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 The Caribbean is all about two things: beaches and jewellery.   If neither of those things rings your bell, then go to the Baltic.  Or Europe.  Wherever.  On the other hand, if you fancy beaches and\or jewellery, you can toss in fabulous weather and you’ve got yourself a doozy of a holiday.  (Just don’t go during the hurricane season.).

As the title suggests, I’ve been on another little cruise.  (Hence my rather extended absence from the MM site).  And, yes, it was to the Caribbean, which is no small distance for us Antipodeans to travel.  But I’m not complaining.  Yes I am– I was in transit for 48 bloody hours getting to St. Thomas to board the Legend for the two week cruise.

By now you are probably wondering where the name Groundhog comes in.   It all started a year ago when I visited a dear friend in Toronto.  Susan had been very ill, and the future was uncertain.  We made a pact that if she remained well enough, and her doctor gave consent, we would do a cruise together this year.  I should add here that we met two years ago on the Orion expedition cruise to Macquarie Island, in the Sub-Antarctic.  And that she is madder than a cut snake.  Given that we both are nuttier than squirrel poop, any trip involving the two of us is bound to be…fraught.  As it was.

So, what’s this about Groundhog Cruise?  I hear you ask.  Well, we had decided on when and where we wanted to go, and selected the perfect cruise.  As soon as the doctor gave the thumbs-up, Susan phoned to make her booking.  Well, the damn thing wasn’t available, was it? But the very accommodating agent said he could book us on two consecutive cruises departing a week later in the same region.  Goody, goody.  So she booked it, as did I a few hours later.    It was when I made my booking that I discovered that what we were doing was not a week cruising out from St. Thomas, then returning to St. Thomas on the following week’s cruise.  What we had booked were two identical cruises. . . A little sashay out amongst the islands and back to St. Thomas the first week, then the identical itinerary the second week.

“Never mind, Susan,” says I.  “If the ship were to drop anchor in the bay for the two weeks, we’d still have a ball.  And besides,” I added,  “halfway through the cruise, we’ll get a whole new load of passengers, so we can wear our clothes twice and tell our stories twice.”   How good is that!?

For the next three months it was referred to as Groundhog  Cruise.   Just imagine our delight as we were having a bushwhacker in the Coconut Bar in St Thomas on the middle Saturday–the day we disembarked from cruise 1 and re-embarked a few hours later for cruise 2–when on the telly came the news that on that very morning  Puxatawny Phil saw (or didn’t see) his shadow.    Yes, friends, IT WAS GROUNDHOG DAY.                 MM

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