Thursday, January 9, 2020

Musings from Around the World- Day 5- January 9- The Caribbean

Nancy and I have begun our long-anticipated around-the-world cruise.  This is a special time and a special year for us in that we have been married 50 years this year.  We have declared this our 50th year celebration.  We sailed from Fort Lauderdale on Sunday the 5th.  Sonny and Polly Goldston will be joining us in Los Angeles in a few weeks.

I had to stop and think if this was now the 4th or the 5th day of our 111-day cruise.  I am already losing track.  We are presently headed west through the Caribbean Sea for the Panama Canal. 

This morning we passed along the Columbian Coast. The mountains are amazingly high.  I could view them fairly clearly in spite of the dozens of miles we were away.  I am sure Juan Valdez was up there somewhere picking coffee beans with his burro.

We arrived in Aruba early yesterday and spent the day exploring this wonderful and interesting island.  Aruba is only 18 miles off the Venezuelan coast, and one of our group finally asked the question we were wondering about: Given the terrible economic conditions in Venezuela, how are they managing those fleeing that situation.  Teh answer was that the Dutch and Aruban Coast Guards (they are a Dutch Protectorate) stay very busy intercepting and returning them to Venezuela.  What a sad situation!  We should all be praying for the people of Venezuela.

During our first full day at sea we skirted the northern coast of Cuba.  It was fascinating to see the coastline and also to be close enough to have offers popping up on our phones for Cuban wireless phone service.  

Nancy and I are both enjoying the routine we are settling into on “sea days” between ports.  I try to catch the sunrise each morning, which, so far, I have done.  Since we are heading predominantly west, it usually means drinking coffee on the fantail with a few other early risers, enjoying the beauty of the morning, spending time in the Daily Office of Morning Prayer, and doing Bible readings.  There is a walking/jogging track on the top deck, and my goal on sea days is to walk a mile each morning and afternoon .  The view from teh track is wonderful, and it makes walking extra enjoyable. 

Swimming, reading and taking in the other activities on board fill the rest of the day.  This morning Nancy and I attended a lecture on the history and construction of the Panama Canal.  There is a detailed and more technical lecture I will take in later today.  Sonny Goldston had recommended a book on the Panama Canal tilted “The Paths between the Seas” which I have downloaded and am finding fascinating.  (Thanks Sonny!)   I look forward to our traversing the Canal tomorrow.

The weather continues to be great.  Being this close to the Equator calls for drinking lots of fluids, but I know it doesn’t all have to be beer.  (Fr. Ross, they have a less than adequate selection of IPA’s on board this ship; I know I can count on your sympathy.)

Rob... and Nancy sends her love!