Day 1 Leave Home

Today, the Crystal Symphony is at sea from Darwin to Komodo Island, the Crystal Serenity is at sea from Hong Kong, to Halong Bay, Vietnam, and the Amsterdam is in Yap, Micronesia.

I set the alarm for 5 on a day much cooler than our warm weekend. The Airport Shuttle had been scheduled for 6:50, but they called and postponed until 7:25. My van arrived at 7:30, and despite some rush hour traffic pulled up at the Korean Air entrance to Dulles Airport about 8:45. Checkin went pretty quickly, and security lines were short but moved slowly as the staff checked things extremely closely. As a Business Class passenger I stopped at the Air France lounge, also used by Korean.

Business class on Korean Air really looks like a row of seats but they are roomy and extend out to a flat bed (I would think the middle seat would be awkward when extended, but that seat was vacant in my row). Little cubicles are nicer but this did ok.

On a cruise ship crossing the International Dateline involves either losing or repeating a day, but by air for me it was 2 short days. We left just past our scheduled time and headed North. Our route took us over Toronto, the junction of Ontario, Manitoba, and Hudson bay, and about 4 hours out we passed Churchill. We skirted Northern Northwest Territories and Yukon, and moved just off the Alaska shore.

I don’t really read a lot, and hardly ever have time for it on cruise ships. Most of my reading is done on airplanes. My book today was “Burning Cold”, the story of the 1980 fire and rescue of the original Prinsendam. We crossed the International Dateline about 8PM Eastern Time and 10AM Seoul time above the Bering Strait, and my Monday came to an end.

As today’s parting shot, I felt an eerie identification with burning cold. Much of their route was similar (in reverse) to the Pacific Crossing I did 10 months ago visiting Alaska and Vancouver. A passage talked of a passenger looking forward to a call in Bali, where I will embark the Symphony this time. Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.

Roy

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