Anyone who has known me long enough to be with me on a bridge knows that I am not a fan of water. The way most people would describe my feelings toward water include the words “phobia” or “paranoia.” I beg to differ, as I tend to reserve those words for my feelings towards bees and wasps.

It is true that I do not like swimming. I have failed beginner swim lessons more times than I care to remember. It is also true that I do not like aquariums, especially those tunnels in which fish swim above my head. I do not even like bridges which have holes in the floor and I can see the water under me. Admittedly, now that I write it out, those characteristics all reek of phobia.

In spite of all that, I love boats. My dream is to take a transatlantic cruise, or even an around-the-world cruise. David and I contemplated taking a cargo ship to Scotland, but the price was twice what it was to fly, and I thought flying was too expensive. Even waiting for last minute deals on cruise ships proved to be only beneficial for people sailing in October.

Perhaps it sounds crazy — even crazier than merely being scared of drowning. But, for some reason, boats are not included in this phobia.

Because I do not get the opportunity to travel by boat very often, when I have the chance, I travel by ferry. This morning, we said good-bye to beautiful Aberdeenshire, and boarded the ferry for the northern isles of Orkney. It is a six hour journey up the coast of Scotland. The ferry is huge, having cabins for the longer journey to Shetland. Several restaurants and lounges occupy the same level as us. We are confined to level six, as level five is only cabins. Below that, I am assuming, are the automobiles and luggage and such.

The lobby where we entered is all wood panelling and glass chandeliers. I imagine we are travelling in the twenties, in the heyday of the transatlantic passage. I expect to run into Bertie Wooster anytime I turn the corner. But, as this is a ferry, not a grand Transatlantic Adventure, I suppose I won’t run into Wooster, Jeeves, or even Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie.

We are out to sea now, the coast just visible to our west. The gentle roll is enough to put me to sleep, except I am in a chair, and am too excited to sleep anyway. There is enough to do just watching out the window.