Nature and Vomit

Our summer holiday was at last beginning and all the joys and trepidations of a family outing with small children concentrated themselves into the lower section of the fast ferry from Poole to St Malo in Brittany.

Rather unoriginally, I have always viewed seasickness as a mixture of the mental and the physical. I have seen war veterans reduced to blubbering wrecks and watched young children play snap through a howler. Oh the mysteries of the inner ear and the mind. Although I have been very queasy hundreds of times during travel, I am rarely sick. This is not always a good thing and has been much to my regret on occasion, as the old saying goes,

‘There are two types of seasickness, the type where you are afraid you are going to die and then the type where you are worried you are not.’

At least getting it all out gives you a few moments relief from the torment.

The fast catamaran is more of a challenge in this area than the slower ferry, but the weather was being kind. There were inevitably still those who suffered a little. On seeing a middle-aged woman leaning wearily against a wall near the ladies I wondered if I might be able to help. I considered explaining to her about the fascinating relationship between wind and water. The subtle interplay of ripples, waves and swell. I decided against it and instead ordered an enormous sausage, yorkshire pudding and gravy combination from the canteen.

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