Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Don's Blog GREENLAND XI Linblad-Nat.Geo. and Dan, my travel buddy

The Linblad-National Geographic Expedition to Greenland was exciting for me in many domains. In addition to the spectacular geography and the exceptional ship I had not been with such an exciting and focused  group of travelers. Amazing and refreshing to me was that people did not discuss their illnesses and failing bodies. Seldom were vocations discussed. The three main topics of daily discussion were where we are, where we have been, and where we are going next. This was fascinating to a newcomer to the Linblad experience. Although everyone was welcoming there were times that I felt that I was not quite a Member of the Club. As someone who has traveled extensively and participated in many Canadian Arctic Canoe Expeditions I found this feeling of sometimes being an outsider was interesting.

On the other hand I could not have had a better travel buddy than Dan West. I have known Dan and his family for over 30 years. He is a professional traveler - try over 40 trips to China. I was forever learning travel tips from Dan. Foremost however was his ability to get along with humor in all situations
and usually not quietly. Dan is a man of action - one evening after dinner as I walked by the men's room outside the dining room I saw water flooding out from under the door. I found a crew member who immediately called a plumber. Dan walked by a little later and saw the water now flooding the floor. He opened the door and pressed some button on the wall and the toilet stopped overflowing immediately. There is nothing like traveling with an engineer.

Always with a mischievous smile. His camera was always at the ready.

Below Dan is purchasing a sea urchin from two children after a tough bargain.

Hoping that the car is stuck.

On the trail in a field of buttercups. 

Above all Dan was interesting. Dan has been a Fire Fighter nut since college. Currently he has been elected to our 
local Fire Board. When we got to the capital city of Nuut, Dan disappeared. He walked 45 minutes to the Fire Station and made friends 
with the Assistant Chief. When it was time to leave Dan asked, "Do you have a shirt?" (Fire Nuts exchange shirts with other staff when 
they travel). The Assistant Chief said, " No but you can have this," and proceeded to take off his Fire Jacket complete with the Nuut Emblem,
and give it to Dan. Then he gave Dan a ride back to the dock in his official car. 

As a bonus when I got home Dan sent me a CERTIFICATE OF AWARD indicating that I was now a FULL MEMBER OF THE CLUB and that FULL PRIVILEGES ARE NOW AVAILABLE.

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