Joseph's description of his trip on a steamer doesn't need any explanation.
"O, how the billows of the ocean heaved! and vehemently did I follow their example! ... Some say that sea-sickness is, more than half, the work of the imagination. Dr A T Bledsoe says the imagination is "like a ministering angle, ever on the wing, culling for us the sweets of many flowers" I did not see the flowers this time, nor smell their sweet scented odors."
After arriving in Boston, where he rode on his first street car, Joseph continues to remember the trip "I was very weak and languid,; it seemed to me that the very earth itself had caught the motion of the sea, and was vibrating to and fro just as the proud "McLellan" had been doing for two or three days".
Travel has certainly changed. We have medications for seasickness and it's much more difficult to travel by ship from Norfolk to Boston and it probably wouldn't take three days. Also travelers would prefer to drive the 11-12 hours in a car, might take a same seat trip on Amtrack (announced starting Dec 12, 2012 for just $73 one way), or would fly nonstop in 2 hours and 55 minutes.
Next - Joseph visits Maj Meserve in Roxbury.
References (yes I do need to learn how to and make the time to document these in a standard format):
Johnston, Joseph S, editor, "The Diary of Joseph Wesley Shackford" 1991, Library of Congress p. 4
Library of Congress Photographic Collection, http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2004660608/
Hearings before the Harbor and Land Commissioners: in the matter of the construction of a bridge from the city proper to East Boston. Rockwell and Churchill, 1892 - Technology & Engineering - 662 pages (Google eBook) p. 152
Extracts from The Civil War Diary of W. H. Flint, 2nd Battery Vermont Light Artillery