[NOTE TO READERS: I’M REPOSTING THIS BLOG ON MONDAY, JULY 2. IT HAS COME TO MY ATTENTION THAT MANY OF MY FB FRIENDS DID NOT GET THIS WHEN I FIRST PUBLISHED IT ON JUNE 27. I’VE MADE A FEW CHANGES. SOME PHOTOS ARE OUT OF THE PROPER TIME SEQUENCE.]
Sometime in the 1980’s, I came to the conclusion that I was getting older as each year passed. I projected that simple logic into the future and realized that there was, essentially nothing I could do about it.
So I read a book. It was the story of a man, Joshua Slocum, who sailed across the Atlantic alone. When I closed that book, I knew that was something I would do one day. A solo crossing.
A few days later, I was forty years older. Yes, I did get certified to sail a deep keel 26′ boat while Mariam and I spent two months in Florida a few years ago. I was given a log book where I was to keep track of my hours sailing.
There are no entries since we left Florida. I have not sailed since then. I must say that of all the things I ever accomplished, sailing was the one thing that gave me the most pleasure.
Well, maybe I’ll make an attempt when I grow up.
When this trip became a reality, part of my dream became fulfilled. The one part of my dream that was missing, was my being alone.
We departed Southampton about 5:15pm on Sunday, June 24. Before the boat left the dock, we had our first “drill” at 4.30. We assembled in our assigned area and actually put on our life vests. We were even allowed to test the little yellow whistles.
[The sunset off the coast of Devon and Cornwall]
I am told that there are about 2,700 passengers aboard. The staff numbers 1,200. That gives a total of 3,900 people on this boat…the Queen Mary 2. According to the captain, there are people of 33 nationalities aboard. I guess they included Mariam and I, even though most of the people we meet in the bars and restaurants are either Canadian, Australian or from New Zealand.
I have made an educated guess that the average age of the total passenger population is 70.6 years.
[Constant information in our stateroom]
[The Britannia Restaurant, our assigned dinner venue]
Tonight is our second Black Tie dinner (Gala Attire). The only thing I get to keep from this rental is the bow tie.
[No comment necessary.]
The WiFi is spotty and very slow and I’ll be grateful if this blog post gets to you, my readers, before we dock in New York City on July 1. I began writing this on Sunday, the day we left Southampton. It’s now Wednesday afternoon.
Sunday morning we will be docking in Red Hook, Brooklyn. We will get the chance to see the Statue of Liberty as we enter New York Harbor.
Just like my ancestors from Ireland and Mariam’s from Asia Minor did, decades and decades ago.
[It’s hard not to tear-up when this comes into view..just as the sun was rising.]