There's a lot of seaborne commerce, and there's also a lot of ocean.  Time to make the jump from Ponta Delgada to Cherbourg.

First, note the pragmatic use of portholes on Regal Princess.

The hull is as the designers intended, this is not a modernized upper works grafted onto an older hull, the way Milwaukee Clipper is a tear-down and rebuild of Juniata.

The second day out of Florida, there was a freighter following a similar course to avoid one of the cyclonic storms still disrupting air travel and bringing snow to the Great Lakes and the Official Region.

Two days later, another cruise ship passed astern and to starboard.

The day before landfall at Ponta Delgada, this bulk carrier crossed close aboard ahead and to port.

I estimate this ship's closest approach as a mile or two, although judging distances on the water is difficult (one reason overly optimistic swimmers tire and drown).

Mostly, though, it was calm seas and water, water everywhere.  I didn't see any of the floating islands of plastic junk that mariners are reporting.  Princess were doing their part to limit the damage, by not issuing straws with drinks.

On the run into the Channel, our course came under one of the air corridors.  If you're in a hurry, you're up there.

That, though, is one of the mysteries of cruising.  Tablemates, in the course of making conversation, would ask about my flight from Chicago, given the crappy weather we'd been having.  Then I mentioned that I had already been in cruise mode, Chicago to Washington to Fort Lauderdale.  Invariably:  how long did that take?  (It's cruise mode: does it matter?)  If all goes well: leave Chicago on Thursday, Washington on Friday, and there's time for a margarita Saturday night prior to shipping out on the Sunday.  But if that Thursday connection goes awry ...

The fliers, however, had their stories of misrouted baggage being delivered to their hotel rooms at 1 am on the Sunday, or of connections by way of Chicago or other northeastern hub airports being disrupted, and I sure saw a lot of people scurrying aboard in the last hour before the gangway came in.  It's as if the sailing is a way to recombobulate from the joys of not-quite-instantaneous-or-dependable air travel.

After ten days at sea, it's time to take leave of Regal Princess, at Cherbourg.

High speed catamaran ferry Normandie Express (a bigger, faster version of our Lake Express) is making way for the Princess.

A few days before this adventure started, news reached Cold Spring Shops of job actions on the French railways.  Stay tuned.

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