Life lessons from ships and hurricanes

Title image: Life lessons from ships and hurricanes

Everyone likes a good inspirational quote, especially ones with nautical / ship themes. For example:

Cruise ship saying: A ship in harbor is safe but that's not what ships are built for

I always liked that sentiment, however:

In the event of a hurricane the saying 'A ship in harbour is safe' is not true

As much as some inspirational quotes really resonate with us, a lot of the time, they’re based on complete lies. There is certainly no shortage of nautically themed internet encouragement and well-known sayings out there and storms are a favourite theme as well. 

In the light (or shadow) of Irma and her friends though, I thought it might be time to take a literal look at destructive weather patterns - and how ships really deal with them - to see if there’s any wisdom that we can gain from them in the hypothetical tempests of our lives. 

Brace yourself for a hurricane of inspiration!

'the only way out is not through'

Despite John Shedd’s poetic license, the truth is, ships cannot be docked during hurricanes. Not only would they be damaged by the pier, but they would most likely damage or destroy the pier as well. When a hurricane comes, ships go out to sea. When you consider that some ships (including the one I was on last year which is one of the tallest in the world), can list up to 60 degrees and still come upright again without capsizing, it is clear that these days they are built to withstand rough weather conditions. People, however, are not. Therefore, ships will avoid both piers and the general vicinity of the storm in hurricanes. 

With the arrival of Irma, many ships sailing the Caribbean (especially out of Miami), ended their cruises early, dropped their guests off in port, and sailed out to sea away from her path to float around aimlessly until it was safe to return. From this we can gain a number of valuable life lessons: 

Avoidance is key to survival (Cruise ship quote)

In life, you will come across bitches like Irma. You cannot win with them. You just can’t. Circumvent them as much as you can. Steer clear of them. Give them a wide berth. (So many appropriate nautical terms.) Keeping your distance is the only way. 

Inspirational picture quote with lighthouse: 'A problem shared...'

Sometimes extra people help. Sometimes they don’t. Sometimes you just have to drop people off and shut them out. They're only going to become liabilities anyway. If they get caught up in your drama, not only can they also get hurt, but the whole situation could make them sick and then you're left with the lingering stench. If your problems become their problems, they can legitimately blame you for their problems.

Inspirational cruise ship quote 'Sometimes floating around aimlessly is the right thing to do'

It just is. Eventually, someone will tell you what to do…hopefully, before you run out of food. 


funny cruise ship quote - 'If all else fails go to Mexico'

Sure, they have recently had a serious earthquake, but that doesn’t make American news! And, apart from one, okay, quite influential politician guy, who doesn’t love tacos and Mexican people?

In other news:

Thanks for the concern but I’m fine 

I have gotten a number of messages from people asking if I am okay. Though most of my contracts over the past four years have been in the Caribbean out of Miami, this time around, I'm sailing between Boston and Bermuda. As much as I may have enjoyed the drama of cancelled cruises, relocating, and previously unplanned overnights in Mexico, life for me has continued as normal. I drew this map to reassure my family of my safety. (I think visual aids help). 

Green = America
Blue = The Caribbean 
Yellow = Bermuda
Red = Irma

My heart does go out to all the people, animals, sea life, plant life and architecture of those affected by Irma. Apparently, a number of the ports in the Caribbean have closed but should be reopening in the next few months.  

Currently, Jose is headed up between Bermuda and Boston, but he's not really giving us a hard time. Tonight, we have planned an entertainment department boat party at pretty much the same time as that hurricane will be at it's closest to us. 

We’re going to Canada! 

We have one more cruise to Bermuda scheduled out of Boston and then we sail throughout New England and parts of French Canada for a month. I’m quite excited for some new ports. We’ve never been to Canada before. 

Rodrigo lost his eye, got a new one and then lost it again

He’s so irresponsible! He lost his big replacement eye on the flight over here. Then I met guests who were having some sort of rubber duck race on the cruise with the group that they were cruising with. They all had to decorate their rubber ducks and they had covered their duck’s butt with bobble eyes (which seems pretty random and I would judge them for that... but then I do travel with a lawn flamingo). I asked them if they had one spare. Rodrigo inherited a blue bobble eye this time (which is nice because it matches Bermuda). The problem is, I couldn’t find super glue or any glue on board, so I used some “stick-ems” or “glue dots” (it’s like somewhere between prestick and actual glue) from arts and crafts to stick it on and it worked …for a while. Now, he's lost it again. He’s only got his eye-tattoo eye left now. I will have to make another plan. I think he’s determined to leave his eyes in beautiful places so he always has a nice view.  

8 cruises down, 17 to go
Months of hurricane season remaining: 2

(Copyright: All photos my own)

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  1. Hi! Enjoyed reading your blog. Hope to meet you, if ever you're going to Bermuda again.

    1. Thank you so much. I hope to go to Bermuda again. What a beautiful place!


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