The only other cruise that Mike and I have taken before was one from Vancouver to Alaska and back. We almost never were out of sight from land. I recall the pleasure of sitting at dinner, seeing the land slide by in the late evening northern sun. The land excursions were the highlight for me, being out in the landscape. On the other hand, the crowds on the ship, in the buffet lines and even at the large round table of strangers to which we had been assigned, made me want to roll up in a protective blanket.
On this cruise to Antarctica, in order to cover the huge distances between the nearest major port, Buenos Aires, and the Antarctic Peninsula, we have to have many days at sea. I projected from the Alaska experience, and came prepared with strategies to mitigate endless hours of cruise ship and open ocean.
It wasn’t necessary! These days of mesmerizing ocean, no schedule, books to read, friends to play games and dine with, notes to write, sketches to explore, and naps to take are delicious. The time never weighs on us. We alternate being busy with entertainment, with being “busy” reading and watching the sea flow past. We have just finished months of disengaging from Hawaii, packing and planning, followed by long to-do lists in France as we start to set up our new life. All of this busy-ness has been so positive, the process of our fulfilling one of our dreams; but it has been without respite.
Now on At-Sea days, we let ourselves just be with the uncluttered ocean. We let ourselves be carried along by the ship and the cruise activities. More happy to-do lists await us at home, and for now, we watch the ocean go by.