Observations from Sea-t Level

I know a lot of people who follow me know I’m in a power wheelchair at least part-time. This trip has been an eye opener any way you look at it. I am so glad to have had it on the journey because without it, I would have watched the water flow by from the window in our cabin. Instead, it provided me wheels all over the ship. Although I could only get out one door on the boat deck and one door on the sun deck. That was not a problem, it is a fifty-year-old ship, so I understand it was not built that way, and there are just so many ways that it can be adapted. I will say the cargo elevator is large. (More on that later.) The interesting thing for me was noticing things out of place or out of reach.

This is one of those times you do not realize things until you do.

This trip has helped me come to grips with just how much has changed for me and how strong I am. I was pleasently surprised how helpful fellow passengers and crew were. It is funny that just opening a door takes 4 steps that used to come natural and never thought about when you are on two feet.

  • 1. approach door and grab handle
  • 2. step back and pull door
  • 3. open door and walk through
  • 4. get out of way so door can close.

I do those same steps now but never realized how heavy doors are and how often I used to use two hands to do some of the steps. I was so grateful that there were a bunch of people on the ferry who were in the places when and where I needed doors opened for me. The good part was by the end of the trip I was confident and ‘skilled’ enough that I was getting good at the four steps. When the places I had to go was an empty room. Speaking of rooms, we did upgrade to a handicapped room which was a blessing in disguise the door had a push button to get out.

Talk about open doors let you go places. THEY REALLY DO!

Two things here I bring up: One just how helpful the crew on the M.V. Kennicott was even if one of them was working unexpected overtime. (That is a story I’ve covered already) Second how out of reach normal buttons and levers can either by accident or because it was designed for the rest of the population and would be illogical to have two sets.

Now onto the elevator and why I had a ride in it. There was a ramp that I used to get up to the passenger elevator except it was not flush to the ground. That said, a lip anywhere you have one is difficult for the wheelchair to get up. I brought this up to the Chief Steward and she suggested the freight elevator. They had a ramp that went right up to the edge of the doorway, easy peasy.

Just a few observations while in my seat at sea