May 21st

Today I awoke to a very nice harbor view and ventured down to the hotel lounge for breakfast. I can tell you that the Marriot Courtyard over here is an entirely different experience than back home. The hotel is first class. Big room, great service, wonderful lounge with free breakfast and drinks all day.

However, with the delay of the boat for a day, I need to change hotels and find a cheaper place to stay. The weekend rates are over here now and the rate is increasing 50%, the business man gouge is in full play.

I spent the morning scouting area hotels and calculating my trip over the border. I have a large bag that is heavy so ease of movement on trains, subways and taxis plays an important role in the decision.

Rather than stay on the island and try to navigate the move from there, I found a decent hotel in You Ma Tai for about $75 a night and it is steps from the subway. Tomorrow afternoon I need to take a subway, transfer to a train, do the border crossing and then take a 20 mile cab ride to the harbor so shortening the trip a bit seemed like the right thing to do.

I walked a bit and thought about the trip.

This is one of those trips that most people just don’t understand. I mean why would you take 20 days out of your busy life to sit on a container ship? No entertainment, no excursions, no real way to pass the time other than read, write, sit and take in the sea. This is no cruise ship. The cost is actually not even reasonable. At $90 a day I could have flown over, stayed a week in a four star hotel and flown back for less money. However, this is not about money. This is about fulfilling a desire I have held for many, many years.

I have always been one to take the road less travelled. I like backroads, I like the two laners. I like seeing things that are not easily seen. I have always been this way and as I get older my taste for more distant sights is increasing. I have had it with the cities. I have become somewhat of a castaway up in the mountains and I really enjoy it.

My family is fully aware of this back road approach, I put them through it enough times with trailer trips and vacation outings that were always a bit off the beaten path. This one is for me. My family is also familiar with my fishing trips over the last 30 years, 5 days, 8 days, 10 days, 16 days. I don’t think they ever really understood those either but they did appreciate that I always returned refreshed, renewed, vitalized and somewhat recharged. I can only hope this trip returns the same benefits, for I need them more than I probably ever have right now.

Tonight I will sleep. A lot. I will anticipate walking the gangway up to the ship in the small hours of the morning in the dark. I know that place and I like it. I will become excited and place the negativity behind me, if I can.

Tomorrow it becomes a “no turning back” moment.

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