This email is from Charlie Platt – our Grove Beach neighbor and an avid
The first hand account from the recent cruise ship sinking is second
hand from a friend we have sailed with. You never know what's gong to
As many of you who have danced with us know Pete and I enjoy adventure
travel, and had planned to go to Antarctica. Well, we just had the
adventure of a life time. We were on the Explorer, the ship that sunk in
Antarctica. For Pete's account, see below. It is a great blessing to be
home warm and safe.
Yesterday (Tuesday 11/27/07) when we went through immigration in San
Francisco, the immigration agent asked us the usual question:
occupation, what did you like best/least about your trip? To the former
we replied retired/dietitian. To the latter we replied: the ship
sank/we’re alive. Suddenly this lethargic civil servant woke up. He
wanted to hear all about what happened.
Before I go on, you must understand one thing. While we went through the
same experience, shoulder to shoulder and often hand in hand, we have
different feelings about it. Indeed, everyone who went through it with
us has their own unique and personal feelings. While I was cold, wet,
shivering, and throwing up, it never occurred to me that I could die.
Lynne however was thinking about: what if the weather suddenly changed,
if we hit ice or took a big wave and were swamped, if we would capsize.
Therefore, in writing this I can only write for myself. Whatever I write
is filtered through my perceptions which could be quite different for Lynne.
Thursday night we were tired. Instead of watching the 9:15 movie we
showered and were in bed by 10:00. I fitfully tried to go to sleep. We
were going through brash ice – little pieces of ice. Since we were on
the third deck, as low as you could go, half our cabin was below the
waterline. I could hear the pieces of brash ice scraping against the
hull, which was only a single hull. Once and a while a more sold piece
would strike. I finally fell asleep.
About 12:30 I was roused by what sounded like the gang plank slapping
against the hull. Then I heard what sounded like water pouring down a
drain. In my sleep I was thinking to wake Lynne and ask her about the
sound. I didn’t remember hearing it before. I touched the bulkhead. It
was dry. I put my hand on the floor.
From half asleep I went to full awake. I bolted up and pushed the
emergency button and woke Lynne. I threw on some clothes. We pulled the
suitcases out from under the bed; I took my laptop out from the low
drawer it was in. The water continued coming in. I decided I should move
things up to the second deck. I started with my laptop.