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Published: January 20th 2011
Sunday Jan. 16th, 2011
The Edge of the World
The plane took off from Raleigh-Durham airport on one of those cold clear mornings where the visibility is unlimited. Once we reached our cruising altitude of 37,000 feet the view was unbelievable. From my vantage point in a window seat on the port side of the cabin I could see over a hundred miles, all the way to the outer banks as we headed south toward Wilmington. There were no clouds on the horizon and then as I looked out across the great expanse of the Atlantic Ocean I saw it for the first time, the actual edge of the world. I have seen a clear horizon many times while at sea, but the effect is completely different at sea level than what I saw now at this high altitude. I could very clearly see the curve of the earth on the unbroken line of the ocean. I don’t know how many hundreds of miles I was able to see, but it seemed immense and a wonderful beginning for our trip to circumnavigate the globe. The flight to Fort Lauderdale seemed short and the great visibility lasted almost the whole way.
Monday Jan. 17th, 2011
Key West, Florida
We have arrived in the Keys for a few days of rest before our departure. The last month has been very hectic with selling the house, packing everything up and all the preparations to be gone for an extended period. It has been 15 years since I have been to Key West and many things are very different. Fortunately, many things are still unchanged as well. The place exudes a charm that is all its own and still feels like the authentic Caribbean getaway that Jimmy Buffett made famous in his songs back in the 70’s. Great food and music in little waterfront bars and restaurants makes it seem like we really will be able to relax and get our sea legs ready to go.
Jane’s note: my first time in Key West and I love it. It feels like a cross between New Orleans and St Thomas, only cleaner! I would highly recommend this as a relaxing destination. It felt safe, the food glorious, it was warm (oh my, it felt good to be warm) and the people were friendly. Live music was everywhere, even in the bars and café’s during the day. I felt a sort of quiet and calm I have not felt in ages.
Thursday Jan 20th, 2011
At Sea: Latitude 22 degrees, 46 minutes - Longitude 84 degrees, 11 minutes
We are on our way and Cuba is on the horizon. We left Fort Lauderdale Wednesday night and have been cruising south along the coast of Florida. We have now turned west and will pass between Cuba and the Yucatan this afternoon. It is amazing how fast a cruise ship travels compared to a private yacht. The seas are calm, the drinks are cold and the rest of the passengers are really old. It makes Jane and I feel young again and it is all very exciting. Seriously though, we have met a few passengers our own age, but we are definitely in the minority. Tomorrow is our first landfall and so we will try to go to bed early. That was difficult last night after all the free champagne at the Captain’s Sail-away Party.
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