About a week ago we did a short family trip from Helsinki to Stockholm (Sweden) with a ferry. If you have travelled with a similar ferry routes you probably already know how they work. One of the biggest reason for their popularity is tax free shops where one can buy luxury stuff with discounted prices, and there's of course a bunch of restaurants and night clubs for people who love to party on their way to Stockholm. These sort of ferries are quite popular among Finns who like to go either Stockholm or Tallinn. For us it was a two days trip out of the daily routines and a chance to take kids (especially Aura) to abroad for the first time. Exciting trip for sure!
When you're travelling with family and two small children the usual activities such as night clubs or tax free shops doesn't attract so much, not that I would too interested about them anyway. But when we put kids to sleep at the first night, I decided to wander a bit around the ship anyway. The thing is that these sort of closed environments, especially at night, trigger some claustrophobic feelings inside of me. So, as everyone else in the ship was partying and having good time, I was pondering all kinds of scenarios in my mind. There was also pretty rough head wind which was swaying the ship and I could not escape the feeling that the ship might go down or over, and that we would be caught inside of its metal body. Part of this pretty irrational feeling was enforced by the fact that there was a particular ship at this very same ocean which sank at 1994 and it only took 30 minutes for it to submerge underwater taking most of the passengers with it (MS Estonia).
So there I was wandering around the ship and counting block doors between different sections and trying to estimate how many rescue boats there were on board. While I couldn't sleep I thought I might as well take some pictures at the outer deck where there was nothing but darkness around the ship. Occasionally I could see the lights of another ship far away in the darkness, but other than that there was nothing to see in the darkness and the ship was swaying steadily making it a bit difficult to walk. The wind was so rough that it almost took my smaller camera bag with the Batis 1.8/85 when I put on the deck floor: it slide about 5 meters towards the railing before I succeeded to grab it. To be honest, I couldn't even go up to the upper deck as it felt that the wind could push me over. The rational side of my brain of course knew that there was no reason to assume any real danger, but the emotional side has its own life, and all I could do was to try to tire me out so I could sleep at least a little. All in all, I didn't sleep too much at that night, but it was exciting to wander at outer decks and come up with some ghostly images which do reflect my feelings from that night. Luckily though, the trip wasn't just a claustrophobic horror story for me as there was quite a nice sunny day waiting for us at Stockholm - something I'm going to tell you about in the next blog post!