The Day We Broke Malabrigo (Part 1)

Imagine your dream field trip. I bet it would include new friends, an exotic location, delicious food and, naturally, Yarn. That's my dream field trip, too. 

So you can predict my delight and excitement over the first shore excursion of our trip to South America: An outing to the Malabrigo factory in Montevideo, Uruguay. We would be taking a guided tour to the factory, where we would see the yarn-making operation, meet the string-makers, themselves, and best of all, SHOP FOR YARN.

The closer we came to the day of the trip, the greater our fever pitch to go became. We made lists of what we wanted to buy. Someone made a spreadsheet with all the yarns and colors Malabrigo offers. We tried to measure the available space in our suitcases. One of us actually jettisoned a pair of shoes in anticipation of her yarn haul.

We sailed all night, scheduled to dock in Uruguay in the morning, where we would disembark in pursuit of wooly plunder. While we slept, we crossed three different time zones, one of which included an hour's time change, and left contact with any satellites which might have informed my iphone of the local time. Of which I was blissfully unaware.

Until, that is, I woke with the dawn, groggy and disoriented. Still a little jet-lagged, and with no time-telling device available, I began to panic that I was late to meet my group. I threw on my clothes and went tearing nearly the entire length of the ship to the appointed meeting place, terrified that I had missed my chance for the field trip of a lifetime. More anxious with every step, I broke into a dead run from the elevator to the lounge where we were to meet. Breathless and frought, I arrived at the appointed area to find it completely empty.

No knitters anywhere. No staff, even, with whom to check the time. I sank down on a luxurious banquette, desolate. How could I have been so foolish as to rely exclusively on my phone for the time? A simple wristwatch could have saved me from missing the outing of a dream, but I had come too late, with no one but myself to blame.

I looked out the window as the sun broke over the horizon, igniting the sea into sparks of gold.

  I sadly snapped this picture of the sunrise, thinking I would use it as a reminder to buy a watch.

I sadly snapped this picture of the sunrise, thinking I would use it as a reminder to buy a watch.

The SEA.

I looked again, unable to believe my eyes: There was no land anywhere in sight. The ship was still under way. Not yet anywhere near port. Not only had I not missed my group, they were all most likely still in bed, being nowhere near land yet.

Further exploration of the lounge revealed a big monitor with a map, an icon representing the Zandaam, a weather forecast, and wonder of wonders, the local time. In my terror of being late to the meeting point and missing the big adventure, my jetlagged and addled sleeping brain had actually jerked itself into action a full FOUR HOURS early.

The entire ship was still asleep, hence the complete lack of staff (DUH).

I went back to my cabin, where my newly-cleared head allowed me to operate the TV, which (DUH) also displayed the time. Then I surprised myself by realizing that there was also a phone by the bed, cunningly marked with the digits to schedule a wake up call. Which I did. And went back to sleep, dreaming of yarn to come.