I am a Thalassophile

I am a Thalassophile. I love the sea, the ocean. Looking at it, listening to it, smelling it and traveling on it. Yet there is always frisson. Vast, all encompassing, immensely powerful and inhabited by inscrutable creatures, it is uncontrollable. Hurricanes have filled my beach apartment with water, waves in the Drake Passage flipped the heavy chair in my cabin and more than a few stomachs aboard. Constant foghorns during four foggy days crossing the Atlantic Ocean …

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Sea-going Recipe for Rejuvenation

Frazzled? Living a type-A life within a short drive of a cruise port? Have I got an antidote for you. Take a cruise that goes to places you’ve already seen from the nearest port. Carnival Cruise Line’s Elation sails from my hometown of Jacksonville, FL. A friend and I recently celebrated our February birthdays by taking one of those short Bahamas cruises: out on Thursday, back Monday morning after a short stop in Freeport, a day in …

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UnCruise Adventures’ Rivers of Wine Cruise: Day 6 aboard the SS Legacy

We wake up where we began in Portland then hop on buses to Oregon’s heavily vined Willamette Valley, known for its excellent pinot noirs. Our first stop is at 28-year-old Archer Vineyard, the creation of original owner Don Archer, current owner African-born architect Saj Jivanjee and winemaker Jim Sander, who specialize in pinots noir and gris. Enthusiasm for quality and conviviality are their hallmarks with pinot noirs worth laying down for future greatness and weekly Friday sunset …

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UnCruise Adventures’ Rivers of Wine Cruise: Day 7 aboard the SS Legacy

Like a dish? Un-problem. Ask for the recipe and it will be delivered to your cabin. Want to try a little of everything? Un-problem. Why two buses when we could fit into one? “We aim to never have a full bus,” says historian Bob. “That way if you want a pair of seats to yourself, fine.” On UnCruise, it’s an un-problem, which explains the name. UnCruise sounds awkward and, well, dorky, but take one and you understand. …

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UnCruise Adventures’ Rivers of Wine Cruise: Day 4 aboard Legacy

Locks lifted us up heading East and now they are lowering us as we backtrack toward the West. A second morning without cell service and Internet has some frustrated, others relieved and more relaxed. We will get our connectivity fix when we head to tastings at the Walter Clore Winery and Culinary Center and Terra Blanca Winery where we will also have lunch. Terra Blanca is one winery that kegs some of its wine for bars and …

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UnCruise Adventures’ Rivers of Wine Cruise: Day 3 aboard Legacy

Aboard S. S. Legacy-We are anchored in the Snake River at Lyons Ferry, surrounded by ochre cliffs of columnar and pillar basalt. A slow – no wake area – jet boat tender takes us to the nearby Lyons Ferry Marina where our trusty buses are waiting to convey us on a 15-minute ride to Palouse State Park and Palouse Falls. The countryside is empty save for the array of grasses, mostly cheat grass, and an assortment of buttes …

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UnCruise Adventures’ Rivers of Wine Cruise: Day 2 aboard the SS Legacy

Aboard S. S. Legacy-We are not in the mountains any more. Hills and farmland greet us this morning. Columbia is glassy smooth, compensating for the lack of height on shore with perfect reflections of what is there. We moor in Richland, WA, in front of a park and board buses through the Tri-Cities – Richland, Kennewick and Pasco – to Walla Walla, home of the namesake sweet onions, the state prison and the Walla Walla Valley AVA …

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UnCruise Adventures’ Rivers of Wine Cruise: Day 1 aboard the ss Legacy

Wake early for here, normal for East Coast time. It is hard to tear your eyes away from the scenery, the Columbia River backed by the Cascade Mountains port and starboard. We are heading to Bonneville, our first lock; there will be six up river and six back down. All have fish ladders; the requirement for building dams and locks is a 97 percent survival rate for salmon. And yes, there is someone at each fish ladder …

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Getting on Board SS Legacy

When I lived in Washington State many years ago, you could visit the state’s wineries in an afternoon. There were two. Oregon had perhaps that many. Now there are more than 900 in Washington, more than 700 in Oregon. I and the other passengers aboard UnCruise’s SS Legacy will spend the next seven days, Saturday to Saturday, on “Rivers of Wine,” a cruise down the Columbia, Snake and Willamette Rivers that introduces guests to some of the …

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Expedition cruise aboard Poseidon Expeditions M/V Sea Spirit: The ship-M/V Sea Spirit, Poseidon Expeditions

M/VSea Spirit Launched 1991ength 297 feet Beam 50 feet Speed 15 knots Passengers 114 Crew 72 Decks 6 Tonnage 4,200 Poseidon’s Sea Spirit brings the comfort of a boutique cruise ship to expedition cruising. Both public areas and cabins have been totally redone within the last two years so she looks brand new. All cabins are en suite and exterior. Sizes range from 226 square feet to the 463-square-foot owner’s suite. A wall of mullioned mirrors behind …

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