I can’t recall ever using the word “landlubber” in anything I’ve written, and I have good reasons why. I had no need to use it. But as I use it now, allow me to put some context together for you.
Six months ago, a cousin asked me to go on a trip with her. She used to be a traveler, but she’d put her travels in mothballs for a while. When she said she wanted to resume traveling, I was onboard.
My question to her was: Where did she wanna go?
She had the world to pick from — Singapore, Switzerland, Kenya … the entire world. The only stipulation I had was she needed to pick someplace I’d never been. My cousin did.
She picked a cruise.
A “landlubber” on a cruise? It doesn’t fit me like a skullcap.
I had hopscotched the world since May 2019, and I had lesser trips before I put travel at the top of my bucket list.
Yet in all those trips, in all those thousands of Delta Sky miles I’ve accumulated, I never had an interest in making travel on water a priority. I’m a proud landlubber; I love history; I love cobblestone streets; I love art museums; and, of course, I love riding camels.
Being in the water held no allure. Why would it?
I can’t swim a lick; I never tried to learn. I often joked with friends that if God had wanted us to be amphibians, he’d have given us dorsal fins. So you can translate that into understanding that when I went to Cape Town with a friend last April — or was it last March? — I didn’t join him on his deep dive into the Atlantic Ocean to frolic with white sharks.
Forget about sharks, though. I don’t give them any thought, except when I watched scenes from “Jaws.” Whenever I think about cruise ships, I also see a movie. I see two movies really, and neither has a merry ending.
One is of an older vintage: “The Poseidon Adventure,” the disaster movie on the high seas that featured Gene Hackman, Shelly Winters and Ernest Borgnine. It was a film fraught with suspense.
Stack it next to “The Titanic,” and I see the former as a film without a hint of reality. Still, both films highlight cruise ships in distress. I can’t shake either from my mind.
Now, it’s too late for me to do an about-face, isn’t it? I’ve bought my flight, which lands Thursday in Fort Lauderdale, Florida; plus, the cruise is paid for. So this Friday, I’ll set sail in an ocean liner for the warmth of the Caribbean Sea.
For a landlubber, cruising the Caribbean puts my nerves on edge. They’re tingling as they did when I went to South Africa for a safari. I got through the safari, and I suspect I’ll get through the cruise.
I guess that’s somewhat of a settling thought. As the date nears, I continue to envision those disaster films. I can’t shake the thought of either one. They give me a migraine whenever I overlay one atop what I’m about bent on doing. Hardly sobering.
Worse still, of all days in a month to leave land, I’ll be taking to the waters on Friday the 13th.
Wise move, landlubber.