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  • Writer's pictureJane Rubin

Sailing, sailing, over the bounding main...

Updated: Mar 8, 2023

My father, Pop, used to have a song for everything. All he needed was a one word cue and he could kick off a tune at full volume. Even though I was often horrified when he sang in public places, I seem to have caught the bug, because I can shift into that singing mode in an instant.

Sailing, sailing (San Francisco Bay)

Today, as we board our ship for a cruise to Cuba, the sailing song (sans correct lyrics) has been running through my head all morning.

Always a water-lover, cruising is a fun way for us to travel - a great blend of relaxation and adventure. My husband and I took our first cruise together 20 years ago for our honeymoon. We flew to Alaska and cruised down the Inside Passage to Vancouver. It was a Holland American cruise line and we were well below the average age on that ship. It became a bit harrowing for a number of passengers when we left the Passage and sailed into the rough open sea. As I watched guests with walkers rock from side to side making their way around the deck, I couldn’t help but wonder whether their infirmary downstairs was equipped with an orthopedic unit.

Fortunately, I don’t suffer from seasickness. But the vast majority of travelers on that Holland America ship seemed to. Attendance at that evening’s dinner was very low and we know that age group rarely misses a meal.

Pop, who also had a quick treatment for most any ailment - either physical or emotional had shared the cure for seasickness on a deep sea fishing trip off Montauk years back. The swig of whiskey was one of his universal treatments. He learned this trick during his war years. He believed fast acting whiskey would make you tipsy and unable to tell the difference between a rocking boat and a buzz. Funny how it always worked for me. The first time I used it was 40 years ago on the deck of a small boat crossing the Aegean Sea from Athens to Rhodes. The sea was mythically rough and we were deck passengers. My ex and I watched passengers retching over the railings while we happily sipped our bourbon, slept and made it to Rhodes without incident.

As we head off to Cuba today, my inner DJ is dropping the next record onto the turntable and now playing “Havana oh na na” as I hunker down for a nice rum drink before dinner, planning tomorrow’s adventure and a good nights sleep.

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