A helicopter wasn’t in my budget. A native husband wasn’t appearing in the mist.
I had to get back on the boat.
What I didn’t mention in my last post was that a boat ride to view the Cliffs of Moher from the ocean was included in our day trip package. This meant the death ferry would be taking the scenic route on the way back from the Aran Islands. However, our bus driver had mentioned offhand that we had the option of taking a different ferry straight back to the dock.
When my beloved boat worker (nautical term) saw how affected we were by the ride over, he strongly advised that we not do the Cliffs boat tour. The water would likely be even rougher and the ride even longer. Jackie and I didn’t need to discuss it. Obviously we would not be getting on that boat.
So when we arrived at the Inis Oirr dock, we waited in the wimp line for a much bigger ferry as the rest of our bus bravely waited for the Cliffs boat.
By then the rain had passed so we were able to sit on the top deck of the ferry with a prime view of the horizon.
I sat down and silently stared at that horizon.
When the boat swayed dramatically. When it seemed impossible that we wouldn’t topple into the angry ocean. When small children cried. When giant crashing waves splashed my face. I stared.
This wasn’t the first time it had helped me.
When I walk the streets of Philadelphia and a group of men stare and whistle.
When I walk the streets of Antigua, Guatemala and a man asks, “how much?”
When I walk the streets of San Cristóbal de las Casas, Mexico and a man walks up and touches me.
When I’m a woman existing in this world. A woman of color.
I stare at the horizon. I don’t stop staring.
I stare like my life depends on it. Because, well, it might.
And this time, it saved me again.
My stomach was unaffected by the boat (which we later learned was nicknamed “the rocker” ). I don’t fully understand the science behind it, but looking at the horizon worked like a charm.
I was even able to appreciate the views of the Cliffs of Moher from afar.
Once back on land, we had 90 minutes to kill before the rest of our boat returned, so we occupied our time by taking pictures around the parking lot. But this was no Walmart Supercenter.
Once the other passengers returned, we headed to the Cliffs of Moher. The Cliffs are the top attraction in Ireland and that was obvious that day. Squealing tourists, young and old, swarmed the cliffs, selfie sticks in hand. It wasn’t quite the spiritual experiences I’d anticipated.
The evening fog also obscured most of the view.
But as we learned in Ireland: if you don’t like the weather (or the tourists) wait 5 minutes. A few minutes into our visit, it began to rain and most people scampered for cover. The fog cleared and we were granted a few moments of peaceful reflection.
The views were spectacular – ancient rugged cliffs jutting out of the endless sea. I imagine on a different day, we would’ve lingered much longer. But as the rain cleared and the sun emerged, I was ready to get back on the bus and head home.
It had been a very, very, long day.