A cruise experience is the sum of its parts. I look back on my summer cruise mainly as a pleasant one, but there were many different situations that made up the whole. An illustrative example of how parts make up the whole may be taken from the workings of the eye: receptors at the back of our eyes send rapid impulses to our brain, and these signals are interpreted as total images. In like manner, our experiences of situations are linked together as a continuum to form in our mind a general understanding of them as a whole.
In light of the above, I cannot single out an experience that typifies the whole, but must consider the totality of the general experience. Therefore I cannot say that my pleasure was derived from seeing sailing vessels alone. In truth, I must admit to taking pleasure in seeing motor vessels. In fact, I was awed with the speed and power of some of them. One vessel that comes to mind is the Customs launch that travelled at a rate of knots whilst heading towards the Needles Channel. She could easily have been moving at 20 knots or more. Then there was a Frigate on exercise off Portsmouth that moved as fast, despite her much larger bulk. Neither of these craft was as impressive as the ‘Balmoral’ cruise ship that I admired early one quiet morning in Dover Harbour. I was amazed with her less demonstrative power as she slowly and purposely revolved within her own length before gently settling alongside the berthing quay, without ruffling the water.
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