Well, I'm back. It was wonderful. Luxurious, blissful isolation. I'd highly recommend it.
Highlights: A pod of minke whales breaching alongside us, a coast guard helicopter landing on the top deck to do a Tom-Clancy-style medical evacuation, and sailing into a fogged-in New York Harbour, where we were passed by the Staten Island Ferry, and some guy yelled to us for a good three minutes "WELCOME TO NEW YORK, EVERYBODY!".
Plus, a couple of days in London beforehand, and a couple of days in New York after -- it feels like three separate vactions. I feel like I've been away for six months. Fantastic.
As well, I've never slept better. The extra hour of sleep each night, the fresh air, the white noise of the ocean, the gentle rocking, the decadent high-thread count sheets -- wow. Even better than sleeping in the woods. I slept like a baby rocked in a cradle. A super-deluxe cradle.
The one disappointment was stargazing. Cloud cover every night except one. And on that one night, the lights of the ship itself blocked everything outregardless. I see more stars camping than I did in the middle of the ocean. Oh well. And not a disappointment because I expected it -- Mom trying to set me up with and prod me towards any young woman who happened to be on the Boat, including one I thought was quite cute, but I'm with my mother, and she's with her mother, and both mothers are standing right there, and how the hell am I to get any work done in those conditions? Good grief. Aah, I was too old for her, anyway, and unwanted advances are bad enough, but even worse in a ship's confinement. My doing nothing was for the best.
Speaking of confinement, at the meetup in London, we all came up with a plan to do a murder mystery on the Boat (with actual murder, of course). "The murderer is in this very room!" sort of thing. It would have been splendid!
Now back to work, and trying to burn off the weight I've put on (not much, but some).