Friday, September 7, 2012

I want my Mamaaaaaaa!

My Mama (and Papa) should be at my house; but because of Hurricane Eric, they are here:
Passenger ferry - MV Blue Puttees

Eric was down-graded to a tropical storm but still left a mess in his path.  Mainland Nova Scotia got a day of heavy rain; but New Brunswick, PEI, Cape Breton and the Cabot Strait were directly in his path.  So although Mama and Papa got on the ferry Wed night, last night at 10 pm they were still just outside the Port aux Basques Channel (#1 in the circle) -- unable to get off but unable to move forward because of 50 m high waves and high winds.    

Poor little ole 75 yr old parents!  But at least they have a cabin, tiny as it is.  The NS/NL ferries are quite comfortable, with 2 restaurants, a snack bar & gift shop, a bar with live entertainment, games room, playroom for the children, cabins, reclining chairs and booths.  But the food is expensive and the cabins/recliners are few.  Gone are the old days when I travelled the ferry twice a year.  

Travelling on the ferries in the 70's was an experience that I've not forgotten.  The rich had their cabins .....  and the rest of us had the floor!  My brother and I would leave his car and go upstairs to find 

 a space on the floor for our sleeping bags -- next to a wall, under a table -- it didn't matter as long as there was a path left for the crew to walk.  All around us would be families having picnic lunches on blankets, little kids chasing each other & making new friends, old people playing card games, tired Moms drinking tea with other tired Moms.  There was lots of floor space to share; and there was always a good honest person willing to watch our overnight bags so that us "young fellers", as they called us, could head downstairs to the bar.  

The bar was on the lower level so the noise wouldn't disturb people trying to sleep (something us "young fellers" needed very little of).  There would be happy bartenders, and if a passenger had a guitar or 
an accordian, there'd be happy music .... accompanied by lots of bad singing, lots of good natured imbibing and perhaps even a dance or two (sometimes on a tabletop!)  Think Rose and Jack on the Titanic without the punching or the disasterous ending.  When the bar closed down, we'd wander upstairs to our corner, but some would just curl up on the benches in the bar.  

Now-a-days, there are rules to be followed!  No more of that wanton, spontaneous ferry life.  And given the changes since the 70's and the people you could possibly meet, I think it's a wise 
choice.  But my heart goes out to those people who either couldn't afford or were too late to get a cabin or a reclining chair.  Those parents of young children; anyone over 50; or those who thought they could easily withstand 6 hours of relative discomfort.  What should have been a 6 hour trip across the Gulf has turned into a 31 hour wait.

But there's good news!  The ferry left Port aux Basques at 4 am this morning:  so Mama and Papa should arrive before noon.  I was able to re-schedule her specialist appointment for Monday, and we'll be able to have a chance to spend some time together before they head back home to Newfoundland.

Hmmmmm?  What day next week will Hurricane Leslie hit us?


Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

Nothing is like it used to be. The world has changed drastically since the 70's, some for the good, and some for the bad. It sounds like you have wonderful memories of the days gone by.

Hope your parents found a nice stool by the bar during their long trip and had some fun despite the long wait. Being your parents, I bet they did.

Diana said...

Interesting story about the Ferries. I've only been on one once, crossing the Straights of Gibraltar from Spain to Africa. It was very rock and rolly, lots of seasick teens!
Hope you had a good visit with your parents. Love Di ♥

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

That crossing really did become a long trip for them. I know you're excited to finally get them home with you. Here we do have a few ferry boats to the islands on Lake Erie but nothing as extravagant as yours, but the crossings are short ones. Hopefully you've had your hurricane for the year. One is quite enough.


So happy to hear the folks are okay and on their way to you at last. Whew. What a nightmare that must have been. What an unexpected 30 hrs.
Hope all goes well with the appointment as well. We've been through that with our parents already.
We're grandparents ourselves now.
You take care of youself. Have a great day.
Let's pray the hurricane season is over soon. Blessings.

Ricki Jill Treleaven said...

Have you heard the latest about Spawn of Eric? :/ My MIL lives in New Orleans, so I am worried they might get hit again!

Lori E said...

Oh no....and we think we have a rough time here in B.C. with our 2 1/2 hour ferry ride and sometimes a wait of an hour first.