You know those things you see online constantly, “Top 5 Waterfalls of India,” or “Worst Places to Retire.” Well, I’ll offer this: “Five Best Places to Get Seasick.” This list is not based on any poll or scientific study. These five are based on my own personal experience.
Havana, Cuba – When I was a kid, my parents took me on a trip to Miami and decided to take an excursion to Havana. This was before travel there was banned. The boat ride was rough, I got so seasick I couldn’t move. When we docked in Havana, the first thing on the agenda was a horse and buggy tour; first stop at a cigar factory. (This is true, I am not making this up.) Well, I would not to go into the factory. Instead I plopped down in the carriage and hoped I would die before the tour went any further.
Acapulco, Mexico – Another vacation trip, this one marred by the decision to go deep-sea fishing. A man and his young teenage son took us out into the Pacific on a small boat. The waves were higher than the boat once we reached the place the fish were supposed to be. I was starting to feel the motion sickness coming on, when a giant sea turtle surfaced right next to the boat. The kid jumped on the turtle, which immediately dove straight down. Moments later, the kid bobbed up to the surface of the water. Again, I wished to die.
The North Atlantic – In 1956, my parents took me on a trip to Europe. I’ve written about it in some earlier posts. We sailed from Montreal and the first two days, I wished I had never agreed to come along. It crossed my mind dying might have been better. Seasickness is perhaps the worst feeling in the world. It passed by the time we docked in Liverpool.
English Channel – Getting from England to the European continent was a necessary evil of that trip to Europe. We boarded a ferry-boat in Harwich, and by the time we docked in the Hook of Holland and boarded the train for Amsterdam, once again, I could see St. Peter at the Golden Gate. So began our nearly three-month tour of Europe.
The North Sea – Our European tour concluded with a visit to Sweden and Norway. We had to take a ferry across the North Sea. How many times do we have to do this? Same death wish, but the North Sea seemed a stupid place to check out. I don’t remember being seasick on the voyage back across the Atlantic. Maybe I was unconscious the whole way.
All of those experiences happened when I was a kid. As an adult, I learned to avoid boat rides on big water. Oddly, on airplanes I never experience air sickness. Equally odd is for many of the years I lived in Madison, Wisconsin, I owned a boat. I piloted it many times on the city’s three lakes, the Mississippi River, even a few times on Lake Michigan. Sometimes the ride was rough. I never got seasick – while on my own boat.