“Will this be the ship that carries me away?” It’s a question my grandfather asked himself as a boy in Ireland. An uncle had sailed away to America. He earned enough to afford to return home, cabin passage, on fine … Continue reading Cruise Blogs.
Actually it was a little less than 19 miles an hour, 18.9 mph or 16.4 knots as I reckon it. Nineteen miles an hour seems like a leisurely pace to circle the planet. But on a human scale it’s really … Continue reading Coda – Around the World at 19 Miles an Hour…*
We’ve almost completed our circuit of the earth at the stately speed of 19 knots. Holland America has done most things right on this cruise but I think they overplayed the ending. In the last days we wanted to have … Continue reading A Whirlwind Finish
We sailed in just at sunrise. At sunset I was on the deck because I thought it was a good perch. Four hours after sunset we sailed out. It is our last sail out of the cruise, beautiful and, in … Continue reading Sunrise, Sunset, Sailout
San Juan was a walled city that spilled out past its walls that were anchored by two forts, Fort Christóbal and El Murro, the oldest Spanish fort in the Americas. In 1898 the US Navy bombarded these walls and breached … Continue reading Fortified San Juan.
The Immigration officer looked at our passports, asked us our names and then put the passports into a scanner. He tapped a few keys on the keyboard, handed us our passports and said “Welcome Home.” Those words jolted me because … Continue reading Are We Home Yet? — San Juan
No matter who we spoke with in San Juan, a driver, a shop keeper, the receptionist in City Hall where we went for directions, Hurricane’s Maria and Irma were not far from anyone’s mind or lips. We saw damage from … Continue reading Crowd Sourcing Help Please — San Juan.
We’ve crossed into our 24th time zone, Atlantic Standard Time (or Eastern Daylight Time.) While we have one more port before Fort Lauderdale people are packing. Many are already packed. We are putting that off until the last minute. I’m … Continue reading My Understanding of Stuff
Today we entered our 23rd time zone, one more to go. It’s a sea day and I wanted to continue to write about art on the Amsterdam. In Art 101 I described some of the art work that I see … Continue reading Amsterdam Art 202 (Sailing Ship Figureheads to Surrealistic Swiss Army Knives)
Sir Francis Drake sacked Cidade Vehla twice. To the British he was a patriotic Privateer. To the people of Cape Verde he was a piratical thug. His two sackings of the low lying Cidade Vehla plus a French attack later … Continue reading One Nation’s Hero — Another Nation’s Thug
Every spring Praia hosts two music events, the Kriol Jazz Festival and the Atlantic Music conference. The Jazz festival kicked off the weekend of April 15 and 15 showcasing local talent. It than took a break for the Atlantic Music … Continue reading Kroil Jazz Festival — Cape Verde
Praia, the capital of the Cape Verde Islands, was one of those stops on our cruise that that I thought of as kind of a place holder between Africa and home. I knew three things about the islands, they were … Continue reading Europe with Soul — Cape Verde
I think to dodge the touts as much as anything we took a cab to the Medina (where we did some of our haggling), the Grand Mosque, which has minarets that look either like radomes or giant golf balls on … Continue reading In Dakar the Hardware Store Comes to You
Ibrahim’s wife had a baby today. In fact at least 5 Ibrahims’ wives have had babies, four boys and a girl. It’s the favorite hustle in Dakar. Ibrahim comes up to us all excited, puts a bracelet on Suzi or … Continue reading Do the Hustle – Dakar
In The Gambia I planned a busman’s holiday. I wanted to visit a few development projects. One was St. Joseph’s Training School for men, which is in an historic Portuguese building and also has a market where you can buy … Continue reading Busman’s Holiday — Development Projects in The Gambia.
The Gambia reminds me of Albania 25 years ago. Street life looks very much the same (although the dress is more colorful) and the cops are just as corrupt. We hired a cab for the day. As we were leaving … Continue reading Corruption and Color — The Gambia
The Promenade Deck has the dining room, the theater and the cinema. But it has a design flaw. The kitchen sits mid-ship and you can’t get from fore to aft on the promenade deck. We usually use the aft staircase … Continue reading Amsterdam Art 101, (Musings on a Sea Day)
The letter from the Captain starts, “We know we are living in a changing world.” He talks about how Holland American is constantly monitoring security and continues, “some ports do present the possibility of more safety and security issues than … Continue reading Do We Really Need An Ambulance?
Agostinho Neto was the first President of Angola. His parents, Methodist teachers, sent him to University in Lisbon where he became a medical doctor. He was arrested after becoming involved in a political movement to overthrow the fascist Portuguese leader, … Continue reading The Last Gasp of Socialist Realism — Luanda
At 4 AM Thursday morning our sleep was shattered by a piercing alarm, seven short and one long, followed by the officer of the watch announcing there was a fire in the incinerator room. I immediately went into emergency mode, … Continue reading Radio Silence.
I’ve seen a rainbow at sunset but never seen one quite like this. I could describe it but It’s best to let the picture stand on its own. We sailed out of Luanda, Angola yesterday just after sunset. The first … Continue reading Sunset Rainbow – Sailing Out of Luanda.
As a kid I looked at a map of Africa and saw this little speck of darker cartographer’s red on the coast of “Southwest Africa.” It was Walvis Bay. The rest of Southwest Africa was a lighter pink, identifying it … Continue reading An Enclave no more – Walvis Bay
Swakopmund is an old German town at the mouth of the Swakop River. It sits between the Atlantic and tall sand dunes that rise behind it from the Namib Desert. It was the main port for German Southwest Africa. It … Continue reading Germany in Africa
Herman sniffed a couple of times “I smell springbok.” A few minutes later we were on a small herd grazing in the sparse vegetation of the Namib Desert. Two jackals, Herman says a mating pair, were tracking them, not hunting, … Continue reading Life in the Desert