Thoughts at Sea Aboard the Queen Mary 2, Part III

50 degrees, 26.68 minutes North, 022 degrees, 29.98 minutes East, or 1,000 nautical miles South of Iceland, heading 089 degrees.

Four days of hearing foghorns is starting to get tiring. Captain Wells has been ducking many of his social responsibilities, feeling more secure in the bridge close to the radar. After a few days of intermittent access, the internet is now gone for good, the satellite connection having given up the ghost. People are blaming everything from a lightening strike on the Virginia ground station to late night watching of porn by the crew.

Instead of surfing the net, I am devoting more time to exercise in anticipation of my upcoming Swiss mountain climbing adventures. I have developed a careful routine where I fast walk three times around deck 7 in a brisk wind, take the elevator down to deck 1, walk up their stairs to deck 13, speed past the kennels, the practice golf range, two swimming pools and a bar. I can accomplish all of this three times in an hour, and do it with 40 pounds of books stashed in my backpack. My butler, Peter, tells me there is always a certifiable nut case on every cruise, and I have been designated by the crew as “THE ONE”.

The 2,600 passengers are quite a mixed batch. We have 1,200 British, 750 Americans, 350 Germans, 80 Canadians, 4 dogs, three cats, and an assortment of other nationalities, and exactly one Japanese couple who didn’t speak a word of English.

I took pity on them and spent an evening translating and catching up on the world at large with them. He was a retired dance instructor, which explains why he and his wife owned the dance floor on most nights. They were grateful for the conversation, for during their entire 30 day cruise from New York to Southampton, then the Baltic Sea and the Norwegian fjords, then back to New York, they had no one to speak to. Still, that was better than last year, when they completed a 105-day round the world cruise with no one to talk to. Before they left, that gave me an exquisite, hand made, traditional Japanese purse as a gift.


The Hard Life at Sea