A recent college graduate joins a cruise ship in the Caribbean as assistant purser with the intention of doing some traveling. "For a couple of years," he tells himself. As the years pass he becomes used to the life of a seaman, a life he enjoys, a life that provides for all his needs, except... read more (warning: may contain spoilers)
A recent college graduate joins a cruise ship in the Caribbean as assistant purser with the intention of doing some traveling. "For a couple of years," he tells himself. As the years pass he becomes used to the life of a seaman, a life he enjoys, a life that provides for all his needs, except for the love and companionship of a woman. One evening he meets a passenger. For the young purser she represents the real world, as opposed to a world of cocktail parties and elegant dining, shows and Calypso bands, sea breezes and tropical islands. He forgets, however, that he met her aboard the ship's world of fantasy. In the ensuing conflict between his desire to be with her and his love for the sea he realizes that, as with the rest of the men aboard, it is too late for him to go back, for he is now a seaman and the sea is his only home. About the Author: Walter Aschiero has served as purser aboard cruise ships of Bahamian, Finnish, Italian and Norwegian registry. In addition to ships and the sea, his interests include literature, mountaineering, martial arts, and a lifelong passion for the fine art of tea.
“A cruise ship is a miniature world, a microcosm of every art and science known to humankind. We might easily assume she epitomizes our conquest over the laws of nature. Surely such an impressive being must be capable of imposing herself upon the whims of creation. We are awed by her vastness. We consider ourselves her privileged companions. We rejoice in her intimacy. Then, one day, we go out on deck and see our noble lady humbly plowing her way across a rolling sea, fluttering like a toy boat in a pond. It is then we realize that we are but an insignificant speck at the mercy of a vast ocean.”
“Passenger ships rarely get caught in heavy weather. Thanks to radar we can maneuver around local storms, and thanks to weather services we can keep away from the major ones--something cities cannot do. The only bad experience I've had was during a transatlantic crossing on a voyage from dry dock in Bremerhaven, Germany. We were headed for the Caribbean with an empty ship--an eerie experience in itself. Steaming out of the English Channel into the North Atlantic, we were met by a gale of sixty-mile-per-hour winds. Twenty to thirty foot seas washed over the decks and sprayed onto the bridge. They battered the Olympia as if buffeting her for pleasure. She rolled, pitched, yawed, heaved, surged and swayed for three days and three nights until we reached the Azores. Captain Strom logged more than eighty hours on the bridge without sleep. I don't think anyone slept much. I spent those three nights listening to the wind howling outside my porthole, the salt spray hitting with such force it sounded like metal pellets. I promised myself never again to set foot aboard ship. On the third morning we sighted the Azores silhouetted against the gray horizon. I recalled the words of the Roman writer Titus Plautus, 'There is no greater joy than that of a sailor sighting from the deep the distant land.' I agreed.”
“The promenade deck is my favorite part of the ship. It is the only public area that doesn't resemble a luxury hotel. I enjoy looking at the lifeboats, the varnished wood railing, the freshly greased davits, the orange life rings with the ship's name painted in bold white letters...”
Those Guided by Courage
Greek Indians and Australian Pharaohs
Does the Crew Live Aboard?
Life at Sea is the Only Life
A Day in St. Thomas with Emergency Drills and Leather Whips
The Queen of the Amazons
Stowaways and Hussies
“La Donna è Mobile”
The Officers’ Mess
The Mercenary and the Field Marshall
A Cruising Affair
The River and the Prairie
Children of Yemanja
Back to Sea
Glossary of Nautical Terms
Glossary of Foreign Terms
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