Tarmac ribbons criss-crossing the landscape, dusty back roads twisting between the cool shadows of ancient pines, and less traveled pathways connecting present to past, all I wander, seeking, seeing, with my keyboard and camera capturing scenes and stories to share with you.

Now in its seventh year, this venue has become an important part of my life, a place where I can express my thoughts and feelings about the things I see and do, hoping the process brings me a bit closer to friends and family who enjoy sharing my sometimes chaotic and often nonlinear observations and ideas. A journal, I suppose, but one with which I find pleasure in thinking others are alongside me on my journey.

Comments, thoughts, or just a friendly chat, use the response box below or email me at patrickgroleau@gmail.com.

November 18, 2019

[CUE THE MUSIC] IN THE BERMUDA TRIANGLE

          
... there's a good chance this'll be my final shipboard entry ... even in the middle of the night the internet is excruciatingly slow, probably the result of work being performed by some of the many "repositioning crossing" maintenance crew members that joined us in spain ... so, at least for this hour on the calm surface of a darkened sea, here's a potpouri of photos from this wonderful experience ...

... in cadez, i believe, along what quickly became one of my all-time favorite streets ...
     
    
... as i walked through the town square i noticed a cart-guy and man-with-new-shoes in what appeared to be a most serious discussion ... right, probably about you-know-who—but in spanish ...
    
    
... while i was taking a little break on a bench in the azores i noticed this guy ... when we were kids, knowing we'd grow up to be smokers, this is how i practiced holding my candy lucky strike cigarettes ... sophisticatedly nonchalant, but never straying beyond the bounds of manliness ... thank goodness the world has moved on at least a tiny bit from that nonsense, but i still appreciate a good stance ...
    
    
... a church in the azores ... for the technical minded, 40 exposures hdr stacked, merged, color and contrast corrected, and finally, several painstaking hours, restored to geometric almost-perfection ... oh, right, did i mention the tourist wearing a flowered shirt standing dead center in the aisle—???—poof, gone (okay, amount of time it took there should be forty-fifty "o's" in that wood)...
       
    
... same church, different perspective ...
     
    
... the little lighthouse outside my window ...
    
    
... charming and charming, especially the random below-decks worker—i think he wanted his picture taking and was hiding behind the door waiting for me to walk down the corridor to my room so his friendly expression could join the rest of the crew's smiles ...
    
    
... a random guy, from the great city of ottawa, as i recall—or maybe it was oklahoma ... what counts is that no matter where he's from the shirt's cool ...
      
    
... in the next-to-poshest restaurant ...
    
    
... a moment in casablanca ...

    
... they're from england and he is named "william," or—well, they were very nice ...
    
    
... two of the ships parked near us in the azores ... the steamship is actually much, much older than the sailing vessel ...
    
    
... the "phillipine night" show ... we used to do this when we lived in guam ... my sister, sue, was wicked good at it, i usually ended up with bruised ankles ...

    
... it's quite obvious the crew is getting used to me ...


... especially dori ... when she meets passengers from past cruises she always seems to remember their names ... cool ...
    

... most of the passengers are already below decks playing cards, building puzzles, fiddling with their hand-held devices, or noddding off ...
    
    
... leaving the azores ...
   
    
... as we left italy on the second part of our wanderabout i couldn't help but think about the many ships that had navigated along these shores, perhaps even one upon which a young cabin boy looked out to the horizon and dreamed of one day becoming l. cincio ocanum maria ...
    

... soon i will be home, which is nice since i miss liz and adrien and my family and friends ... i know, however, that i am going to miss the nice people from all over the world who have been taking such wonderful care of my brother and me ... i believe this to be one of the most important parts of wanderabouting ...

November 12, 2019

FOR THE CREW OF THE ROTTERDAM!

... this journal entry is special for the crew of the m.s. rotterdam ...

... i have set up a public folder with web-use quality files of the pictures from the voyage each of you has worked so hard to make a wonderful experience for my brother and me ... you can access this folder by clicking on (it will open in a new browser window or tab:


... the actual url to the folder is:


... i tried the links and they worked just fine ... look for a menu that allows you to select "direct download," that'll give you the original web-quality file ...

... i take pictures for people to enjoy, so it would please me greatly if you would share with your friends and family these links:



... when i return home and have access to high-speed internet i will post a link on this journal to a new folder containing all the print-quality files of these pictures for you to download ... i imagine that will be around the end of november sometime ... if you would like to be notified when i've posted these, simply send your email address to me in the little note box on the right side of this journal page, or, if you prefer, you can do so by sending an email to me at:


... finally, as i have previously stated, these images are for you to enjoy ... you may use them as you like ... my only request is that you leave my initials intact on the images, and, should it happen that you use an image for commercial purposes, please credit me ...

... there you go ... !!! ... any questions, i'm in 2521, or, if i'm not, then for the rest of the voyage most likely i'll be either in the lido cafe or stern deck hot tub ...

... now, a few of my recent photographs ...

... first, i'll take care of the super-super-serious pictures ...
    
  

... there, now that that's out of the way, i'll take care of all the really-really sad people onboard ...
    
     

... hmmmmm, okay, not so sad—let me try again ...

    
 

... right, but if there are no sad people in this crew, for sure there's at least one very "i'm a wild and crazy guy" on board ...

    

... while everyone goes ashore to buy trinkets and eat—as if anyone needs to do that after spending time in the lido cafe—some of the crew get right to work fixin' things up ... while one brave worker hangs precariously by a rope to wash the rotterdam, another is making a phone call, "hey, pa, you are right ... soon as these guys started washing the ship the rain clouds headed towards us" ...
     

... "hey, i've got an idea ... let's make a surprise and paint it bright orange ... that's their favorite color so i'm sure they will like it" ...
     

... speaking of "favorite things," i'm going to have a most difficult time going back to the hum-drum of a life in which i cannot pick up the phone, dial 92, and two glasses of ice tea will magically appear ... [big sigh] ... hopefully i'll remember how to boil water ...
     

... another performance of the fabulous indonesian show ...
     
   
... i wonder if he sits in his cabin practicing, "ladies and gentlemen, a little word about today's activities—they've been canceled ... we seem to have ever-so-gently scraped against a tiny little iceberg and the captain informs us that this would be a good time for a really fun lifeboat drill ... how exciting ... don't forget to bring your eyeglasses so you can read a book while we continue the voyage in the comfort of our marvelous orange mini-cruisers" ... (just joking, he's got an all-time great announcer's voice) ...
     

... so graceful ...
     

... i think the captain should hire them to give lessons ...
     

... so graceful—well, maybe not as good as the ladies, but he sure loves to dance around while he's singin' ...
     

... some serious co-ordination ...
     

... they move so fast, i wonder if any of them ever get a thumb in their eye ...
     

... good thing the children go to bed before the show, 'cause if they watched him they'd be sure to have nightmares ...
     

... the talented "shake the sticks and make music" band ...

     

... more smiles ...
     

... "we're cool, we're cool" ...
     

... i might nominate these two for "most charming smiles" ...
     

... she makes my meals about more'n just food ...
     

... two of the "welcome aboard" people ...
     

... i think one of these guys is the skipper—which would make the other one gilligan  ...
     

... she said, "there's only one way you can make these two look good" ...
     

... their motto is "service with a smile" ...
     

... hmmmmm, serious work or—or angry birds ... ??? ...
     

... i think he wanted to hitch a ride—to get to my little home on the sea it's a long, long walk down that passageway ...
     

... "okay, you got me—but i'm a guy that needs a challenge, so it's not that silly bird game, it's a classic ... snood ..."
     

... i'm learning their names, honest, but i've got to start carrying a little notebook to write them down so i can study for the exam ...
     

... "do you want your salad tossed" ...
     

... just before lunch, what seemed to be an intense "get it right" conference ...
     

... in the middle of the sea, a little stowaway—or, perhaps, just another steerage passenger ...
     

... more pictures to come, for now i'll part with a look at the last land we'll be seeing for—well, we're going to sail right through the middle of the bermuda triangle, so let's just hope it's only a week before we get to florida (i saw that movie) ...
     

... "g'night from europe, next stop north america" ...




... p.s. didn't see your picture ... ??? ... don't worry, we've still a week of sailing ... also, don't be shy, ask and i'll snap a photo of you ... !!! ...