When the Sea Calls, Don't Hang Up

| Thursday, 03 Dec. 2009

There are many ways for the sea to call your name. For me, it sometimes calls collect.

 

Did you ever read the poem 'Sea-Fever' by John Masefield? "I must go down to the seas again," it begins, "to the lonely sea and the sky/And all I ask is a tall ship, and a star to steer her by..."

Cruising most certainly gets in our blood. There are many ways for the sea to call your name. For me, it sometimes calls collect.

This morning, when I was in the midst of a wonderful "dream cruise," the obnoxious drone of my alarm clock awakened me.

I was really upset, because there had just been a knock at the cabin door, meaning that my room service breakfast was about to be delivered. Instead of breakfast on the balcony at sea, I had to get up in the real world and go to work.

I walked into the kitchen to find Mrs. Kuki decked out in her long fleece housecoat, instead of the transparent teddy she'd been wearing on my dream ship moments earlier. She was preparing bagged lunches for the little Kukis, who, in the dream, had been home suffering through another day of Canadian winter in the care of their grandparents.

It reminded me of the time I was walking down Main Street shopping, and I thought I recognized an old tablemate from a past sailing, so I yelled out a greeting. I immediately knew I looked pretty foolish, and I tried to pretend I was just chasing away flies after I realized it couldn't possibly be them--because they live 3,000 miles away.

There was also the incident in the drive-through at McDonalds, where I was astonished to see our waiter from a previous cruise handing me my Big Macs. I was about to ask how his family in Turkey was, but he luckily broke the trance when he asked if I wanted ketchup. I knew it couldn't be him, because my waiter would have known if I wanted ketchup!

Reliving these moments, I had a revelation. There's no question in my mind, as warped as it might be, that many of us must share similar experiences. I have no doubt there are others like me who, when watching the beginning of the X Files on TV, are hoping it's a story about Celebrity Cruise Lines. I'm sure there are others who've tried to bribe their spouses to learn how to make towel animals.

And of course, there's the easy remedy. We can book another cruise and get our diseased minds back out to sea. What a wonderful remedy it is, knowing the sea is going to be calling you back again soon.

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