Aside from Elenka, and a few pious others, many of us remember our younger days when we'd flop into bed at three or four in the morning after drinking pails of beer and then have to wake up by seven or so to get ready for work. The head would have that empty cotton batten feel to it; the mouth like a bird had nested in it; the legs all rubbery and weak.
Being at sea in rough conditions – except for the nest-in-mouth – isn't too far different. About 8 hours after leaving the west coast we were warned of nasty seas. Two hours later we started bumping off the walls, grasping for hand railings. No rain, but sea swells that could make your belly churn just looking at them. Even in bed it's tough. One moment we'd be pressed against the mattress, the next a feeling as though we were floating in thin-air – a bit like a mild amusement park ride. When we awoke we were on opposite sides of the bed. I don't know if the sea had anything to do with that or not. When I walked out onto our verandah just after six in the morning – we're about ten meters above sea level – I was quickly saturated by the salty spray.
The dining room was almost empty when we went for breakfast at seven. The Oosterdam kitchen whips up a dandy waffle. And there's nothing like a couple of platefuls of eggs benedict to set you right after a night like that. By noon we were sailing along on a sea of glass, the sea hangover just a memory.