“People have been asking about the squeaking of the ship,” our captain reported, somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic, “but I must tell you, this is nothing to worry about.”
He then proceeded to explain how a ship needed to give in heavy swells, just as an airplane had to flex during flight. “Otherwise,” he explained cheerfully, “the ship would snap in two!”
I’m not sure this was the reassurance worried passengers were looking for.
My husband, Peter, and I are on the second week of our trip across the ocean. The final stop at port has been cancelled due to storms in the Atlantic. This means we will have seven straight days at sea.
Peter and I are delighted. While it is always interesting to see a new place, the port stops on this long journey feel to us like lay-overs and we are happiest when the ship is moving—preferably through a variety of weather.
“The captain said there were fifteen-meter swells!” I reported delightedly to Peter. Peter smiled. We knew we were not giving maritime safety the respect it deserved. But we really couldn’t as we were preoccupied by what we were now calling, “The Cookie Situation.”
Peter and I are still rather new at this cruise boat business, since the only time we do it is returning from Spain in the fall. We are amazed and impressed by the massive logistics required and how rarely the boat runs out of anything or seems to experience any difficulties—other than the weather which, despite its best efforts, remains elusively out of control. Cookies, on the other hand, seem firmly within the cruise ship’s control—and equally elusive.
There is some sort of arcane formula afoot concerning the cookies. They are available—if you know where to look—at 2:30, but not before. Then they disappear again at precisely 5:00. After 5:00, it is impossible to find a cookie again until 9:30. You may be skeptical, but Peter and I have dedicated ourselves to a rigorous study of this. (We don’t have much else to do.)
Every evening, we dutifully trot up to the buffet for dessert, just before our 9:00 bedtime. (Peter and I have yet to make any evening entertainment as it interferes with my self-prescribed twelve-hour sleep.)
“Where are they hiding the cookies?” Peter asked.
“None of your business,” I told him. “You know what curiosity did to the cat.”
“Curiosity did wonders for the cat!” Peter retorted. I suspected he might be right. So, a couple of nights ago, I went looking for cookies before their appointed hour. I found them, tucked beneath the buffet counter.
I asked the young server standing nearby, “May I have a cookie?”
“Cookies are served at 9:30,” the server politely replied.
“I will be asleep by 9:30,” I told him.
“You want a cookie?” he asked me. I could tell he was a little taken aback by someone questioning the Maritime Cookie Law.
“Actually, I would,” I told him, seriously.
He quickly looked around, gave me two cookies, then carted the entire tray off to the kitchen where it was out of sight from future busybodies who might come along and question The Cookie Situation.
Last night, the cookies were better hidden. Instead, for dessert, we came across something that had been cooked in a pot. It looked like some sort of fruit soup but the sign over it proclaimed it was, “Peach and Apple Cake.” We scooped it into bowls and ate it with ice cream. It was the best cake ever.
Till next time,
Carrie Classon’s memoir, “Blue Yarn,” was released earlier this year. Learn more at CarrieClasson.com.