It’s actually day 4. But, I’m writing this as I’m waiting for the ship to pull into Cozumel to get my wifi “fix”. I want to share something with you from last night’s Cigars Under the Stars.
Last night I was sitting on the poop-deck smoking a fine Cuban cigar. Well… I really don’t smoke it, ‘cause I don’t smoke. But I always buy one in Grand Cayman, light it up, and let it burn. I do this in sorta silent protest to the US policy toward Cuba. I won’t say more than that here ‘cause you can read about that in my writings elsewhere. Suffice to say our policy is due a massive overhaul.
Anyway, I was sitting there with the Cuban smoldering away… sorta contemplating the universe. You know… wondering why we have two eyes in front and none in back… why I don’t get my own Caribbean island… and in general contemplating my navel. As I sat there, I saw a flashing yellow light on the deck about mid-ship. It was coming at me. I thought maybe we had been boarded by aliens… or maybe it was Cubans attacking.
As the flashing light got closer, it started to look something like a Zamboni. You know… one of those things that they use at hockey games for resurfacing the ice. They drive it all around the ice and when they are done the ice has a nice smooth finish. For at least a few minutes the ice is blood free. The hockey players can then go back out to see if they can out punch each other.
As the Zamboni continued to come toward me, I thought that I must have dozed off and was having some weird Caribbean nightmare. The Caribbean had frozen over and now they were using a Zamboni to smooth it out. I thought… I would have to actually wear a jacket. Oh the horror of it all.
But then I realized I wasn’t dreamin’ at all. It was a cruise ship Zamboni … a contraption that is used to clean the decks. It looks like a small Zamboni with a squeegee on the back. Most of you have probably seen these, but I had never seen one of these in all my cruises. Way back in the olden days they had sailors swab the decks… with mops and mop-buckets. Several of the “swabbies” would line-up across the deck… mops in hand. They would slather on soapy water as they waddled backwards down the deck… working their mops side to side. Then they would be followed by another line of swabbies that would mop-up the soapy water. After a little while the deck would all spick-n-span.
It seems that the modern “cruise ship Zamboni” has done away with the need for the swabbies. This Zamboni has brushes underneath that lightly scrub the deck while soapy water is dispensed into the brushes. The squeegee at the back “grabs” the water and a suction hose pulls it back into the Zamboni. After about ten minutes the whole port side of deck 11 was clean and spiffy… ready for the next day’s cruise frivolity.
I wonder if the Navy still has swabbies. It wouldn’t be the same if they didn’t.
Before I close this segment, I should mention that this was not a ship organized “Cigars Under the Stars” event. I asked Carnival’s brand ambassador to see if he could pave the way to make it ship wide event… but that didn’t happen. So I organized a “mini” version on the highest smoking deck as far aft as you can get. We were doing about 18 knots. If there was anyone bothered by the smoke, they were flapping their wings.
We are pulling into Cozumel now so it’s time to go ashore and get my internet fix.
Searching for… a wifi.