I learned from Don, my bunkie, and fellow de-frocked Ph.D., that the ship was never referred to as the “M/S World Discoverer.,” which was the name painted in black across her white prow, and in white across her black stern. Unlike most ships, because of the seafaring lore of potential ill fortune, the ship had been named different things under different owners. The ship was built for Lindblad Cruises in 1978 and was the second purpose built expedition cruise ship ever in the world. Hence, the name “Lindy,” which was announced, for unknown reasons, to everyone who came aboard.
Don gave me the tour. Six decks in all, with a workout room, sauna and steam bath on the bilge deck, which was the very bottom of the vessel. The workout area was closed up and never used, but since our empty bags were stowed there, we checked the room out anyway. The rest of the bilge deck was used by the Filipino crew who did all the cleaning, cooking and all the other scut work required to run an adventure cruise ship. They even did dry cleaning. The last place we went was up to a small blue door. It was the only metal hatch-type door I had seen aboard, the rest were all stained wood. A red cross was painted on the outside.
“Here’s one of your other career locations,” Don advised, with eyes brightened, as he opened the hatch and ushered me inside. An old man sat on a stool, checking a list.