Friday, August 19, 2016
Well, that would explain a lot...
Ask anyone who works with people: they get weird(er) around the full moon. The fact that it got to 90º in Friday Harbor (and it's generally warmer in Roche Harbor) probably added to it.
I had some cranky people on the boat today. Now, right up front, I'll say that we didn't see whales today... but, they were cranky when they got on the boat. Fun family vacations, maybe? ;-)
I let people board early so they could have a seat (instead of standing on the dock). One old gal got on and said, "I have to go to the bathroom."
I pointed to the land based facilities, which are a very short walk away: "The restrooms are right up there, and you have plenty of time since we are still waiting for other guests."
She snarled (really, a snarl), "I am NOT leaving my family - they can't stay together as it is."
I tried to explain to her that the land based potties were close AND just like what she's used to at home... we have a vacu-flush on this boat. She wasn't going to have any of that... and it wasn't a "potty emergency" - she just wanted to argue with me about it.
I pointed in the direction of the head and said, "Right down those steps and to the left. Are you familiar with a vacu-flush boat head?"
She hissed (really, an actual hiss - I have a cat, I know a hiss when I hear it), "I think I know how to use a toilet!"
There is a folding door that takes a little finesse... she banged it back and forth, then left it half way open. Nice.
Another cranky lady got on the boat and said, "We want to see Orcas - not any of those other stupid whales!"
I said, "Welcome aboard." Yep, it's gonna be one of those days... and I don't think I've had one yet this season. Full moon.
Another couple snuck their "service dog" aboard in a duffle bag. I didn't know about it until we were a couple miles away from the dock. A chihauhau. Fortunately, the dog wasn't a problem, other than the fact it was scared half to death. I asked what the dog was trained for... the woman said, "You can't ask that."
I replied, "Ma'am, I am quite familiar with the ADA requirements: I can't ask you what your disability might be, but I can ask what the dog is trained for. And in the future, you need to let boat crew and airline crew know that you intend to bring an animal onboard."
"Umm... it's trained to give advance warning for a seizure." She didn't make eye-contact.
"I assume you have the proper paperwork?" I had no intent of checking - we were already underway. "Please keep the dog in that 'carrier' (the duffle) and keep it with you. No standing at the rail with the dog."
Sneaky. I felt for the chihuahua - they tend to shake a bunch, anyway... maybe the woman was trained to give advance warning for a panic attack for the dog?
Another woman got on the boat and told my first mate: "I get sick on boats - do you think I'll get sick on this trip?"
The first mate looked at me; I said, "This is a nice riding boat. There might be some light chop out there today. I have a wrist band in my bag that you can borrow."
"Do those work?"
"Yes, for most people they do." It might be a placebo effect or there may be some accu-pressure science to it... but I carry several of those bands in my bag that guests can borrow. No, I don't know if other captains do that.
It was a lovely trip. The water was nice, the temperature was comfortable without a jacket, and we saw a lot of interesting wildlife and beautiful scenery. But, no whales. Not Orcas, or any other "stupid whales."
I kept people updated during the trip. The whales had gone WAY north (transient whales, the residents have "gone out" again). One of our Friday Harbor boats had an early charter - from what I could hear on the radio, they were the only US boat in the area that got to see Orcas to this point. I don't hide information like that.
The lady who "always gets sick on boats" said: "Maybe we should have gone out on that boat?"
"Well, it was a private charter, not a public trip. And, they did get out 3 hours before we did. AND, the whales were moving quickly away from us." I had to bite my tongue to keep from saying, "The last report put them in 3 to 4 foot chop"... I'm guessing she would not have been too happy with that.
Don't get me wrong - most of the people on the boat could tell that we were working hard for them; we covered a lot of water in our search. Most of them were very decent. The "bathroom lady" said, "Well, it was pretty, but mostly a waste of time," as she got off the boat. Her husband said, "That's what I get to deal with all the time," pointing at her.
"Hope your day gets better, sir," I said.
I got to come home, pet my cat and take her for a walk. The a/c was running when I got home. Outside, Izzy said, "It's hot out here - can't you do something about this??"
Yep, must be the full moon.