“I think I have too many layers.  I see blue sky, maybe I should leave something behind?”

“Well, you can always take stuff off, but you can’t put it on if you don’t have it.”

“Ok, I’ll bring my vest and hat and gloves.  Let’s go!”

When we boarded the Orca Voyager to take our 6-hour cruise, the sun came out.  It really didn’t feel too bad.  We quickly snagged seats on the upper deck, wanting to embrace the experience.  Being near the water, smelling the salt air, invigorated me.

Growing up in landlocked Missouri and then living in Colorado, I had little experience on boats.

As an exchange student in Germany, I’d gone deep sea fishing in the North Sea.  The rustic nature of the boat seemed frightening to me.  The fishing was equally rudimentary, where we dropped a line using a spindle.  The boat wasn’t very big and us students lined the railing.

Within minutes, I seemed to be the only one still fishing.  The boat rocked wildly up and down, similar to the Pirates of the Carribean amusement ride.  My classmates had either sought shelter below deck, or were puking overboard.

I on the other hand was greatly enjoying the ride.  It seemed fun, like being at Six Flags.  I also seemed to have a knack for the fishing, or maybe it was because there was no competition.  I caught eight fish that day.

But since then, except for a couple of times on a small sailboat in a protected cove, my feet had remained attached to the land.

So stepping on a boat to tour Kenai Fjords in Alaska brought out curiosity and sense of intrepid adventure in me.

I had not brought too many clothes.  Within 15 minutes, the stiff wind cut straight through to my bones.  I donned every piece of clothing I had in my pack, four layers, along with long underwear, hat and gloves.

As we headed out, I spied glaciers hanging off the mountains that ringed the _____.  Otters poked their heads out of the water, their whiskers reminding me of our dog back home.

“Look, there’s Logan!  We really should have named him Otter.”

Logan adored swimming and his small head and whiskers made him look much like these sea creatures when he paddled around alpine lakes.

Wanting to explore, I made my way up to the bow.  I liked seeing the land forms as they came into sight.

Suddenly, the boat slowed to a crawl alongside an island.  The wind whipped so hard, I couldn’t hear the captain’s announcement.  I heard the word, “bow” and not much else.

A man with salt and pepper hair and a weathered face grinned.

“It’s going to get interesting…”

The boat’s engines roared and we started heading out across the waves as we went around the cape.

We were hitting the swells as they crested and the boat bottomed out as it came down the other side.  People quickly deserted the bow, seeking a place to weather out this turbulence.

I, on the other hand, held firmly to the railing.  I spread my legs apart and embraced this rollicking ride.

“This feels like we’re on a roller coaster ride!  Wheee!  Wheee!”

For whatever reason, my entire life, I’ve been impenetrable when it comes to motion sickness.  Every carnival ride, riding winding mountain roads never bothered me.

I’d heard you’re supposed to look at the horizon or land to avoid motion sickness.  I, on the other hand, became fascinated watching the swells of water.

Here comes a really big one — this is going to be an epic drop!

At one point, the boat hit the bottom of the water with such force, it came down with a jolt.  Had I not been clutching the rail, I would have been knocked off my feet.

When the crew went over the safety procedures about throwing a life preserver for someone who fell overboard, I barely paid attention.  They just have to do this, but I’m sure that would never happen on this boat.

Now, I wasn’t so sure.  But I felt exhilarated at the same time.  I wanted to feel the pitch and roll of the boat as it continued to battle the waves of green-blue water.

As we headed towards the glacier, the drama came to an end.  The boat leveled out, and people appeared on the deck again.

“Bryon, that was so much fun!  I stayed on the bow and it was like riding a rollercoaster.  I want to do it again!”

“Leslie, I’m glad you had a good time, but it wasn’t that great for me.  I started feeling sick, and so did a lot of people.”

I saw a group of 10-12 people huddled on the lower deck, looking green with their heads hanging down.

I guess the sea is not for everyone.