Monday, October 28, 2013

Edmund Fitzgerald II

This weekend I went up to Mackinac Island, an island between the lower and upper peninsulas of Michigan, to participate in the Great Turtle Run with my sisters. This was my second time doing this race, and it's one of my favorite races (if you can choose a favorite in something so horrible as running). 

Mackinac Island is a beautiful vacation spot and is completely car-free. The only way to get around is horse and buggy, biking, or walking (or I suppose crawling, but why you would want to do that is beyond me). The only way to get to the island is by boat, with most people taking one of the ferries. I have been to the island many times and mostly find the ferry ride to be uneventful (though one of my friends swears she saw a dolphin in the lake from the ferry. When we said there're no dolphins in the Great Lakes, she said adamantly, "But I saw its dorsal fin!!!!" She has never backed down from this story). 

The weather was a little stormy that morning. Just a bit of rain and some heavy clouds. Nothing that looked too treacherous. The ferry captain announced that the waves in the Lake (Lake Huron) were 5-7 feet high, which didn't sound too bad. 

The ride to the island was fine. A little rocky at times, but nothing to worry about. Here are some pictures I took:


The Mackinac Bridge

The ride back, on the other hand, was like a roller coaster ride. Up and down, side to side, and the screaming... So much screaming! As the ferry lurched about on the water, people gasped, closed their eyes, screamed, and held on tight to the bar in front of them. 

I started out fine. One of my sisters asked me where the life jackets were and I laughed and told her she was being paranoid. I thought to myself, "ferries are incredibly safe. Nothing bad happens to ferries." Suddenly I remembered hearing a story or two on the news about ferries crashing or sinking. That's when a little worry crept in. A few minutes later, I realized I was white knuckling the bar on the seat in front of me.The screaming in the front of the boat wasn't helping much either.

The screaming was of the roller-coaster variety. The kind that says, "I'm having fun and I know I'm probably not going to die but also I might die."

The boat was tossing to and fro, dipping a little too low and too much to the side for me. When we finally reached the shore, a kid in the row in front of me said to his mom, "I'm glad we didn't die."

In retrospect, I realize the odds of us sinking were extremely low. Waves that size aren't enough to sink a big hulking ferry boat. But if I'd settled on that thought at the time, we wouldn't have this blog post, now would we?

Alternate titles for this post:

The Perfect Storm II
Over-dramatic Blog Post
The Return of The Fish Tacos (what I had for lunch before getting on the ferry)
My Heart Will Go On


Katherine said...

"My Heart Will Go On!!!!" HA! It WAS terrifying, though. Seriously. I'll have to send you the video...

violet50 said...

If I'd had the fish tacos, Return of the Fish Tacos would have been my pick. My French Dip almost went that way. But My Heart Goes On is my choice. This post is funny - even though I was there and a little terror crept back in as I read. :)

Wee Sisters Three said...

You all heckled me when I asked all the important questions, like where the life jackets were and how far it would be to swim to the main land if the boat were to go down. Who's laughing now?! (bwaahhhaa)

Brooke Romney said...

So sad we never made it there. A good reason to return!