It’s hard to believe that this is only day 2 of the cruise — we have been underway since about 5 pm on Sunday, with only a half-hour pause at the Bahamas in a vain attempt to see whether we could make our scheduled stop at Half Moon Cay (answer: no). So right now we’ve been at sea for something over 50 hours straight (and at reduced speeds, since we skipped an 8-hour layover in the Bahamas); tomorrow will be our first actual (and second scheduled) landing, at Ocho Rios in Jamaica. On the other hand, we did cruise within about 8 miles of Cuba (really), so that was some excitement today.
The sessions today were all excellent, if usually a bit depressing. On the other hand, I’m currently upstairs in the Crow’s Nest (I keep wanting to call it “10 Forward”, though “11 Forward” would be more precise) for the usual late night gathering, and my notes and schedule are downstairs. I will revise and extend my notes in this post later, when I have access to them.
[Place saver for notes from today's sessions.]
Also, I feel horribly underdressed right now; tonight was one of the two formal nights at dinner, and all the other men here are in dark suits or tuxedos, with the women in various formal dresses and pants suits. I appear to be the only person here who went back to his/her cabin and changed clothes before coming up here. At least I wore a dress shirt and real shoes with my jeans, instead of the polo shirt and sandals I originally had on.
Speaking of dinner, that was in fact the hightlight of the day. The NR Cruise is set up so that you sit at dinner with a different group of other cruise attendees each night; three of the seven nights, your dinner table includes one of the NR Cruise speakers. Tonight was the first ‘speaker’ dinner for Sandra and me, and Scott Rasmussen (yes, that Scott Rasmussen) was the guest at the table. We’re actually friends with some of the other NR speakers, so we know that it can be a touch challenging for them to be lively, witty, etc., every night for a different group of people. But Scott, who was there with his wife Laura, was friendly, engaging, interesting, and informative. As noted, he spoke on a panel yesterday, and at dinner we continued to discuss the challenges he raised that the Republican Party faces going forward. We also talked about him helping his father co-found ESPN, how he subsequently got into polling, and some of his thoughts on the future direction of polling. Oh, and on top of the intensity of this election year in his polling business, he and Laura live near the coast in New Jersey and lost power for six days due to Sandy (though they were spared any damage).
Well, sitting here, underdressed, with an iPad and keyboard balanced on my lap does not appear to be the right context to socialize and mingle (though Jim Geraghty was gracious enough to stop and say hi). Plus we have a 7:30 river tubing trip in the morning in Jamaica. I will go shake a few hands and head to bed. ..bruce w..