The hours to Southampton and the minutes on my Internet account are inexorably counting down to zero so this is the last post from Arcadia. In the case of the hours, this is not a straight line progression, the clocks going forward one hour every other day as we realign with UK time. This actually happens at midday such that 12:00 immediately becomes 13:00 – free beer at 12:30. This is a much harsher approach to life-shortening than when it happens in the small hours except for the crew – you lose an hour of work, not an hour of sleep. Why hasn’t someone thought of that on dry land.
The highlight of the trip was the entry into New York; after six days at sea, drawing back the curtains at five in the morning to be suddenly presented with the brightly lit Manhattan skyline is breath-taking (1WTC is fully lit even though not yet complete). Nothing prepares you for this sudden uplifting return to ultra-civilisation.
It has been a classic trip. We have stood solemnly at Ground Zero, relived the Kennedy years in Boston, paid our respects at the Dakota Building, passed the Chelsea Hotel and seen the Greenwich Village steps where Bob Dylan penned Blowin’ in the Wind. And that reminds me. Last night we won the Faces of the 1960s pub quiz. The clincher was that we alone recognised a fairly recent picture of Bob Dylan. How can it be that no one else could identify the most influential singer/songwriter of the 20th Century (one elderly bunch thought it was Vincent Price!). And there is the nub of the problem; if I still have a problem with the cruising life, it is this – I am a Tom Waits/Bob Dylan (The National/elbow/Dry the River etc etc) sort of chap on a Perry Como/Val Doonican sort of ship. Or should that be Al Jolson.
Some more pictures from New York: