|Hannah Rae Selnes
Just over a month ago Sharon and I set off for Barcelona and back-to-back cruises on the Marina around the Mediterranean. I had plans for considerable reading and the occasional post about the books I would be reading but – sigh – technology faltered and I became distracted.
Marina is a beautiful ship with the Oceania Cruise Line. It has a capacity of 1,250 passengers and approximately 750 crew. Sharon and I enjoy our time aboard.
The technological flaw for blogging is the satellite based internet. It is far slower than the current average Wi-Fi on land. It does not reach even “moderate” high speed. Occasionally, especially when in port you can access the net fairly well though live video is almost impossible.
Most days, as with these cruises, the ship is in port during the day. Sharon and I, like our fellow passengers, like go ashore for formal and casual excursions. Thus we are not on the ship during the best “ship” time for the internet.
Where real problems arise is when the ship leaves port. While the internet system can usually handle modest wind it is inconsistent when the wind rises. To put up posts becomes difficult. Adding photos is time consuming and at times, impossible.
The ship’s internet person estimated there about 500 passengers trying to be on the net when we are at sea.
Having gone cruising with the goal of not being frustrated it became easier not to try posting.
At the same time I freely acknowledge I am easily distracted on the ship.
Team trivia twice a day occupies Sharon and myself. There will be up to 8 members on a team and we had a wonderful group on the first cruise. We were called the Vagabonds Plus. We had such a good time together Sharon and I invited the group to our cabin for champagne, cheese and fruit to celebrate. On the night before that cruise ended we organized a formal dinner together.
We also did well in winning Big O points which can be redeemed for ship merchandise. We left the ship with two sweatshirts, a ball cap and a tee shirt.
When not at trivia we were also deciding each late afternoon and evening whether to attend high tea or spend some time on deck or listen to the pre-dinner dance band or eat dinner or watch the nightly show in the theatre lounge or attend the post-show music at another lounge.
I faithfully carried my current book around the ship but reading suffered. Blogging felt too much like work.
There were a lot of fellow passengers with books. I found it notable that e-readers are not dominant. Over the past few years of cruising there are a significant number of e-readers on each cruise but they have not been increasing in number and, I would say there are more readers of paper books.
As the second cruise was concluding I was planning to get back to blogging promptly on our return to Canada. It did not happen for a good reason.
Sharon and I flew from Rome to Frankfurt to Calgary where we immediately went to the home of our son, Jonathan, and daughter-in-law, Lauren, to meet our first grandchild, Hannah Rae, who had been born while we were on the cruises.
We spent as much time as we could over the next 5 days with Hannah, Lauren and Jonathan. Sharon and I love holding the baby. After having sons Sharon was excited to have a girl in the family.
Then I ended up with a cold and, on our 7 hour drive home from Alberta, we underestimated the weather and drove through a winter storm. My associate, Brandi, and I had a stressful drive.
Last night Sharon and I were at the Melfort Public Library team trivia contest. After 10 rounds with 150 points at stake we were tied with the local Museum team at 122. I knew the answer to the tie breaker question and our team, the Vagabonds, were the winners!
Now I return to blogging. I admire those bloggers who can post, without fail, their way through the distractions of life. I am not one of them.