Day 3…Cruise to South America….Life aboard ship is often surprising….Final photos from embarkation…

View of lovely home on the channel out to sea.

“Sighting from the Veranda while Cruising”

Tugboat assisting with the ship heading out to sea.

It’s 3:00 pm Saturday. We just returned from lunch with Susan and Blair, who found us online and picked us up after the tender ride from the ship to the shore and recently returned us to the tender boat. More on that tomorrow when we included photos of our new friends and beautiful Grand Cayman.

The past 24 hours have been a whirlwind of delightful conversations with many passengers, many of whom have engaged in extensive travel throughout their lives. 

Bridge in Fort Lauderdale.

The rapid-fire questions and answers we all share sitting at a table in either the Cafe al Bacio, the Oceanview Cafe, or the Trellis restaurant have been as entertaining as they could be.

Cargo ship at the port.

Oddly, we’ve met several passengers who know us from our site, many who’ve been following us for years, some finding Tom on Cruise Critic and others who’ve heard about our world travels.

We’re in awe each time someone approaches us and starts speaking as if they’ve known us for years. After all, we’ve revealed so much about ourselves, our lives. We’re humbled and in awe of their attention and interest. 

More stunning homes on the channel.

Who knew that Tom and I, everyday people like us, would experience a tiny touch of celebrity in this life?  Each time we’re approached, we almost feel a little embarrassed (as much as we appreciate it and please, continue to do so), knowing the people we’re meeting already know so much about us. 

View of the channel in Fort Lauderdale.

And yet, we know so little about them, and with much pleasure and anticipation, we love hearing their stories as well. At times, we feel as if we’re hogging the conversation when the level of curiosity many people express puts us both in a non-stop chatter mode, excited to answer their questions and satisfy their curiosity.

We must admit, we revel in sharing our favorite morsels, especially after the almost four months in Costa Rica when we seldom spoke to an English-speaking person other than one another. (Not that we minded that!)

City view.

How did we get so lucky? Simply put, we shake our heads in wonder from the warm reception and lively conversations we’re experiencing at every exchange. Neither of us ever dreamed of nor imagined people whom we don’t know would be so welcoming.

View of houses on the channel.

The warm hugs, the genuine laughter, the easy flow of conversation, whether it’s a table for four or 10, leaves us reeling with wide grins on our faces. I think I fell asleep last night with a smile on my face. And Tom, equally blissful after several cocktails and the fun with fellow passengers, slept like a baby, smiling all the while.

And today, I find my health rapidly improving with my newest eating regime, feel a powerful sense of return to my former “overly bubbly” self which at times wafted away after the injuries in Bali in 2016 and the onset and escalation of gastrointestinal issues that now appear to be declining in intensity. 

People are standing on the shore waving as the ship sails past.

The 18 months of discomfort are almost behind me, and I’m rearing to go. I started working out yesterday and will continue for the remainder of the cruise and also during the 30 days in Buenos Aires, in each case having access to fitness centers.

View of houses on the channel.

The upcoming Antarctica cruise requires a degree of fitness and sure-footedness. Tom, without a doubt, is masterful in this regard, but I’d fallen behind in the past 18 months. 

By January 23, 2018, I’m anticipating that I’ll be fit and ready to trek on trails on the various islands in Antarctica, easily getting off and on the almost daily excursions on the Zodiak boats in the bitterly cold weather.

People were waving to ships as they make their way out to sea.

We’ve come so far. We have so much more to go. Each day presents new opportunities, new challenges, and new relationships while nurturing the existing and robust relationship. Lucky? Perhaps. Determined?  Unquestionably.

Thank you to all of our readers whether we’ve ever had the opportunity to meet you, to shake your hand, to hug you, and, most of all, to carry you in our hearts as we continue.

Photo from one year ago today,  November 25, 2016:

We were in awe of the sky view awaiting us from our balcony on the ship circumventing Australia. For more photos one year ago, please click here.