Thursday, September 15, 2011

But what about motion?

As someone who spent a good portion of her childhood vomiting in the back seat of her parents' cars due to motion sickness, the question of movement was one I raised as soon as we began discussing the idea of living on a boat. Other people, too, are very curious about this topic. Eric and I are frequently asked whether or not our boat moves and if so, how do we deal with it on a daily basis.

Clearly, water is not stationary, so there is just no getting around the fact that if you are in a boat--even a large, heavy boat--you can expect to feel some movement. So yes, our boat does move. Thankfully, we are docked in a protected marina, so this movement is, for the most part, subtle. Nevertheless, the boat is constantly moving. Even as I sit here typing this post, I am being gently rocked back and forth by the water. It is a very calm and relaxing feeling.

There are, however, times when the boat's motion is much more abrupt (like, when a large vessel enters our dock or when a cruise ship departs/enters the Port of Miami and passes near our marina). These occurrences are rare, but even when the motion does become significant, it isn't as dramatic as you might imagine (pictures don't fall from the walls and glasses don't shatter to pieces). It feels more like a rocking chair at full speed--not exactly soothing, but certainly tolerable.

It didn't take very long before Eric and I were acclimated to the movement of our new home. By the end of our first week, we were both accustomed to the ever-so-slight, yet constant rocking motion. We can barely notice it now--sort of like olfactory fatigue, but for the inner ear instead of the nose.

While adjusting to the water came quickly for both of us, I struggled when venturing onto land. Unlike Eric, who spends the majority of his day in an office building downtown, I spend almost all of my day on the boat. During our first week in Miami, I began noticing that although I felt fine on the boat, I felt seasick whenever I stepped off of the boat and onto dry land. Adding to my troubles, I also couldn't walk in a straight line when I was off the boat! My sea legs had me stumbling around town like a drunken fool (I found myself humming "What shall we do with the drunken sailor?" quite often that week).

After a brief period of time worrying I had seriously damaged my body and doomed myself to a life at sea, I am happy to report that my land sickness has subsided. I am now fully acclimated to both the motion of our boat, as well as the non-motion of the land. I can even walk in a straight line again.

So, while we certainly experience motion on a daily basis, it is, at least for the two of us, barely noticeable.

See for yourself:

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