Bay of Biscay to Madeira

It has been a most beautiful night imaginable. And day, for that matter. A

perfect day. A perfect, beautiful day. I don’t know where to begin.

The air, for starters, is gentle and the sea, calm. This means much more than

you think I’m saying. The air is gentle, not grim and stormy, and the sea, Calm.

I had thought my next blog entry would be about the Bay of Biscay. Green faces,

objects flying through the air all night long, walls, floors, mattresses creaking

and groaning as the ship lurched yet again. Stomachs experiencing zero gravity

for the nth time. It wasn’t fun. The choice was one of drug induced technicoloured

dreams that you-just-could-not-climb-out-of-however-hard-you-might-try* or the

body’s natural response to 3 days on an extreme rollercoaster ride. To think

that people pay for even 10 minutes of this! I’m afraid I was feeling rather

green already when I wrote the last entry and that would have rubbed off on

my tone. It was pretty hard to be excited about anything except surviving another

night, or day, without throwing up.

I didn’t fare as bad as most of the passengers – one poor fellow was

left in his cabin with just his pills and a stick of rock for two days! No one

wanted to stomach anything, we just wanted it to end.

And it did!

Today, as I was saying, was a most perfect day. The seas were calm, but I now

have infinite respect for the energy and potential held within. The air was

soft, but we know our place now. We have been humbled.

Sunset on the monkey island (roof) was silent and eternal. Not a sunset to

die for, not a picture postcard sunset, but a very real, “look at me, I happen

every day and continually, why does it still surprise you?” sunset. Pinks and

oranges. The moon. Mars. And between us and all of these things, the massive

ocean. Water, water everywhere. Everywhere! I love it! We are sailing on the

huge open water. I can’t say it any more bluntly. Sailors will either roll their

eyes or smile to themselves if they read these words. It’s just,– the

ocean. Like trying to describe mountains, I can’t, but I think you know already.

Like describing the ice last year – I didn’t need to; it was exactly as

I knew it would be before I saw it.

This morning we passed Madeira. The ship’s crew are great – they’re taking

us past all the sights that are remotely en route. Cape Verde and the Canaries

next. Somewhere else as we approach S. America. But it was Madeira this morning.

Spanish? No, Portugese. Cake? No, wine, surely. Both? I think so. What else

do you know about this place? Tell me! It was land anyway. And then, since I

was up on deck already, I set up my hammock, pulled out my book and started

gently swinging into the day that lay ahead.

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3 Responses to Bay of Biscay to Madeira

  1. Stefan Geens says:

    Yes, timed tickets, BUT with an extra line for people who do not want to see Chagall this time round.

    Or, my favorite European invention, those little incremental numbered tickets you tear off from a machine. You might have to wait 2 hours, but not in line. You’d wait in the Arbus exhibit, in the shop, in the cafeteria…

  2. Stefan Geens says:

    Help! My browser scrolls far too fast, and I don’t read page titles…

  3. madeira says:

    sounds like you had fun

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