Monday, October 3, 2016

There's Nothing Out There

The Pacific is a big ocean. It covers almost 1/3 of the planet, so sailing across it, is a long trip. We sailed down the US West coast to San Diego where we headed out across the Pacific to Hawaii. This is just the first leg of our Pacific crossing but it takes five days to get to the Hawaiian Islands. As I write this, we are on day three of this segment, and as I sit on the balcony, there is just the blue of the ocean and the blue of the sky as far as I can see. During Caribbean cruises, you usually share the seas with other ships and can usually see the lights of other cruise ships or freighters around all the time. Here I have not seen anything on the ocean in three days. Not a boat, not a bird, nothing. And I do not mind a bit. I sit and watch the occasional cloud drift by, watch the boat’s wake roll out the side and dissipate into the gently rolling sea. The ship moves on at about 25 mph or 18 kts, the seas are relatively calm and the winds are coming onto the other side of the ship making my balcony a peaceful, comfortable 24° spot to relax and wile away the time.

Now many people look at these ocean-crossing cruises as boring and wonder what on earth they would find to keep themselves busy. It is really not a problem, with the ship’s entertainment crew, publishing a daily “On Location” guide with a listing of everything going on around the ship. We make use of this and circle everything we might want to do. There are cooking lessons, dance lessons, tours of the ship, cards, computer tutorials, and even lectures given by eminent university professors. Yesterday we had seven possible events circled, but as I settled out in the balcony and discovered that our south, southwest course provided me with sunshine all day, I missed most of them. The e-book on my IPad from the library back home expires in two days, so reading and relaxing took precedent over learning to dance or finding out the Anthropological origins of the people on the islands we are going to visit. I did manage to put a shirt on and get to the buffet for lunch, but I believe in taking a minimalist approach to the “boring sea days”, and do as little as possible.

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