Caribbean Cruise

An original by Bob Levi with comment by Howell Gwinn.

Several years ago, my wife and I sailed on a Windjammer Barefoot Cruise ship, the Polynesia. Based out of St. Martin, the Poly visits several Caribbean islands. The ship has an interesting history.

Originally named the Argus, this four mast schooner was built in 1938. She was one of the great Portuguese Grand Banks Fleet that fished for cod near Greenland. Cod fishing was quite hazardous since the fishermen worked alone in small, unsteady dories and handled single hook lines. Sometimes a fisherman was killed. Occasionally a fatal incident would occur when a fish jumped out of the water, hit the fisherman in the face and knock him overboard.

On that Windjammer cruise, I’d look out to sea over the Poly’s railing and think of those poor brave souls realizing that there, but for the graze of cod, go I.

Howell Gwin added:

And the man who ate nothing but fish on a cruise ship. When the other passengers became ill from badly cooked beef, he said “There but for the crates of cod go I.” However, one of the filets was so poorly cooked that he commented “This is the piece of cod which passeth all understanding.”

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