Fall Waning Autumn Moon

58 nautical miles south of Ft. Lauderdale, headed for Cuba and the strait between Cuba and Hispanola. Today was a quiet, uneventful day thanks to the high winds, including tornadoes, that struck the Everglades.

Uneventful until 800 more folks joined us at Port Everglades. 400 of us boarded in NYC, but the bulk of the folks came through Florida. A lot of new folks, in particular Marsha and Jerry, retired New Yorkers, who joined Maurine, Kate and me at table 31. Marsha taught school in NYC for thirty years and Jerry had a legal practice on Long Island then got involved in real estate in southern California.

Interesting, literate people. That fills our dinner table, 5 of us at a table for 6. Tonight we watched Port Everglades and the southern Florida coast slide away as we ate and talked. Jerry recommended another naval history series by Alexander Kent. I’m going to check it out.

The promenade deck, our deck, has had few people on it, so I did some exercise tonight. Tomorrow and the next day are at sea as we make our way 1200 miles south to Santa Marta, Colombia. Santa Marta made Wired magazine last month as the site of an international coffee tasting competition. It is where Simon Bolivar died and was buried. We’ll find out more about in a couple of days.

With Santa Marta the South American portion of our journey gets underway, not to end until we leave the Rio Airport the day before Thanksgiving.

Fall Waning Autumn Moon  October 20th  10 am

A warm morning, sitting on the deck chair, watching Cuba roll by to the south/ Clumps of trees, sandy beaches and a few antenna installations mark this place, a testimony ot the overhang of the cold war. If it were not communist, this ship would stop in Havanna. Odd and more alluring as a result, the island seems a forbidden oasis of, what? Egalitarian socialism? Since we’re passing along its length, it will be in view a good while.

We have come approximately 300 nautical miles from Ft. Lauderdale’s Port Everglade. The night, a calm one, unlike the night before, lent itself to a gentle rocking and good sleeping. I checked the national hurricane center and there are no storms of consequence in the western Caribbean Sea.

Kate and I have fallen into a relaxed mode, much like independent living with meals as anchor points for the day, punctuated with naps, reading and the occasional onboard activity. This afternoon is the first high tea, for example, at 3:00 pm. It is also the first formal night, so I’ll don my navy blazer and put on a tie for the first time in years. It’s like being pretend grown-ups.

As an Inca Discovery cruise, you’d expect my attention to be on antiquities in South America, yet I’ve narrowed my main interest to the ocean itself, the constant and most occult portion of the trip. We sail over sea mounts, deep valleys, even canyons. Whales, sharks, crustacean, jelly fish and barracuda swim below us in oceans of kelp. But we cannot see them. The visible ocean extends a blue ripply vastnness to the north, the south, the east and the west, a wavy surface that hides the depths and the ocean life.

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