The sun rose at 6:10 a.m. The sky was a pale blue with large cumulous clouds. The wind speed was gentle at 6 knots off the port side and coming from a northerly direction. The seas were gentle during breakfast as we all settled into the last day of our glorious adventure. We set sails by 8:30 a.m. and were moving along at about 1.6 knots by 10:00 a.m. The captain decided that all the black lines needed to be changed. The crews went aloft and began the complex task of exchanging lines. Massive skeins of ropes were coiled on deck and slowly hoisted up eighteen stories into place. Sea Cloud requires daily maintenance, including polishing, painting, varnishing, and a host of other tasks, many that we do not see. She has been sailing since 1931, and everyone expects her to celebrate her 100th birthday as beautiful as the day she was launched. We were treated to bridge tours beginning at 11:30 a.m. and learned that the old, polished brass instruments from 1931 still work. Of course, Sea Cloud now relies on high-tech electronics, but it is nice to know that the old instruments still work.
We enjoyed the famous pasta wheel luncheon. The pasta wheel is a 50-kilo wheel of Reggiano Parmigiano whose center has been gradually scooped out from use. Hot pasta is dropped into the center of the wheel of cheese; the chef then swirls around the pasta which gathers cheese. Guests can dress the pasta with red Bolognese or olive oil and basil sauces. Many of us went back for seconds!
Tonight, Captain Komakin greeted us and toasted us on our wonderful trip, and we sat down to our celebratory Captain’s Farwell Dinner. We had perfect weather for the entire voyage. The sun was with us daily, and it was not hot. I’m tempted to say the weather was like Goldilocks’ porridge: “just right.” Tonight, we watched a presentation of photos that photographers Myriam and Massimo gathered from all of us to produce a fun, photographic review of our trip. There were many “oohs” and “ahs” as memories of the past events returned and occasional bursts of laughter.
We slept the sleep of the just and looked forward to meeting again on Sea Cloud.