At Sea Again

A perfect 360-degree horizon, occluded in the nearer distance by cloud shadow and smears and smudges of squall, is something sensed, not seen.  All around lies a mottled expanse of turquoise, wine-blue, cobalt, and purple patches streaked with brilliant sunshine alternating with gray shadow and scuffed into variously textured sheets ruffled and smoothed by the winds.  The entire panorama seems to heave gently, almost to breathe—the Wyoming plains on a brisk fall day of scudding cloud patterns.  An almost imperceptible displacement seems to register a mental rather than a physical occurrence, as if the eye had transferred the ground’s slightest movement to the right foot.  But the motion is real, and it belongs neither to the mind nor to the earth but to the North Atlantic Ocean.  From the starboard docking bridge astern, one looks forward along the hull of the 1,132-foot vessel to the bridge wing, dipping almost to the horizon and lifting slowly again.  We have a moderate sea running this first morning out from New York, and RMS Queen Mary 2 feels stable as the globe itself, which is said to wobble on its axis.  Too stable, in fact—what this ship needs is to have her double set of stabilizers withdrawn and be turned free to show the moves of which she’s capable in a spot of weather.

People have told me they dislike being at sea.  I can scarcely fathom this unless they are speaking of...

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