CNV00068These few pictures were taken over a series of half an hour or so. Yet they capture a mood, a moment and a feeling that will last forever. They are all that I can show of a moment that stood out like a skyscraper in the middle of a prairie; a towering, tremendous memory that actually came and went in what really amounted to no more than the blink of an eye.

It’s May in the Western Mediterranean, and the Silver Wind is one day out of Monte Carlo on a seven night run through to Barcelona. Winter has fallen away like some unwanted overcoat, and the early evening air is as warm as toast. The small terrace at the back of the Panorama Lounge looks out over the stern of the ship from the uppermost deck. Back then, it flaunted a neat set of beautifully polished steamer chairs, with blue cushions. These were so comfortable that they were a joy just to sink into; pun wholly intentional.

But look at these pictures, and what really comes across is the sense of sheer, undiluted peace. There is nobody else around and- this being Silversea- no blaring loudspeakers or over amplified bands. Just a slow, gentle swell as a sublime soundtrack, a gorgeous, slowly setting sun, and- to top it all- an absolutely perfect chocolate martini.

CNV00069CNV00070CNV00071CNV00072CNV00073My i-pod was whispering some random Michael Buble tunes into my head that really just heightened the pleasure to stratospheric levels. It’s such a simple, uncluttered scene- railings, sea and sky. The ocean is amazing; there’s hardly even a blemish to be seen out there at all. It’s as flawless as a Da Vinci painting and, in its own, sublime way, it is just as unforgettable.

These really are the moments that you cannot hang a price tag on; a mood and a feeling so precious that you want it to last forever. Everything around you feels more vital and alive. The play of the light is bewitching; no wonder so many artists came to paint in this part of the world, at this time of the year. You want to scoop it up and keep it, like a butterfly preserved under plate glass. Yet you hardly dare to breathe; partly for fear of shattering the moment, and just as much out of a sense of sheer awe and wonder.

Only a ship at sea can paint in the broad brush strokes for such a stunning visual tour de force. A benign and compliant Mother Nature did the rest. All I did was sit there and soak it up as if it were stardust. Wonderful stuff.


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