“Yo ho, a pirate’s life for us” in the dead of winter

We just returned refreshed from a 10-day cruise in the Caribbean. We appreciated the warm weather (in the mid-80s) and sightseeing. Our cabin had a veranda, and we spent much of our time there, looking out at the ocean.

The trip was a reunion of sorts because the ship departed from Fort Lauderdale, where I landed my first newspaper job after graduating from Northwestern University (with a master’s in journalism) in 1982.

I covered Eastern Airlines under its chairman and ex-astronaut Frank Borman at The Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel. It was a turbulent era for Eastern and other airlines, thanks to deregulation. Eastern’s higher labor costs put it at a disadvantage compared with other carriers. My stories also were published in The Chicago Tribune (the Sun-Sentinel’s parent) as well as The New York Times (which hired me as a freelancer for some coverage of Eastern on the brink of bankruptcy).

It was a great place to begin a journalism career. Fort Lauderdale is a consummate beach town, first made famous by the movie “Where the Boys Are” starring Connie Francis in 1960. I rented a little beach bungalow for a song and had a short commute to work (in a Toyota Tercel with no air conditioning).

I met some lifelong friends and enjoyed sailing a Sunfish and swimming in the ocean (after work, no less) and eating lots of fresh seafood and enjoying an occasional Red Stripe beer.

On our latest trip, we were relieved to see the sun shining when we returned home after departing in a snow storm. And we can still eat fresh seafood from a favorite local purveyor, Little Fish Company.

Have a great week!

(Credit: Holland America)

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for 12 years, and he was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News for eight years, among other positions. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing, swimming, and trout fishing in the Sierra.

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