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What's this blog all about?

Hi, I'm Nicola - welcome to a blog begun in 2012 about family travel around the world, without leaving the UK.

I love travel adventures, but to save cash and keep my family's carbon footprint lower, I dreamt up a unique stay-at-home travel experience. So far I've visited 110 countries... without leaving the UK. Join me exploring the next 86! Or have a look at the "countries" you can discover within the UK by scrolling the labels (below right). Here's to happy travel from our doorsteps.

Around 2018 I tried a new way of writing my family's and my own UK travel adventures. Britain is a brilliant place for a staycation, mini-break and day trips. It's also a fantastic place to explore so I've begun to write up reports of places that are easy to reach by public transport. And when they are not that easy to reach I'll offer some tips on how to get there.

See www.nicolabaird.com for info about the seven books I've written, a link to my other blog on thrifty, creative childcare (homemadekids.wordpress.com) or to contact me.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Is it ok to be nervous in boats?

This blog is about family travel around the world without leaving the UK. Impossible? No. This time a quick look at reasons to be seasick This post is by Nicola Baird (see www.nicolabaird.com for more info about books and blogs)   

As a child I would scream if you put me into a boat. Obviously I blame my parents for this - they'd taken me to Strangford Loch, in Northern Ireland and wanted me to play by the shore. In a bid to stop me wading into the water they put the fear of God (and a lifelong terror of water) into me by talking about the whirlpool that killed. You see,

Boats gets swallowed by whirlpools...

Even though I'm grown up and know all about life drills and the Plimsoll Line, I'm still a bit nervous of water. That's why I've made sure my daughters can swim, kayak and row. I know the difference between a life jacket and a life protector - and use them.

But the terrible stories of shipwrecks over the past few months - an oil tanker off New Zealand, the cruiser off Italy and now a ferry in Papua New Guinea (see story here) - freak me out.

Titanic fears
Last summer,on the way back to the UK after a three-month break in the Solomons and Australia, we saw a vast cruise liner squeezing under the huge Sydney Harbour Bridge. It must have been one of the ships that take 4,000 passengers. I probably never would consider going on a ship that big, but once you've seen a tower block floating past (see pic above & below) it is hard to imagine how you would cope in a crisis situation. Or indeed what it would be like with lights out in an overturned boat, a rough sea and all staircases turned into cliffs.

Boats seem to attract accidents, bad weather and poor seamanship. They also dump crap in the sea, not just sewage, but waste oil and loose cargo.

Consider this post a thumbs down to motor boats, however big.

Over to you?
Is boat travel still the way to go in the 21st century? What would you do to improve ship safety and sustainability?


nicolabairduk said...

From Nicolette (email)
Thank you for the link! I heard the PNG news story this morning and commented to Nick on the overloading …
During the publicity for Plimsoll I spoke to a chap on a maritime magazine who said that cruise ships which put everything above the waterline, because you can charge more for a cabin with a view – floating tower blocks, as you say – were disasters waiting to happen.
Didn’t know ships made you nervous. They don’t really bother me, but his comments did. I suddenly fancied cruises rather a lot less.

Karin said...

Boats aren't my favourite form of transport, either, afterall the water below them is usually pretty deep. Sometimes I feel seasick, too.

The Costa cruiser, which sunk recently seems to have been one of several in recent years. From what I've heard a Costa ship sank off Santorini because its charts weren't accurate and there was another one sank off Egypt which the company refused to talk about. It seems a good idea to find out a bit about the company running the ships.