My wife doesn’t “do” normal vacation stuff. She likes adventure. The last cruise we went on was some 18 years ago. When she mentioned we’d be sailing from Jamaica to Key West, I asked her what our stateroom would be like. She said, “Eight people in bunks in a single room, with the kitchen at one end and the bathroom at the other”.  And she wasn’t kidding. The “cruise” was a celestial navigation course aboard a 90 ft. steel-hulled schooner! We served as students and crew, surviving boarding by a US naval destroyer looking for drug smugglers and a massive storm where, because we had the tallest mast, we were asked to stay on the ocean an extra day to serve as radio relay for boats in distress. We participated in two rescues.

She’s gotten older, and somewhat wiser, so these days the adventure vacations are a little more sedate. This Friday we leave for a one-week boat cruise down the St. Lawrence river to the Iles de la Madelaine in the Gulf. There we will do a three-day bike tour before returning up-river on the boat through the Saguenay. I asked her what our stateroom would look like. “Two bunks in a room the size of a prison cell” was her answer. She’s not kidding.

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