Thursday, November 12, 2015

Turning green on the blue Atlantic!

The seas grew choppy as we made our way into the Atlantic.
After spending a week sprinting across the Mediterranean, hitting ports in Italy and Spain, Wendy, I and 1,500 or so other passengers aboard Holland America's Zuiderdam headed for open sea.

The good news is we eventually made it to the Azores, 800 miles due west of Portugal. The islands are postcard perfect, picturesque bits of volcanic rock and greenery euphonically blended with quaint seaside villages.

The not so good news is Mother Nature was in a feisty mood as we maneuvered our way through the Strait of Gibraltar, leaving the relative calm and sheltered waters of the Mediterranean for the choppy seas of the north Atlantic.

For two days it felt like we had been transported to Coney Island and were riding endlessly aboard a roller coaster instead of a state-of-the-art cruise ship. There was much waddling about as we steamed into the sunset and much joking about having a bit too much to drink.

But most of the jokes and laughter faded as the seas continued to rise the second night out. The ship's stabilizers seemed no match for the churning and frothy swells that assaulted the ship and it was clear there was a growing problem when it was announced that Meclizine, an anti-emetic used for motion sickness, was readily available at the front desk for anyone in need.

The Azores offered views that were postcard perfect.
I was in need!

Food from the lavish buffet and gourmet dinner that had drawn my attention hours earlier was now sitting heavily in my gut. After an evening of ignoring the gurgling of my innards and growing nausea, I toddled off to our cabin, popped a pill and curled up uncomfortably in bed.

Fortunately, both my stomach and the Atlantic had grown quiet the next morning when the sun rose gloriously in the east and I was yet again ready for another day of cruising -- and touring.

Just outside our balcony the lovely village of Ponta Delgada in the Azores beckoned.

Wendy and I spent the day ashore, walking along quaint cobblestone streets, exploring and getting lost in quaint little plazas; snapping photos of distant mountain peaks and lush, verdant valleys; chatting with locals who pretty much ignored us and tourists in search of adventure.

Life was good and the calm Atlantic spread out to the distant horizon, a sun-kissed watery highway filled with promise.

1 comment:

  1. You're a great writer. So why'd you waste so much time as an editor and bossman? I got seasick on a band cruise in 1966 (or maybe '65) and now the mere thought of bobbing about on water makes me queasy. It was worse than any of the very many hangovers I've had since then. But those ports of call