It’s hurricane season once again and that means fun for everyone at sea. I’ve been sailing on ships since 2002 and have experienced a few episodes of stormy weather. In fact, while hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, Louisiana, I was on board a ship and only 80 nautical miles from the havoc she wreaked. I, along with a lot of other crew members, lost my job due to the fact that FEMA chartered my ship to house the first responders on site following the aftermath Katrina had caused.
I chose to remain on board and volunteered to help register our new guests: the New Orleans Police department, the morgue guys and Mayor Nagan himself. If you have ever had the pleasure of meeting a New Orleans police officer you will know how intimidating these guys and gals can be.
The surreal experience of taking ID photos of these officers (brandishing their guns) is one that I will not soon forget. Keep in mind that they were knee deep in water for days, had lost their homes and sometimes more, with no decent food in sight and had been randomly getting shot at while trying to save lives.
It amazed me how the power of one human being could be such a force in times of crisis. Here I was, just a crazy girl working on a cruise ship being faced with the reality of the world head on. And what warmed my heart the most was the immense gratitude of these men and women when they came on board. I informed each of them how to get to their cabin and where to find a hot meal and was received with big bear hugs and thanks through out.
It has been 4 years since that tragic event and now that another hurricane season is upon us I am once again reminded, with rocky seas last night, of that fateful time when the world was turned upside down by Mother Nature.
Fingers crossed that rough seas, an upset stomach and cancelled shows are all that will need to be endured through out the next few months and nothing more…Happy sailing!