Life at Sea

Ever since I was a small boy I dreamed of going to sea – probably influenced a lot by my uncle Rocky’s stories of his adventures in the Royal Canadian Navy in World War II.

It never happened of course – or did it? Well, maybe. Since my 60th birthday when I discovered the joy of cruising, I have experienced the nautical life – admittedly in a very artificial and luxurious way. Can’t deny the experience of that picture though – out in the Atlantic at dawn in May 2013. Not that I had anything to do with getting there, but hey…

It was always on my “bucket list” to cross the Atlantic Ocean by ship, and we have done that 4 times. I have a Trans-Pacific cruise from Sydney to Vancouver in my near future – calling in New Zealand, Tahiti and Hawaii. Not too shabby I guess.

There’s a lot more to a cruise holiday than just shipboard life, of course. A lot of the world’s most interesting sights and sites are near the seaside, so as a result of my cruising journeys I have:

  • Walked the streets of Oslo early in the morning and experienced the Viking Ships museum.
  • Visited the Vasa museum in Stockholm.
  • Seen the fountains at the Peterhof and the Amber Room at the Catherine Palace near St. Petersburg.
  • Visited the Vatican, the hill towns of Volterra and San Gimignano, the Acropolis, and the Blue Mosque.
  • Seen the ruins of both an Irish monastery and a famous Scottish castle.
  • Called in the port of Cherbourg where the French ocean liners left for North America, and in the port of Liverpool where Cunard had its offices.
  • Hung out in the street where Oscar Wilde grew up, and stood next to James Watt’s statue.
  • Seen the Blinking Canal and the Stinking Canal. They are side by side in Flanders.
  • Gone into the graving dock where the Titanic got her propellers fitted and visited her final port of call in Cobh,¬†Ireland.
  • Had the best fish and chips of my life and helped a crew member buy an overcoat in Invergordon, Scotland.

Now a lot of this stuff could have been done by air and land it’s true, but the cruise made it all very convenient and effortless.

One thing I didn’t do was ride the donkeys up the hill in Santorini, and you shouldn’t either unless you want to smell like an ass. You have been warned. Take the cable car.


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