Summersaults across the Indian Ocean

The ferry ride from Zanzibar back to Dar was slightly unpleasant.

Guidebooks warn that the crossing is very rocky and suggest anti-nausea medications.  However, the ride the previous day had been smooth and I dismissed the warnings as overblown and exaggerated.  ER and I  even went for a big lunch at one of Stone Town’s best restaurants immediately before the ferry ride.

Prior to our departure, the ferry attendants handed out sick bags to all of the passengers.  I interpreted this as a slightly ominous sign and began to worry that having a large meal may not have been wise.

The ferry began lurching wildly from side to side immediately after leaving the dock.  As if on cue, passengers all around ER and I vomited into their sick bags.  Attendants walked up and down the aisles and collected the little bags of vomit into large trash bins.  A soundtrack of Michael Bolton, Mariah Carey, and the Backstreet Boys played in the background.

In the midst of all of this, the man sitting in front of me decided to go out to the back deck for a smoke.  It was almost impossible for him to remain upright as he staggered down the aisle and out the back door.  I questioned the wisdom of his decision.  From my window, the deck outside looked like it was nearly underwater.  The TV screens at the front of the ferry began playing the Titanic music video.

Luckily, I do not get seasick.  I am, however, prone to paranoia and I worried that our boat would capsize midway between Zanzibar and the mainland.  I wondered whether there were enough life jackets for everyone and tried to recall the survival techniques that were employed by the characters in Titanic.  I heard some noises that sounded like the ferry was coming apart.  It didn’t quite drown out the sound of my fellow passengers retching.

Two and a half hours later we arrived (safely) back in Dar.

As we stepped off the ferry, ER said, this day is Canadian Thanksgiving and I am thankful to be off that boat.


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6 responses to “Summersaults across the Indian Ocean”

  1. glasgowgal says :

    This post left me rocking with laughter.

  2. Hart says :

    I wonder how much of the vomiting was due to rough seas and how much was directly soundtrack-related.

  3. Victoria says :

    I has this exact experience on that ferry coming back from Zanzibar the first time so this post had me snickering at my desk….. It’s never a good sign when they hand out barf bags to everyone before you leave the dock. I was so happy to get off that ferry that I ran off and forgot my camera.

    I am loving your blog! The photos and your writing are just marvellous. Lots of love!

  4. marcopolosolo says :

    So funny – I just took that ferry and got incredibly seasick. And I saved the sick bag, I also thought it was pretty funny:) Glad one of us decided to blog about it!

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