On the first couple of days, before I really adapted to the time out there, I got up fairly early to wander around the ship, especially out on the promonade decks. I discovered some cool little hidden corners of the ship that way, like this little promonade in the bow that you could only get to from the promonade above it and which had a sculpture that evoked an old fashioned ship’s wheel and binnacle.
On the second morning I was up on the deck at about 7:30 taking pictures as we came into Juneau. And I got to talking to another guy who was just up there enjoying the view. He had an Irish accent, but he said that he lived near Manchester. Well, I lived near Manchester back when I was working for GeoVision, subcontracted to Andersen Consulting. I told him that I’d spent 6 or 7 months working in Warrington and living near Manchester. He said that he lived in Altrincham. Oh, too freaky – while the first month I was there I lived in a hotel in Knutsford, the rest of the time I’d lived in Altrincham. He asked me if I lived in Bowden or (someplace else). I had to admit that I couldn’t remember any street or neighbourhood names, although Bowden sounded a bit familiar. By now I’m thinking that he probably thinks I’m making it all up just to be chummy. “Where did you drink?” Ah, finally a name I could remember – The Griffin. “I live 5 minutes walk from the Griffin!”. I remarked on how back then it seemed like all the young people were drinking bottled Budweiser instead of the quite good house bitter, and he agreed that this trend still continued, and that now the pub pretty much has two crowds, the young Bud drinkers early, and the older bitter and scotch drinkers later on. Sure enough, it appears from comparing notes that it’s quite likely that back in 1992, we might have been in the same pub at the same time, and now here in 2004 we’re on a cruise ship together. Now that’s just freaky.