WHALE WATCHING…….a female Blue Whale and calf spotted off the North coast of Iceland.
Our whale watching trip is back on today as the sun is shining. Last night felt very bloated as, to put it politely, I’ve not been very “regular” this holiday, somewhat surprising considering the frightening experiences I’ve had so far. Nevertheless, have a rummage through Hubby’s huge box of potions and lotions and thankfully find some laxatives so I’m hoping for some results today!
We arrive early for our 12 o’clock sailing so a visit to Cafe Skuld beckons. Hubby and son not hungry but I can’t resist a jammy doughnut to keep me going. Looking forward to the free hot chocolate and cinnamon pastries on board too. As we wait to embark the other passengers from the 9 o’clock sailing are just getting off. There is something strangely quiet about them: I reckon it must be pretty cold out there and they are feeling rather numb. So as soon as we board I make sure I grab a full-length bright blue coat to give me another layer of protection (on top of numerous tops, fleeces and ski jacket). I look absolutely ridiculous once again (even worse than the horse-riding gear from Day 2) but I’m warm!
As we set off the view across the bay is beautiful and we’re all so excited at the possibility of spotting a humpback or minke whale. But two minutes into the journey the excitement turns to nausea. The guide had mentioned that anyone feeling seasick should sit at the back of the boat and until then I hadn’t even considered seasickness. All the photos on the website http://www.northsailing.is/ show relatively calm waters so, despite the fact that we’re not far from the Arctic Circle, I had anticipated a smooth journey. Foolish woman! I desperately keep my eyes focused on the horizon in an attempt to ignore the movement in my stomach. I begin to feel hot and sweaty so coat, hat and gloves are abandoned and everything else unzipped. Husband suggests we sit in the stern so we all move down and as soon as we get there I vomit over the side. The rest of the boat are peering out to look for whales: I’m watching the jammy doughnut as it sails away.
The feeling of nausea is so bad I don’t think I’ve ever felt so ill: childbirth seems preferable at this point. The boat continues to pitch and roll furiously, the waves smash against the side and I’m continually retching and moaning. Unfortunately it’s at this juncture that my body remembers it’s had a good dose of senna the night before! As I heave over the side I suddenly feel a loosening at the other end! OH MY GOD! Where’s the loo and can I get to it in time? If I have to move more than a few steps I’m going to be in serious trouble that even my waterproof trousers will be hard-pressed to contain. But I’m saved by the loo being only a short stagger from where I am. I make it just in time, though hubby is laughing outside as he can see my feet poking out the sides of the cubicle at such an odd angle it looks like I’ve collapsed in there. Well he’s not far from the truth.
When I return to my station I discover my son is also throwing up. Husband spends the remaining three hours (yes….THREE) holding onto the pair of us to stop us falling overboard and trying not to be ill himself. The stern is now a mini sick bay as several other green-faced travellers have joined us and I’m certain the guide only tells you to sit there to avoid other passengers getting covered in the downwind detritus. Whilst everyone else is getting excited because a humpback whale has just surfaced, I can’t even raise my eyes to look; I’m passed caring. I’m not sure how many takers there were for the cinnamon pastries: I reckon one batch must keep them going all week. As we return to the relative calm of the harbour the guide says, “You were very lucky, it was very rough on the earlier sailing”. LUCKY?! Then I remember the blank looks of the previous passengers and it all makes sense…….cold indeed!! Another visit to harbour toilet en route to the car then a very quiet drive back to Hotel Reynihlid.
Husband deposits his grim-looking family in the room then realises, in his rush to get back and his usual faffing about re-packing the car, he has left our son’s rucksack in the car park at Husavik, complete with Nintendo DS, mobile phone, books etc. Son howls and husband turns round, gets back in the car and has another 45 minute drive back the way we came to search for bag. Thankfully bag is safe and well: some kind soul has placed it on a nearby wall. Heartening to realise the Icelanders and our fellow holiday-makers are such good, trusting people. Hubby does his sixth Husavik to Myvatn run in three days and seems to get back to us in a far shorter time than it should have taken him….methinks he was a teensy bit faster on those gravel sections without me squawking at him from the back seat.
At dinner this evening I am still a bit fragile but as we had booked early the waiter tells us we get a free cocktail of the day.
“Sex on the Beach?”, he asks me .
“After the day I’ve had!?…..you’ll be lucky mate!!” I mutter.