There Might Be Rain

Rainy days are the norm in coastal Alaska, especially in Ketchikan. With an average of 13′ of rain per year, they are the rainfall capitol of the United States. No matter how self-evident the fact that this is beyond any crewmember’s control, the misery brought on by a rain-filled vacation shows clearly in the ratings and comment cards used to judge us at the end of a cruise.

I remember early in my ship career experiencing my first such cruise, where every day was drenched in heavy rain from the moment the ship departed Vancouver until the moment we returned. The weight of the weather hung dismally from the guests’ shoulders as they complained about food, entertainment, prices and activities. Some even did complain about the weather, not with the expectation of change of course, but at the end of their long list as if to point out that even God was being difficult. I was always tempted to smile brightly and say, “I’ll do what I can!” Instead I learned the unwritten rule most of us catch onto eventually: Don’t ask “How’s your cruise so far?” in the rain.

Amidst this kind of gloom, smiling faces shine like the sun. The guests who have a good time regardless not only of the weather, but of the wet blanket effect of those around them are genuinely special people. They are a reminder to us all that happiness is a conscious choice to be made everyday. Usually we find it in individuals, family groups or friends who work off each other’s energy, but there was a particular tour group that intrigued me because they seemed to be strangers with nothing in common but that unshakable joy.

When a woman from that group interrupted a stranger’s run-on complaint with a joke, a smile and an over-the shoulder wink to the crewmember she’d rescued, my curiosity was peaked. The next time I saw her I commented on her positive attitude and asked what made the difference. She said her tour company had brought all the travelers together for a pre-cruise talk covering the basics for first time cruisers. In closing the Tour Leader had told them:

“… but most importantly, remember you’re not buying the weather. You’re buying a room on a luxury cruiseliner, unlimited food, and a trip to Alaska. You will see mountains, trees and ocean. There will be live shows, a casino and a spa for your enjoyment. In short, it may rain every day, but there will be plenty for you to enjoy anyway. If you really don’t want rain, then perhaps you could consider the dry season in the Caribbean.”

It was a good speech just stating the obvious and yet it worked. No one cancelled and everyone enjoyed. I wonder now whether more of us would choose to be happy through the hard times if we’d listened more carefully to the tour guide coming in. I’m almost positive we were warned that there might be rain.

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Canada Day

As an Estonian-Canadian, nationalism hasn’t come easily to me. Growing up, my parents made a concerted effort to be sure I understood what it meant to be Estonian, and rightly so. I’m a big believer that a person’s heritage can play a huge part in their character and pride. The trouble was that amidst Estonian summer camp, night school and folk dancing, the Canadian part of the equation was somehow overshadowed. I came to see myself as Estonian by heritage, Canadian by accident. It wasn’t until years later, when I drove across Canada in a 16-year-old one-ton truck with four sled dogs for company (a whole other story in itself) that I gave any real thought to what it meant to me to be Canadian.

Now, working on cruise ships with over 60 nationalities between passengers and crew, Canadian pride has taken on new meaning. Yesterday we had a joint crew celebration of Canada Day (July 1st) and US Independence Day (July 4th). Parties are popular here, a welcome release for people who for the most part work full-time hours without a day off for months on end. With only 24 Canadians and about half as many Americans onboard, the rest of the party show up for the drinks and festivities. Still, the amount of Canadian face paint, flags, stickers and shirts amazed me. The sheer flood of red & white put the crowd celebrating at Canadian Place in Vancouver to shame.

Canadian music dominated the night, with the dance floor clearing of all but Canadians at the songs apparently unknown to the outside world. As a new song began, the DJ stopped the music as soon as he recognized the tune, but it was too late. All the Canadians on the dance floor were belting out our national anthem at the top of their lungs, continuing even after the music stopped in the most passionate rendition I have ever heard. While I enjoyed the moment, it didn’t quite hit me until the following morning.

I awoke to find a Canadian flag hanging over my bed, a temporary tattoo of a maple-leaf still emblazoned on my cheek, and wondering why I had to be in international waters so far from home to feel this great pride in my home country. I love our peaceful intentions and our healthcare system that, while far from perfect, tries to make sure everyone is cared for. I love that gay marriage is legal, as are freedom of speech and religion (or from religion, as one sees fit). Most of all, I love whatever it is we’ve done as a people that has such an international crowd choosing to wear maple leafs when it would have been equally festive to wear stars and stripes.

It was a great night, a wonderful celebration and reminder not just to Canadians but hopefully to all of us to be grateful for the things that make our individual countries so unique. The question that strikes me now is: What will it take to get all the Canadians at home to throw back their heads on Canada Day and belt out their national anthem with the same passion, loyalty and pride as we felt that night at sea?

Sing That Anthem!

Sing That Anthem!
Photo: Melissa Unger

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To Capture Perfection

Late one evening at sea several weeks ago, an onboard photographer called me over to a window near her post. As I peered with her at a dazzling sunset of purple and orange, I told her I needed a camera. She stopped me from grabbing hers, only a few feet away, by saying that some moments are just for enjoying, not for capturing. I stood transfixed, considering her words. I wanted to disagree, but couldn’t establish my argument.

As a photographer, I have a compulsion to perfectly capture every moment; or perhaps as a perfectionist I’m compelled to photographically capture it. Either way, I tend to kick myself when I’m caught awestruck without a camera. With her offhand remark in a truly great moment, this girl shook my world.

Later that night, after a few drinks and some sleep, I forgot all about it.

Fast-forward to last Juneau (we ship people think in ports, not days). I spent the day hanging out with another friend, also a photographer. She is a charming free spirit, best described as an Auzzie Hippie. I had just helped her purchase a new laptop in an industrial neighbourhood on the outskirts of town. True to her hippie roots, she had visualized the laptop and features she wanted and found it sitting on the shelf at the price she could afford. Not a bad start to a perfect day.

The perfection lingered through lunch, when we brought fresh bagels, brie and smoked salmon to a log in the woods for an impromptu picnic. A small stream trickled by, providing enough of nature’s wala to drown out the nearby traffic. Even the smell of the wet earth was intoxicatingly fresh in this lush little piece of wilderness, so far from the steel walls and recycled air of a cruise ship. With the exception of some unfamiliar rhubarb-like plant lining the stream-bed in abundance, I might have been back home. When I spotted a tiny but brilliant flower over the Hippie’s shoulder, a single splash of purple in this deep green world, conversation moved back to the perfection of this day. I regretted aloud that neither of us had brought a camera, but the Hippie simply smiled, “Maybe it’s just for now.”

Some moments are for enjoying, not for capturing.

This time the truth hit me doubly hard, and I won’t forget it. A brilliant photographer might capture the perfection of the flower, but the rest of the scene: the smells, the sounds, the company and the mood would be lost. Holding the photo in my hand, I could recount every visible detail and believe that I was holding the moment. With no photo, even as the details fade, I am more likely to remember the day as a whole. But more importantly, even if I don’t, I know that while I was in it I spent every moment enjoying rather than capturing.

Perhaps this is a lesson in life, and not just photography. How many of us spend more time thinking, dreaming and remembering than actually living? Here’s to the wisdom of a pair of photographers and the freedom they handed me that day.

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South Africa: By One Who’s Never Seen It

One of the peculiarities of ships is the ever-increasing breadth of our circle of friends. As a Torontonian, the odds of my having friends living in every continent would have been incredibly low were it not for ships. It’s a great opportunity, an amazing and personal way to increase our understanding of various worlds with differing cultures, politics and geography.

Eventually, many of us find ourselves gravitating toward certain nationalities. Something about these people resonates within us, and they gain our interest and trust more easily than others. I seem to be surrounded, for instance, by other Canadians, Australians and Kiwis.

Most predominantly, though, my friends are South African and I really don’t know why. My knowledge of South Africa is still quite limited. Canadian newscasts have attached names like Apartheid and Mandela to the name. I loved The Power Of One (and its sequel, Tandia), a novel set in SA that also became a Hollywood Movie. Africa in general has always captivated me the same way I imagine it does all North Americans: as the ultimate exotically wild travel destination of movies and storybooks.

Now that I’m getting to know some South Africans personally, I’d like to think I’m a little more enlightened than the average North American. Let me share.

I think South Africans are the undiscovered curiosities of our world (meant in the kindest sense, of course). Thanks to movies like Crocodile Dundee, every Canadian knows an Auzzie accent, a good deal of Auzzie slang and popular Auzzie stereotypes. South Africans as a people are no less intriguing but, because they’re a touch more subtle, word has yet to get around. I’m here to change that.

(Obligatory disclaimer: the following are generalizations that, by definition, do not even attempt to reflect all)

Their accent is distinct from the British, changeable depending on English or Afrikaans influence. After a lot of initial “eh?”s (every Canadian knows that “eh?” is more polite than “huh?”), I eventually grew accustomed to the sound and actually came to like it. Their slang, though, is a whole new ball game.

A South African will call, “I’ll see you just now!” at the end of an evening, not realizing that a Canadian friend will stand there, patiently awaiting their return. In South Africa, “just now” (with emphasis on the “just”) means sometime in the indefinite future, akin to “see you later!” They also say “now-now” which means either the same thing, a little more, or a little less time… even those who say it can’t seem to agree.

“Howzit” is a standard greeting, more of an exclamation than a question. Replying in kind is acceptable, but if you insist on treating the word as you would “how are you?”, then “lekker” (pronounced lekk-ah with their accent) is a great reply, like a cooler version of “good”. I’m told the surfer types will say “Howzit my china!” instead of “hey, dude!”, but it sounds so silly to me that I wonder whether everyone’s just putting me on.

Auzzies are famous for their drink as well, and the South Africans are no different. Check and you’ll find a group aptly named “I’m South African, therefore I can outdrink you”. As a people, they’re a fun-loving bunch, always up for a good time. They also seem outdoorsy and down to earth, a great combination.

Then there are the misconceptions. Somehow, even amidst the news of politics and Apartheid, there are people out there who are surprised to see a white South African. Let me clarify here and now that they do exist, in multitudes even. When someone tells you they are South African, it is poor form to point out that they are white and then ask if they are sure. Frankly I think that’s a stupid thing to say to anyone from anywhere, but I’m amazed at how many South African friends tell the same story of their experiences in North America. South Africa is a highly multi-cultural nation. Recognize that.

Along those lines I was told of a South African born man of Lebanese heritage who moved to the United States to attend college. He grew up with mostly black friends back home, and so fell in with a similar crowd in his new home. He was thrilled to discover an African American club on campus, and immediately signed up. At his first meeting, when his skin tone became apparent, his membership was revoked. No one seemed to grasp his argument, that he was actually the very definition of African American. He left the meeting disheartened, wondering aloud “if they meant black why didn’t they just say black?” No one could answer his question.

Here are some of the other misconceptions my South African friends wanted me to clarify. South Africa is not a third world country. Capetown is a city, not a small town. Do not expect to see lions, giraffes and elephants as you exit the plane. South Africa produces some of the best wine in the world, largely because their wine culture was established by the french.

Finally, the all time favourite North American question I watched a South African friend struggle to respectfully address:

South Africa! Really! Now, where exactly is that?

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Lessons from a Lock

It started with a bad padlock. The key I’d been given by my predecessor didn’t work, even after I tried the two methods I usually pursue. First I ignored the problem, hoping it would go away, but the lock did not magically disappear; neither did my need to access what lay behind it. Then I tried every key I had, repeatedly and with greater force, until I broke one. It was then that I began the official process, all wrapped up in red-tape as it is.

Having been told I couldn’t just call for a resolution, I entered a Work Order and then waited a couple of weeks. When there was no reply (and still, neither the lock nor the need for access disappeared – I re-checked) I called the Department Head concerned and told him about my dilemma. He told me to be at the lock in 5 minutes, making no mention of the need for a Work Order.

A young man arrived with bolt cutters in short order and began straining against the hardened steel. I watched for a while, uncomfortably unsure whether it would be better for his pride for me to cheer him on or ignore him completely. Still seeing no progress, I stepped forward hesitantly, “At the risk of embarrassing both of us, do you mind if I give it a shot?”

He cocked his head, clearly confused by my offer. For those who don’t know, I’m a big girl. At home I chop wood and haul water as a way of life. I’ve used bolt-cutters to cut padlocks at home, something he was clearly unaware of as he showed me how to hold them. He carefully placed the cutting ends on the lock and stepped back to smile at me encouragingly. We were both a little surprised when the lock snapped. His face reddened and so did mine. Yup, both embarrassed. By some ritual transcribed in my genetic code, I slid automatically into the platitude generations older than me:

“I think you loosened it for me. Thanks!”

There’s a reason these old lines stand the test of time… His smile returned immediately. I asked about a replacement lock as he returned to his duties, but apparently I had to check with housekeeping about that.

I arrived in the Housekeeping office to find a crowd within. I was uncomfortable in their midst, so I asked rather rapidly where I could find a lock. The answer was equally quick: there are no locks. When I asked when they were expecting to get more, the ranking officer in the room rattled off some words to one of his subordinates. Then, in a moment straight out of some surreal sit-com, the housekeeper dug under the desk and pulled out 2 heavy, 1-foot square boxes. Somewhat perplexed, I stepped closer to confirm what I was seeing. Indeed, it was true: the box on the right was full to the brim with locks. The other held hundreds of keys.

Keys & Locks

As I strained to suppress the uproarious laughter fighting to escape me, the housekeeper took a casual glance and shouted back that there were no locks. The official explained to me that more were on order, expected to arrive in a week or two. I had a vision of my unprotected door and asked if there was nothing that could be done. He smiled kindly as he shook his head. “No… There are no locks.”

The next day, one of the housekeeping staff that I’d been friendly with stopped by my office and inconspicuously dropped something on my desk. Tied up in assisting guests at the time, I couldn’t quite see what it was. As soon as I had a spare moment, I ran over and found a brand new lock with a matched pair of keys awaiting me.

The moral of the story is one that most ships’ crew learn in short order: The landlubber’s law that “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” applies doubly out here. In our closed community there are intricate connections that run through all departments that can accomplish more than official channels ever will. Running deepest in the largest departments, these networks are known as various mafias in shipboard whispers, and are generally distinguished by nationalities. They are responsible for the little successes in our daily lives, generally at the moments when we find ourselves tearing at layers of red tape in frustration.

Speaking of which, I hear my Work Order is still in the queue.

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There’s Something About Alaska

Originally Posted: May 9, 2007

Having spent most of my cruising time in the Caribbean, with a brief jaunt to Europe, I have to say it’s good to be back in Alaska. There are a number of factors that play into this. First, it’s nice to touch Canadian soil in our homeport. Still almost 4500km from home, but the stores and the colourful money are the ones I grew up with. I can sit in Tim Horton’s with a National Post in absolute familiarity.

The weather’s nice too. No more of the sometimes stifling heat of the Caribbean. I’ve always figured it’s easier to bundle up than strip (at least in public), so cool days are a welcome change. I even like the rain.

Best of all, of course, is the scenery. Today we were sailing through the Inside Passage. The waterfront is covered with old-growth forests and massive snow tipped mountains tower behind. Sea Lions beckon as whales lead the way. How can sunshine, swimming and cheap drinks possibly compete?

The only downfall is that sometimes it just seems too easy. As I stand on the top level of a cruise ship and look over the tops of giant trees, I don’t see the struggle of life in the wilderness. I miss the bald eagle and even the grizzly on shore completely. The occasional log lost from a log drive looks like a twig from here.

The guest beside me exclaiming, “you know, I always thought sea lions were bigger. These ones are tiny!” doesn’t help. I want to explain that these creatures are actually much bigger than she ever imagined, that without a man-overboard, for instance, to add perspective the view is shamefully deceptive. I can’t think of a polite way to correct an overheard remark ‘though, so I just smile as I pass.

I’m reminded of the last time I was here, two years ago, cruising through the beautiful winding Tracey Arm Fjord and passing some campers who had likely kayaked for days to get out there. They watched us pass with the startled look one would expect to see on the face of early man watching a jet-plane land between him and his prey. I felt an apology was in order. As I turned away, a guest stopped me to ask why his cell phone wasn’t picking up a signal. I glanced at the mountains towering around us in this untouched wilderness, and explained gently that no one had put cell phone towers out here yet. He went off in a bit of a huff, clearly unimpressed with this under-developed part of the world.

Still, whether we see it by ship or by kayak, there’s a magic to this land. If we can settle the voices of today’s world, the whispers of the past come through loud and clear. The wilderness is still wild and glaciers are still huge. My Auzzie friend came back from at trip by float plane today to see the best of this world, away from the giant ship and the alternate world it carries with it. She loved the scenery, the experience and even swooned when describing the manly men. Perhaps the “manly men” are on to something.

Yup. There’s something about Alaska.

Almost Downtown

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Meet Momma Cat

Originally Posted: April 25, 2007

My day started with a question from a guest:

How do I say “no” in Acapulcian?

I explained in my most courteous tone that Acapulco is in Mexico where the people speak Spanish, not Acapulcian, and that “no” in Spanish is pronounced “no”.

The root of the question actually bore more knowledge than the unfortunate wording did. If there’s a single word a tourist needs to know in Acapulco it is indeed “no”.

When I visited almost two years ago, I walked about five miles along the streets from the pier. I saw a lot of downtown second world reality and found it a little harsh. Today I walked in the opposite direction hoping, perhaps, for a different perspective. I’m not sure I found it.

As soon as I left the pier, I began my “no, gracias” mantra with the taxi drivers who swarmed around me. Where the cabbies dropped off, the men trying to guide me to their “mother’s store” began. I continued avoiding eye contact, walking briskly and repeating my “no” through a polite smile, ever wary that I might offend.

While the solicitation feels quite aggressive, those asking are actually the minority and they generally do back down after a single rejection. Even those that persist will only ask twice, but with such shear numbers the experience can be quite overwhelming.

Then there are the ones who seem downright annoying. They refuse to hear “no”, keeping pace beside you and leaning in like a close friend, intermingling their sales pitch with platitudes. A brisk walk and a single-minded gaze are rarely enough to shake them. My voice develops an edge and the “gracias” drops away, but still they persist. Today, after the ump-teenth unheard rejection, I stopped in my tracks and turned to face the man at my side. I looked him in the eye and growled out one more “no.” I think it came out sounding like a challenge, because he became suddenly indignant, still shouting at my back as I walked away. I remember having entertained the thought of engaging his battle, but thankfully thought better of it. I do wonder what would have happened with a meeker soul. Perhaps this is part of the reason we’re advised to leave the ship in groups.

Further down the road I found a place to sit on the beach in the shade of a palm tree, watching the waves break on the shore. I’d gone beyond the average tourist’s range, and so I found peace beyond the people selling their wares along the waterfront. A welcome breeze blew in off the ocean. I took some photos and enjoyed the moment.

As lunchtime drew near, I found the crowded bars and restaurants unappealing and the empty ones, frankly, disconcerting. I made my way back to a grocery store I remembered passing on my way and picked up the makings for lunch on the beach: a package of traditional Mexican white cheese, some fresh “salsa roja” (red sauce) and a huge stack of piping hot, fresh tortillas. All told, it came to less than $2.50 USD.

I kicked back again under “my” palm tree, joined now by a hungry pregnant cat, barely out of kitten-hood herself. After I snarled at her for making an attempt at the food on its way to my mouth, she sat back and waited patiently for me to change my mind. It worked.

The salsa turned out to be a fair bit hotter than anything on a Canadian supermarket shelf, but the cheese balanced it well. My calico friend gratefully accepted a piece of cheese each time I wrapped a new tortilla, drawing closer with every offer. Eventually she was seated beside me, watching the seagulls skip away from oncoming waves.

When the time came to head back to the ship, I began to gather up my things. I’d planned to leave Momma Cat the rest of the cheese, but she disappeared as quietly as she’d arrived. When I passed a man with one leg sleeping on a bench, I left the other half of my lunch bag by his head, knowing we can’t bring food onboard anyway.

The beggars and sellers along the street reminded me of why this is not my favourite port, despite the natural beauty and great food. I resent being seen as a walking wallet, even when I understand what perpetuates this mentality.

That said, I wonder why I didn’t mind the company of the begging Momma Cat?
Wave Break One Fish For Sale

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A Shot to Remember

Originally Posted: April 19, 2007

At the start of my first contract I was lucky enough to have a wise veteran with a similar outlook explain to me the things that aren’t in the manual. The truest lesson from my Ship Sensi was that when you meet someone again on another contract the relationship automatically leaps to the next level. Acquaintances become drinking buddies and drinking buddies become friends the instant you set eyes on them again. In a world where all our connections dissolve completely every five or six months, a familiar face carries a lot of weight. And so, high on the list of the unexpected joys for ship’s crew is bumping into friends who are now on other ships. Such was the case for me in Cozumel.

She started as a neighbour on another ship, progressing quickly to a dining buddy as we discovered similar tastes. A beautiful New Zealander (they’re affectionately known as Kiwis) with effervescent charm and a knack for bringing any plan to fruition, she’s easy to like. Only last week she e-mailed me, promising to buy lunch should we ever meet up. It was an easy promise to make, for while our ships hit some of the same ports, they do so days apart. In this life that means “not a chance”. The fates were with us, though, as I looked out my office window in Cozumel to see her ship parked alongside. I sent an e-mail congratulating her on changing the ship’s course just to buy me lunch (hey, if anyone could do it, this Kiwi could!).

Lunch was at a wonderful Chinese restaurant overlooking the ocean, joined by her friend, a fellow Canuck, and an Auzzie from my ship who’d been together with us on our previous contracts. Even though we’d only parted three months ago, the joy of the reunion resembled that of three years separation shoreside. I’m not sure why it’s so, but perhaps it has to do with spending every day with someone and then seeing them not at all. After lunch we moved on to Señor Frog’s, a popular chain of bars down here that barely manage to contain the perpetual party within.

For the uninitiated, this place is hard to describe. Long before you see the place, you can hear the bass beat and the whistles. As you draw nearer, the music and laughter fill in the gaps, creating a wala particular to intoxicated tourists having a good time in the Caribbean. We found a table amidst the throng and our waiter arrived as we did. A charming young Mexican man, he was full of smiles and laughter as he took our order. I remember the Kiwi saying something about a shot. Still, I was unprepared for the delivery.

Shortly thereafter a sexy young woman arrived with a bottle, a whistle, a shot glass and a blindfold. With precision timing and exceptional good humour, she proceeded to blindfold the Canuck across from me, pour a shot down her throat, shake her head (to properly scramble her brain, I assume), grab and juggle her breasts and slap her arse, all while creating shrill screams on the whistle. There was laughter all around (how could anyone watch this and not laugh?) as well as photographic evidence of the moment. The rest of us received the same basic treatment in progression, with slight variations for the character and attire of the recipient. I, for instance, experienced the added shock of having the empty souvenir shot glass plunged down my cleavage. The Auzzie managed to escape by pointing out that she was in uniform, but even so, she gave a startled squeal as her breasts were grabbed from behind, perhaps the assigned punishment for spoilsports.

Having had opportunity to watch this performance twice over on my table-mates and several more times around the room, it was no great surprise when another woman arrived to perform the ritual again, on the order of a table of guys a few paces away. It must be the most worthwhile drink a guy could ever buy a girl. I imagine it could be equally gratifying for girls to buy for guys, as the breast juggling is replaced with raising his shirt to tweak his nipples.

As I sat and watched the scene around me, the whole thing got me thinking (clear evidence that I think too much). I’m intrigued that in today’s society women grabbing women and men like this in public is so acceptable. If the tables were turned, if it were male servers doing the grabbing, I have no doubt there would be objections from men and women alike. So why is this OK? Why the double standard? Furthermore (and this I should ask this of my friends) what do straight women get out of it all? Is it really just a drink?

All told a good time was had. We enjoyed the drinks, the laughs and the company before moving down the strip to another bar offering a swimming pool. As for Señor Frog’s, I do recommend it… there’s no denying the experience was unique. I wonder why my Ship Sensi didn’t warn me about this?

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A DIfferent Perspective

Originally posted: April 10, 2007

I never used to take pictures of people… I’d often find candid shots disrespectful, but posed ones felt lifeless. Just recently I’ve started snapping away discreetly at the moments that beckon, but I’m still left with a great shot and the dilemma of what to do with it. Such is the case here.

On the tender ride back to the ship from Grand Cayman, a little boy was entranced by the black woman seated behind him. He turned around in his seat to study her skin tone, hair, and fancy long nails with intense curiosity. She was a good sport, engaging him in an impromptu game of peek-a-boo. Along with the characteristic attributes of Down’s Syndrome, his face also showed his boundless glee and warmth. This in itself was captivating, but there was more. When faced with an adult covering their eyes, every other child I’ve ever known duplicated the act exactly. This little man covered his ears. I loved the different way he sees the world.

So here’s the shot I couldn’t help but take.


I’ve tried to find him and his family aboard to pass it on, but on a ship with nearly 4000 passengers and only a day to go, the task has proved fruitless. I’m left, yet again, with a cool shot and nothing to do with it but remember the moment.

And perhaps share it.

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