We're...oh, hell...somewhere off the coast of Sardinia. There's a lot of water all about, and stars.
Just a couple notes, as much for me as for you. Always best to write down the momentary impressions as soon as possible or they evaporate, no?
- International music moment: walked into Orpheus Room (club room at the fore of the ship) last night to find 12 British suburbanites doing funky chicken to "Achy Breaky Heart" as performed by Croatian dance band.
- You know you've traveled far from home when you realize it's been four days since you last saw a McDonald's.
- You know you've not traveled far enough when you pause on picturesque street in Sicilian fishing village and from behind charming lace curtain comes the unmistakable melody of "My Humps" by the Black Eyed Peas.
- My little secret is still safe. There's a very large deluxe spa whirlpool on the prow that nobody else seems to know about. To get to it, you have to go through the changing rooms attached to the fitness center and pass spa reception. I think most people assume that to use it requires a spa appointment. They are wrong, but I am not a big enough person to tell them so. When you lie in the whirlpool floating on the bubbles, the sea spreads out around you 180 degrees and it feels as though there's not another soul on the planet. The space is so private that I've been able to tan without getting a tan line.
- If you're sailing on the Minerva II and reading this, I'm just kidding about number four. There is no whirlpool on the prow. They just store mops and buckets out there. You should continue to use the chilly and miniscule jacuzzis on the pool deck.
- I've been walking so much every day that I'd be down to 120 lbs except that I've taken to eating dessert twice at dinner. So much for my "no sugar" experiment. I find I am constitutionally unable to face winding up a meal with a nice piece of melon. Especially when requests such as "I'll have the bavarois a l'orange and the Paris-Brest, please," are received without comment and quickly fulfilled.
- When we arrived in Kritsa, in early evening, all over the village women had pulled chairs out in front of their houses and were crocheting. Every one of them. I photographed one group, and then pulled out my work-in-progress and was immediately pushed into a spare chair and plied with tea and candies. Learned that language barriers do not affect a stitch-n-bitch in the least.
- Then I went along the main street of Kritsa and all the lady shop-keepers were sitting in front of their doors working on new pieces. Their finished works were beautiful and shockingly inexpensive. When I showed my own knitting, prices were cut further. My resolve to buy nothing for myself crumbled. And I'm not sorry I spent the money. These women work hard and deserve an appreciative market for their product. I should mention their technique of choice is crochet. If you think crochet is inherently ugly, wait until you see what I bought and you'll change your tune.
- Frame count so far is approximately 2,000. Out which I've probably, if I'm lucky, taken four keepers. We shall see.
- Minorca tomorrow. Corsica follows. Am looking forward to Corsica. Have always had a soft spot for Napoleon, as fellow shortie.
Have to head to lounge now. Croatian dance band has asked Dolores to join them for a set of Cole Porter standards. Have had to deal with her gargling and spritzing her vocal chords all damn day.