On the last leg of our journey home, somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean, I finished my subject list for the A to Z challenge. The last letter that needed a topic was today’s…the letter “O.” (Boy, that felt like Sesame Street.) I searched my travel-weary mind for an interesting bit and then, but of course….Olives! Grown in many locals, we had seen orchards (or groves, I guess) and sampled some, right? Easy enough. My list was complete, so I went back to my reading. Except, after uploading over 500 photos from our trip, there wasn’t a single olive pic to be found. In fact, the only olive I ate was the first night in Barcelona, and it was on a pizza. Strange too, as it was whole (a black olive), quite salty, and bitter (European, I guess.) On one of our tour stops we were treated to a full glass of wine and bowl of green olives. We enjoyed the wine, didn’t touch the olives and left the shop to explore the local village. On the ship I never ordered a martini, (Okay, that was my bad,) I don’t really like olives, and so I don’t have anything to post about olives. Oops! So let’s start with another fine “O” word: Ocean. We traversed the Atlantic Ocean twice by plane and sailed from the Mediterranean Sea into the Atlantic Ocean. (Note of interest: Many people use the terms “ocean” and “sea” interchangeably when speaking about the ocean, but there is a difference between the two terms when speaking of geography (the study of the Earth’s surface). Seas are smaller than oceans and are usually located where the land and ocean meet. Typically, seas are partially enclosed by land.) Thanks to NOAA for that little tidbit.
Now, can you “sea” the difference? Every day around noon the ship’s captain, or other officer assigned to the duty, would give a brief announcement about our location (in Latitude and Longitude…I guess for those following along on Google Maps,) the sea conditions (ours ranged from calm to slight to moderate) the nearest land mass (900 miles never felt as far as it did that day) and the depth of the ocean. One day I recall hearing the depth was approximately 9,500 meters. Okay, some quick math (in between sips of lunchtime wine…should have had that martini) I estimated that to be nearly 30,000 feet. Holy crap…that’s a lot of water and unknown stuff down there! I meandered to the railing and tried to pondered that much water below me and then added in the endless ocean around me. Definitely it was time for lunch and another glass of wine. Who knew?! But wait! There’s more “O” fun. On-Board was tons of fun. The walking track on deck 13 was at least 30 laps to the mile and you didn’t go against the grain on this one! The every-other-day table tennis tournament looked fun, but when I saw an grand, nearly octogenarian las whipping up on a Chinese teenager, I thought better of entering. A Casino, hundreds of lounge chairs (thought there never were enough) that ringed the swimming pool (that closed on rough sea days as the ocean energy is transmitted into the pool, creating its own tsunami’s (cool at night,) golf cages (see letter “G” day) and the daily On-deck B-B-Q feasts made for a great time On-Board.
(Note: There is a pattern to the postings of my A To Z Blog Challenge (besides the A-Z order of the alphabet. The first person to correctly identify the pattern wins a free copy of my book, And The I Smiled: Reflections on a Life Not Yet Complete and a $5.00 gift card from Fort Collins Coffee House (if in Northern CO) or Starbucks if outside the FTC area.)