Today is Take A Cruise Day.
Cruise ships aren’t for everybody, but some of us really take to them.
Especially a woman named Clara MacBeth, who spent entire decades on cruise ships sailing around the world.
MacBeth was born in the 1870s.
Her father had made a fortune inventing dynamite detonators, and from time to time, the family would travel on cruise ships.
Clara MacBeth must’ve liked the experience, because after she inherited her parents’ money, she spent most of her adult life at sea.
In the first half of the 20th century, it wasn’t uncommon for wealthy people to take long cruises.
They could afford to travel in comfort and convenience.
But even the ones who traveled for a year or two at a time eventually went back to land.
Clara MacBeth, not so much.
She’d finish one trip and stay aboard for the next one.
In one month in 1969, she stayed on the famous cruise ship Queen Elizabeth 2 for four round trips across the ocean in a row.
Her record was one stretch on the ocean liner Caronia, which lasted from 1949 to 1963.
She not only had the same room on the ship for fourteen years, she had the same individual working as her steward the entire time.
While MacBeth did her share of traveling, she seemed to like the life on board even better.
Staff members said that toward the end of that long cruise, the ship made a stop in Australia.
At which point MacBeth told them, “I visited Australia in 1949. I don’t think I’ll bother getting off again.”
It cost $396 a day for MacBeth and a friend to essentially live on the ship.
So rather than spending millions and millions of dollars on fancy houses and cars, she spent millions and millions living the high life on the high seas.
The Guinness Book of World Records once named her the world’s quote “Most Indefatigable Cruise Passenger.”
And there were apparently no regrets: when Clara MacBeth passed away in 1970 at age 99, she left much of her remaining fortune to her financial advisor and to charity.
But she also set up a trust for the rest of her traveling companion’s life.
And it’s said she left some $20,000 to that steward who served her for that one decade and a half-long trip at sea.
Today in South Haven, Michigan, the first day of the Ice Breaker Festival.
They showcase several dozen massive ice sculptures, weighing 300 to 600 pounds apiece.
Or if you get too cold out there, there’s a chili cook off.
Sail away from the January blues (Evening Standard via Archive.org)
29th Annual Ice Breaker Festival
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