Thursday, September 18, 2014

hemingway had a boat

Yesterday was a sea day.

If you have not been on a cruise, especially if you are one of those people who is not content unless you are “doing” something, the description of a “sea day” will sound like your worst nightmare.  For me, they are my favorite days on a cruise ship.

A sea day is a full day in the ocean without any ports of call.  The whole world is the ship -- and what you can see from it.

The usual question I hear about sea days is: “What do you do?”  And I answer the same way I answer the “What do you do in Mexico” question.  Anything I want.

Take yesterday.  I have absolutely no idea what I did. 

I may have read The Economist.  I may have stared out over the ocean watching its subtle mood changes.  I may have gone for a walk on the upper deck.  I may even have simply sat and chatted with people from different countries who I have never seen and who I will never see again.

In truth, it does not matter what I did.  What I do know is that after a superb dinner and a rather bumptious song and dance show, I was fully relaxed and at peace with the world.  Maybe even with myself.

For me, it was a great state.  For you, that is lousy essay material.

So, as a makeup call, here are some nautical shots from northern Spain.  To share the harmony.  With the exception of the last two shots, they are all from the Getxo harbor.

I collect Medvedev paintings.  Some of his best work is of small boats.  This is my homage to him.

This is another perspective of the same set of boats at the top of the post.

There was something about the pairing of these two boats.  The color.  Their shape.  The fish that echo the craft on the surface above them.

I am also a fan of the dilapidated.  The combination of textures caught my eye, especially the dock juxtaposed against the once-smooth surfaces of the boats.  There may be an aging analogy in there somewhere.

And what could be a better tribute to our recent visit to Braque than these bands of color on the Bay of Biscay?

By now, you know what catches my eye.  In this case, it was the flash of colors on the tender waiting to service us in the rather monochrome bay at Vigo.

My last shot does not center on boats.  At least, not directly.  Even though the bus window’s tint adds an eerie painter effect, I liked the result well enough to close out this set.

The objects you see in the water are platforms atop four piers.  Nets, seeded with mussel buds, are then hung on the four sides of the platforms.  The resulting crop makes Vigo the largest producer of mussels after China.  (I realize the comparison is non-parallel.  But that is what our guide said.)  Even if that statistic is off, the photograph intrigued me.

Today, we are at sea for our last day of the cruise.  If I “do” anything, I will let you know.  If I don’t “do” anything, we will still talk.

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