The Life Aquatic

*I wrote this post a few days ago but wasn’t able to post until today because of internet issues*

Okay, I have to write.

Things have been building, building, more and more… and the draft of my inevitable “update” post just keeps getting longer and longer.  Screw all that.  I just want to write something short for once.

Sitting right now on Deck 5 Aft (crew only) drinking rooibos tea and staring at the final daylight in Sorrento, Italy.  What a life we have!  Today was one of those perfect Mediterranean days that exist seemingly only in the movies and books.  Lovely temperature, sunny with gorgeous fluffy clouds, not too crowded (even with the national holiday today).  Bought some very unnecessary but oh so perfect red suede shoes.  How can I go wrong with that?  And ate a grilled sandwich with perfect tomatoes, basil and mozzarella, drank a peroni, and finished off an epic day of walking with a gelato of pistachio and coconut.  So stereotypically tourist, and so fantastically wonderful.

I am really happy these days on the ship… of course I have my ups and downs, maybe even in tune with the swell of the ocean.  I mean, life on a ship is anything but normal.  But it is fun.  And you know what to expect and who to see every day.  And the places we visit!  Scary to me to think that in three weeks my whole life will change back to what it was before this adventure.  And will I be able to adjust back to it?  Will I be able to actually be alone in my own space?  Fear of ultra privacy has now slightly taken over my desire to have my own room again.  Now that we are in port nearly every day, it offers the great opportunity to go ashore daily alone, spending quality solo time walking, thinking, window-shopping, etc.  But I come back to the ship every day greeted by so many friends!  And then we all eat together, we work together, we go to the crew bar together, then we go to bed and start the day with breakfast together… and everything repeats.  At least I will have Marcel when I get back to NYC… because being completely alone right now is actually a little terrifying.

Life on the water is so great.  I have always known that I am a person that feels comfortable around water – I’m pretty sure I was a mermaid in a past life.  Even in the summertime in New York, I’d rather take the East River Ferry to get to Brooklyn than the subway.  And all those times I’ve taken the various ferries around NYC, and before that when I was a kid – speed-boating or sailing with friends… I always had that far-fetched fantasy of living on a boat.  Remember that movie “Captain Ron”?  Yeah, that was one of my favorites.  And now here I am, six months into living at sea.  Ironically, one of the things I’ve been dying to do for a long time is just to simply go fishing.  And I still haven’t done it!  I keep trying to ask people around the ship if there’s any fishing equipment, but I don’t think our captain would be too keen on that… not to mention, I’d have no idea what to do if I actually caught something!

Well, reality is glaring me in the eye, and with only three weeks left, everything is starting to feel really bittersweet.  I’m thrilled so see family and friends again, to be in my apartment, to hug my cat… but this is a truly extraordinary life in the most unexplainable way.  It’s exciting, addictive, haunting and maddening.  Sailors and pirates in the old days, you know – the ones who spent their entire lives at sea – they must have been batshit crazy.  Because it takes a certain kind of person to live this life.  And I think I’m becoming that person.  Who knows what’s in store for the future – no matter what, I’m open to it.

Another post to come soon – so many, many, many ports to update on.

Taormina, Sicily tomorrow… I’m visiting Mount Etna!

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2 thoughts on “The Life Aquatic

  1. Lore Duser May 3, 2012 / 11:05 am

    Thank you my dear Ashley, you have come through. As I said before, I would love to be a butterfly and sit on your shoulder, sharing in your adventures that way. Looking forward to the promised post and more than that, looking forward to seeing you again.

  2. Linda May 3, 2012 / 7:30 pm

    We’ll help ease you into life on terra firma! Imagine all the cooking you can do! I can even arrange a painting project if you like, (pay back for last year) Enjoy these last few weeks and takes tons of pictures. I think you have a heck of a book stored in your brain! like Oma said, can’t wait to see you. : )

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