I bought a shirt a few years back that says “Home Is Where the Anchor Drops.” It seems so apt for my life, but I realized tonight as the sun set in Bar Harbor and we headed off to disbark in Boston tomorrow, that for me, home is also where the anchor pulls up.
My cabin is usually on the lowest passenger deck near the bow, so when the windlass starts cranking several hundred meters of chain and an anchor to boot, it makes quite a racket. Still, it is such a joyous sound. “Oh boy,” it says in my language, “what’s next?”
For almost every passenger on board, tonight involves the melancholy of packing and saying goodbyes to people who can get surprisingly dear in a short amount of time. It’s also been a day, I imagine, of savoring that last bit of lox or prosciutto and having that last lunch with free-flowing wine, or that last cocktail by the pool.
For me it’s different. I basically live in a floating hotel that takes me to a wonderful new adventure every morning. Getting off and being on land for a while seems less like home than this does now.
Ten days ago, the hall was lined with suitcases, and I enjoyed the great feeling of having the ship almost to myself for a few hours before the new guests began to arrive. This time, my bags are out too, and the new guests will never know I was there.
What’s next is a couple of days in Boston with friends, then about two weeks in San Diego before I am back on board a different but equally wonderful ship. No melancholy for me today. No reason for it. Just my face to the breeze and my hair blowing back, ready for tomorrow and the next day and the next, wherever the now quiet ship slipping through the Bay of Maine is leading me.