Almost Cuba

Just watched Midnight in Paris. Cuba, Hemingway, Midnight in Paris – chain complete! Halfway through A Farewell to Arms, probably time to quickly return to Old Man and the Sea.
From a few days ago:
“I can’t believe it’s only ten days left.
I can’t believe it.
I can’t”.

***
Now it’s eight.
No, already seven – today is almost gone. How come the time fly so quickly?
It’s a bit chillier out here than before, when we were still in Brazilian waters. But the nature doesn’t stop surprising us at the Caribbean. Breathtaking sunsets, sky covered with a web of stars, and optical wonders created by a half-moon shining through the clouds and highlighting the sea. I just realized that we left the ocean now, and it really is just a sea. Just a beautiful Caribbean sea. I’m still in search of that perfectly blue water that they show on the pictures. Will try Cuba for that – when you’re out in the open sea, the color is always a variation of dark blues and greens.
These past two weeks swept by as if they never happened, taking away the fragile feeling that the journey still continues. Now it’s evident as ever that it’s coming to an end, and it starts the waves of sadness and panic within. You start clinging to the people you got so attached to, to your everyday ship life activities that suddenly became so precious. I didn’t even notice the moment when the classes were over. I’m already halfway through my exams. Isn’t it weird? I can’t believe it’s been almost four months. Four crazy months. Four challenging months. For hopeful months.
During our Salvador-Cuba stretch we’ve had – let me think… We’ve had a crew talent show – singing waiters, dancing mechanics, and all the awesomeness from our wonderful crew. We’ve had the Atlantic Film Festival, organized by who else but Ashley, with all kinds of crazy and inventive shorts. We’ve had a series of TED talks, held by Jose, my comrade in presidential scholarship and a TED license holder. Those were awesome? and the discussions we’ve had after watching the videos held us awake those nights. We’ve had the Hunger Banquet, and the day when the ship finally went full-speed for about half an hour, rising the splashes of foam behind it. I could swear I saw where they got this idea with a stream abd horses racing before it in LOTR, when Arwen summons the river to protect her and Frodo from the nazguls. The ship was smoothly flying the blue blue waters, and you could only appreciate the speed if you leaned over the railing. The wind would slap you in the face and mess up your hair, and if you look down, you can see the side of the ship cutting through the water and waking myriads of tiny splashes all over. And the wind brings sea breeze from the engines, so in a couple of minutes your skin and hair smell like the ocean, and you can feel the salt on your lips if you lick them.
What else? It’s so hard to remember. I guess, my memory adjusts to the constant income of information, and just erases events from more than few days ago. I’m glad I’m keeping this journal. It will help me remember. Although I already owe it a good deal from Brazil. My bad, my bad.
So, Havana tomorrow. It’s a first SAS trip to Cuba in almost ten years. It’s funny how easy it is for me to go there anytime I want, and that the only thing that always stopped me was the cost of the tickets. Well, no we get a bit less than two full days in Cuba, which is sad. I wish we had more time. Then we’ll move to Freeport, Bahamas, to pick up our lifelong learners and dependent children who were denied entry to Cuba because of some bureaucratic issues. Also, we got a “courtesy day” in Freeport. Not sure how much can you do in a day, but we’ll see.
I wish I could just freeze this ship in time and space and preserve it, with all its unique environment and all these amazing and talented people. But I can already feel it starting to fade away, like a fairyland with all these magical creatures inhabiting it that vanishes with the morning light. Alas, alas, alas.
But the road goes ever on.

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