest Blogger

October 6, 2005

Every once in a while you hear on the news about some cruise ship with a bout of food poisoning. Hundreds of guests are confined to their rooms with a bucket lying next to their bed or are elbowing each other out of the way to make it to the bathroom first. I can’t imagine what a horrible scene that must be, but I have a feeling it’s pretty similiar to what’s happening onboard the Arctic Sunrise at the moment (although on a much grander scale). We are located just off the coast of Georgia and feeling the affects of Tammy.


People are SEA SICK. Some started feeling woozy as early as Monday afternoon, but by Tuesday morning they were out for the count. I think the worst victim was Beverly (D.C. office) followed closely by Taleen (D.C. office), Matt (assistant cook), Andrea (prizewinner), Allison (D.C. office) and Denise (prizewinner). Matt learned the hard way that if you need to throw up over the side of the ship, don’t do it into the wind or you get back an unpleasant surprise.

By Wednesday morning Allison and Taleen had made an impressive recovery, but the other four aren’t showing much improvement. Some are using a patch, others dramamine and others motion sickness wristbands. Apparently there is an old sailor’s antidote for seasickness: put a rock in your shoe. Your foot will hurt so bad that you don’t notice the nausea. I don’t think anyone has tried that one yet.

It’s no surprise that so many are sick, the ocean has been VERY choppy and the ship is ROLLING mercilessly. For those of us who feel ok, the ship has become an obstacle course with danger at every turn. Walking down the alleyways, going up the stairs and even sitting in a chair is a challenge. Since I sat down to write this, a wave carried my chair all the way to the port side of the office and then sent me hurtling toward the starboard side where I was caught by Chris (campaigner). Taleen wasn’t as lucky. She ended up sprawled under the desk, completely hidden from view, laughing hysterically.


Afterwards, I went down to the mess to have a snack. I opened the fridge and half the contents came spilling out. As I started to clean it up, a cabinet burst open and two glasses flew out, crashing into the opposite wall and shattering all over the kitchen. As this was happening, the condiment jars secured to the kitchen table were rattling and the dishes in the sink were clanking. I felt like I was in a bad horror movie where a haunted house is letting the new owners know that they are not welcome.

A few seconds later, three or four people came running into the kitchen to see what had happened and found me crouched in a corner holding on for dear life. They took one look at the mess in the mess (ha ha) and asked me, “What did you do?”

After I explained that I did nothing and that the mess was haunted, they helped me clean up. As we were sweeping, Barbara (deckhand) rushed into the mess looking for ice. Taleen had banged her leg pretty badly on a door and this time she wasn’t laughing.

We’re going against the Gulf Stream and during one four-hour shift last night we had only travelled 30 miles. It’s expected that the conditions will not improve for at least another 24 hours, so there’s no doubt there will be more excitement to come.


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