Meet our writers

 







Travel Logs April 2018

Psychics at Sea: Spirit Survives on a Sick Ship

By Sharon Love Cook

I’d tried convincing my husband, who’s notoriously seasick-prone, to accompany me. He shook his head. He’s the only person I know who got sick in the Tunnel of Love...Needless to say, the Tunnel of Love is not lovely when your partner is leaning over the side.

The cruise promotional photos showed laughing passengers bathed in sunshine, surrounded by the turquoise waters of the Caribbean. I made a mental note to buy industrial-strength sun block. Everyone knows how fiercely the rays reflects on water.

This was no ordinary cruise. Our group would be joined by four well-known mediums –  people who deliver messages from those who’ve gone ahead, relatives you might have avoided while on the physical plane but whose every word you now jot down during the readings, lectures and classes.

I’d tried convincing my husband, who’s notoriously seasick-prone, to accompany me. He shook his head. He’s the only person I know who got sick in the Tunnel of Love. Those under 45 may not know about the Tunnel of Love. Needless to say, the Tunnel of Love is not lovely when your partner is leaning over the side.

I mentioned today’s mega ships, “so big and sturdy you won’t feel a ripple.” I more or less believed that until our third night at sea. In my tiny bathroom I clung to the sink, waiting for the pitching and tossing to cease long enough so I could lurch across the room and leap onto the bed. Once there, I felt around for a restraining belt to keep me from being ejected. I couldn’t believe our ship didn’t have them as standard equipment.

The flu that was popping up everywhere back home made its appearance at sea. It wasted no time working its way through the passenger list. The hacking and coughing on the elevators was deafening. I would have avoided them had my cabin not been on the 10th deck with classes held far below. It didn’t help there were three elevators on every deck marked forward, middle and aft. Take the wrong one and you’d find yourself lost in a maze. You needed to be a master navigator just to get around.

I wasn’t alone in my wanderings; other clueless passengers, many of them seniors, shared my frustration. We banded together, lost but not alone in our confusion. 

I knew the flu bug had ensnared me when everything at the buffet looked unappetizing, including the fresh blue-crab cakes. At the same time, I gawked at those passengers engaged in some serious chowing down. Instead of a regulation-size plate, they’d grab a platter, the kind used to hold a Thanksgiving turkey. They’d go through the line and pile the platter so high they needed two hands to carry it.

With the nausea that accompanies fever, I managed to make do with something called Polynesian Pudding. It was a canary-yellow spongy dessert laced with mango Jello. The best I could say about the concoction: It was inoffensive. Yet I came to depend upon it. “Where’s the Polynesian Pudding?” I asked a server one morning.

“We don’t make it every day,” he said. “We rotate.”

“When’s it coming back?” I asked.

“No idea,” he said, sounding exasperated.

Somewhat miffed, I settled for cottage cheese with a cherry. I wondered if, had I been on the Cunard Line, would I have been denied Polynesian Pudding? Unlikely.

The storm clouds that stalked us since departure continued to bring high winds and seas. The water in the swimming pools sloshed across the slippery decks. We retreated to our staterooms. I was happy to do this; the flu had me in its grip. I got into bed, still wearing shoes and straw hat, and lay shivering and shaking while the room rocked and rolled.

Around 2 a.m. we were awakened by a loud bang, as if we’d hit something.  I stumbled to the cabin door. In the corridor, worried-looking passengers peeked out.

“What was that?” everyone wanted to know. A man down the hall, sounding authoritative despite his flannel pajamas, said it was a rogue wave. This sparked a discussion, with passengers relating past seafaring experiences. The conversation grew lively until someone inside yelled, “Shut up!”

After getting back into bed I lay in the dark, trying not to think of the giant waves in “The Perfect Storm.”

Later I was consoled to learn that many in our group had also been bed-bound with the flu. Yet strangely enough, none of the mediums were ill. “They’ve got the spirit,” one lady said with conviction.

“I wish I’d doubled down on my dose of spirit,” I said. 

“There’s always next time,” she reminded me.

Somehow, I didn’t think so.

Sharon Love Cook from Beverly, Mass., is the author of the Granite Cove Mysteries. Granite Cove: Come for the Chowder, Stay for the Murder. Contact her at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.