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Around the World in 80 Days

Day 74: 7 December

Michael Palin - Around the World in 80 DaysTalk to Christian, the second officer, up on the bridge this afternoon, alone amongst computers and VDU screens. It occurs to me that apart from the dhow, in all this journey I have hardly ever seen a ship steered by a human being, except when going into port.

Christian shrugs and looks gloomy. Even on a successful and expanding line like this one, the future is not good for seamen. He is from the Faroe Islands, of which I know nothing apart from their frequent starring roles in weather forecasts. I certainly didn't know that they have their own Parliament, flag and language, and have never been members of NATO or the EEC. They're remote but not cold, lying in the path of the Gulf Stream. Shotguns are allowed on the island, pistols and rifles are not.

Tonight, Danish cold table with beer and Aquavit. Try two or three of the latter for my cold. No obvious relief but recurring dream of my grown-up boys as five-year-olds riding Shetland ponies. Faroes . . . Shetland?
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Around the World in 80 Days
  • Day: 74
  • Date: 7 December
  • Country/sea: Atlantic Ocean
  • Place: Atlantic Ocean
  • Book page no: 241

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