Friday, December 03, 2004


Hip Liz recently took a Thanksgiving cruise from San Pedro to Ensenada and back. A fine idea, and one that I wish we could have had and followed through on. It also put me in mind of another thing I've always wanted to do, voyaging on a tramp steamer, a Royal Mail steamer, a Mail Vessel, or a banana boat, or what have you. There's something alluring about the lack of sophisticated bars and the strange drinks, organized shore tours, on board swimming pools, and the like. There's got to be something therapeutic about sitting and reading on the afterdeck of a mail vessel like this one, sipping a glass of rum and now and then scanning the horizon with a pair of powerful binoculars, keeping the e'es peeled for the occasional whale spout, or the dangerous, dark, sleek prow of the pirate ship. Garn! Pirates! Run out the guns! Draw your cutlasses, me Hearties! Prepare to repel boarders! We'll have their guts for ratlines, so we will, har har! Pfftui!


Blogger Don said...

Well, thanks a lot. I just spent an hour clicking around in a hopeless dream of long, slow, schedule-free travel to wherever whenever and possibly not back again. A fine project might be to ship westward out of Oakland with plenty of cash for open-ended port stays, hopping from freighter line to freighter line, the idea being to head generally west until, via Panama or the Horn, one arrives in Oakland once again. How long might that take? Six months? A year? Quickly, we can calculate that at an average cost of $120/day (ship's fare or land lodging plus incidentals), this six month voyage would cost over $20,000. O-o-okay. Damn. Well, it's do-able if you rent out your house and otherwise eliminate unused on-shore expenses.

3:40 PM  

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