“He who is shipwrecked the second time cannot lay the blame on Neptune.”
– Buffet Star Fortune Cookie, NY 7/29
The call came as I stood contemplating the death of Sugar Plum in Ben & Jerry’s Flavor Graveyard outside Burlington, VT. “We would love for you to join Lindblad Expeditions’ crew aboard the National Geographic Sea Bird in Juneau, Alaska as our new steward!” I had been anticipating these words since March, so I shrieked with excitement as I whipped out my Cabot factory brochure to take notes and scribble fish in the margins.
Minutes after hanging up, my first bout of sea nausea set in. Maybe it was just the brick of cheese I had eaten an hour earlier in preparation for the Vermont Cheesemakers Festival or the somber realization I was amidst a graveyard of ice cream flavors, but the idea of living in cramped quarters on the menacing sea whilst working 12-hour laborious days was finally beginning to sink in. Hmmm, perhaps this seafaring life might not be as romantic as I imagined.
But, comatose from dairy overload and doubts (mostly) aside, I signed my contract and will shortly commence my 6-month journey down the Alaska coast, up the Columbia and Snake River Gorges, and throughout Baja California and the Sea of Cortez in a 150’ vessel called home. As a steward, I’ll be in charge of the cleaning and scrubbing and making people happy when they are soaked through the bone during a hurricane. It might not be pretty, but it will surely be ________. Adventuresome? Better than being keelhauled? I’m not quite sure.
So without further adieu: These are the voyages of the Nat Geo Sea Bird. My 6-month mission: to explore strange new worlds, to clean toilets and serve dinner, to boldly go where no debt-ridden BC grad from Norwich has gone before. Welcome aboard!