I love the sea. I had a calling, but never took it, not a regret just a ‘what if’.
I could’ve made a career of the sea. I could’ve joined the hunt for North Korean submarines or Somalian pirates. I could’ve been seduced by the sea’s mystical allure, the call of the sirens. Like sexy French. Sounds so beautiful… you just melt in a watery nirvana. They say sailors who saw sirens were actually looking at dugongs. Google a dugong and tell me sailors don’t drink heavily.
Anyway, I’ve always wanted to go on a ship as apposed to a plane, because I hate flying. I hate flying with a passion. I always get picked out to do the explosives test. The customs control guy looks at me like I just punched his dog. Sometimes they make me take off my shoes. They confiscate my little clippers I cut my cuticles with. Three gin and tonics at the departure lounge help me to my seat and it just gets ugly after that.
So when myself, my son and his best mate decided to go to Papua New Guinea, we chose to travel by sea on a cruise. Cruise ships are like big hotels filled with old people. Well, older than me and this one was. Which is not bad, I don’t mind older people, although by the pool it can be a bit confronting.
Anyway, so we had a balcony cabin (only way to go) and it’s all you can eat 24/7. That’s seriously any amount of food, anytime and it’s free. The gym is mandatory because you just pile on the weight. I’ve never been to a gym before, being naturally svelte. The rowing machine was particularly impressive. As I’m rowing, if I looked out the window I could see the ocean, so if I timed my stroke it would look as if I was actually on the water moving through it. If you know what I mean. My son says; Dad, who cares, what are you talking about you idiot.
The freebies stop at the bar, you have to pay for drinks. Trust me the bar bill is a conversation with the wife for when you get back home. They have this thing called “sail away” when you sit at the stern bar, usually at sunset, and leave port slowly drifting away – like a long goodbye. Spectacular.
But the best bit is the sea. Standing on the back, being in the middle of an ocean and seeing nothing man-made. Just water and nothing, 360. That’s awesome.
PNG and the Solomon Islands were fantastic, a real cultural experience and I would never have flown. The boys loved it and there’s so much history, with WWII and the old Burns Philp trade route. And the food on the ship, did I mention that…
Keep calm, till next time. LF