My last two posts were from Dominica and St. Lucia. On each evening we sailed out of port at about 5 PM and did some scenic cruising along the coast of each island and were treated to beautiful sunsets and moonrises. I am posting those pictures here because they didn’t fit into the last posts. (Pics follow the text)
This is a sea day and is really the first day that we’ve needed our “sea legs.” I can hear the elevators banging against the walls of their shafts. Waves are breaking over the sculptures of two Alaska Brown Bears in the (closed) midships pool. Many of the doors to the prom deck are blocked to discourage us from walking. Seas are 9 feet with force 8 winds on the Beaufort scale.
We are heading for Devil’s Island, French Guiana. I’m preparing for the visit by rereading Papillon, about an escape from the island.
I have more books about where we are traveling than time to read them because of the excellent lectures on sea days, discussing things like the history of American Policy in the Caribbean, crops of the region, rainforest decimation or the ethnic make up of Brazil, where we are heading in a few days. I also take time to swim laps (although not today) and walk laps around the deck. But I do find some time to sit in a deck chair with a book. I never get bored on sea days.
I find time for other things as well. Our cabin has limited storage space and we’ve brought a LOT of pills, supplements, vitamins, prescription meds. (One of the entertainers on the ship, a former session man quipped “I used to play for people on drugs, now I play for people on medications, and you’re the same people.”) But, the “healthy supplement” packaging people put a lot of cotton in those bottes. I was able to consolidate two huge bottles of multi-vitamins into one, four bottles of Claritin into one. Not sure why we even brought vitamin D but still, you can put three bottles worth of vitamin D caplets into one bottle. I freed up good deal of drawer space.
I ‘m thinking about the ten thousand folks who got on cruise ships in Ft. Lauderdale the same day we did who will be packing their bags and leaving them in front of their doors tonight because their 7-day cruises are over. We’ve only just started, we are still just establishing routines, working out what fits, rekindling old friendships and beginning to build new ones. A long cruise has its own development arc.
And folks are settling into their long cruise pace. Most people now have their internet working (badly, but better than in past years. We’re on a ship for pity’s sake.) Some of the changes since the last time we did this are unwelcome. For instance, they’ve stopped handing out a daily 8-page news briefing from the New York Times. Holland America makes it available for free on your “device.” I can understand the desire to cut down on paper waste and on the cost of printing, but on sea days I want to get away from my “device.” I don’t even turn it on sea days. I liked reading the news over breakfast or while waiting for a lecture. Now to do this I have to carry the iPhone. (On sea days I check email and upload blog posts from my computer once a day.) So, I guess I’ll remain ignorant of world affairs. Anything interesting happen since Saturday? Holland America is also migrating the daily schedule to an app, although they still print one. I guess in a short time there we be no vacation from “the device.”
For those of you who have sailed Amsterdam before, Dolly is still on board.