Cuba In the Distance

Fall Waning Autumn Moon

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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