Venice couple begins 82-day adventure

At sea, no excuses for boredom

By Ed Martin
Guest Columnist

(Editor’s note: Ed and Peggy Martin of Venice have begun an 82-day Pacific cruise, which will take them to the Asian coast, Russia, Bali, Australia, Hawaii and other islands before they return to Los Angeles on Dec. 12. Ed Martin is providing periodic reports from the trip for the readers of The Sarasota News Leader.)

Photo contributed by Ed Martin

Oct. 6: Call this “Tales of the North Pacific.” No wonder Michener never wrote a book with that title

In the five days we have been at sea, which we love, gale force winds have been relatively frequent. Stabilizers keep the ship even side-to-side, though we feel some up-and-down motion (pitching). Nothing for us but enjoyment, though others on the ship are queasy, including, surprisingly, some crew members. They must work mostly on smoother routes.

Still, nobody seems too troubled.

Life at sea is pleasant. There are lectures about the area, for example. Regarding the Aleutians: Did you know the Japanese bombed Dutch Harbor in 1942 and occupied two islands in the chain? Neither did I nor most of the other Americans on our trip.

Admiral Nimitz left the troops alone; he was happy to have them away from Midway and other battles. The Japanese eventually just left.

The islands divide the North Pacific from the Bering Strait and Bering Sea. Dutch Harbor is across a small river from “Unalaska” — no kidding. Why it carries that name is still unknown to me. Stay tuned.

In addition to lectures there are bridge, crafts, dance lessons, demonstrations in “America’s Test Kitchen” onboard, some sports — bocce, for example in the lobby Atrium — a small library and computer center, bingo and a casino. You get the idea. If you are bored, read a book. Mark me at the 2.5 point so far in my reading. I am never bored.

And, oh yes, we have about half-a-dozen restaurants balanced by 3.5 laps around Deck 3, which equals one mile!

As my Canadian friends say, Bon journee.