We’re off! Tomorrow we’ll be sailing away from our familiar waters, our mountain, Beppo and Zazou, and most of our daily routine. The one part of our regular life that’s going with us is the magical Chinese herb tea, which I’d love to show you right now. Two huge stock pots of it are boiling away on the stove, boiling over actually, so that we can take 26 ziplock bags of tea with us for Shel’s daily dose. We’ll be trusting to the good will of our cabin steward to keep them frozen for us, so that Shel may continue his Great Leap Forward toward health. And although at the moment I feel like one of Macbeth’s witches, haggard and frazzled, stirring my unruly brew as it spits and scatters twigs and thick brown droplets all over the stove, I expect that it’s nothing that a good day at sea and a couple of martinis can’t eventually fix. And by eventually I mean tomorrow.
When I booked this cruise several months ago we never thought Shel would live to travel through the Panama Canal with me. The booking was a leap of faith, an “if I book it he will live to sail” moment of sheer folly that is about to pay off in spades. He’s so much better now than he was just a few months ago that when a guy called yesterday from Blue Shield to talk about Shel being approved for the Hospice program Shel sputtered “I’m not going into hospice, I’m going cruising through the Panama Canal.” Well all right then!
Although normally our ferry feels like quite a big ship, tomorrow we’ll board one that holds 1800 passengers, a virtual small town that will float us away from life as we know it, heading south into waters neither of us has seen before. We’re happy as can be, and we hope you’ll come along for the ride. Next stop, San Diego, California. See you there.