Every once in awhile it is useful, as the management gurus say, to "think outside the box." So this column is about thinking inside the bag -- specifically, that wonder of modern technology, the One Zip Slider Bag manufactured by Hefty. If you wonder how that topic can possibly be related to cruising, read on. And bear in mind that I don't own any Hefty stock, so this is a totally unbiased testimonial.
For centuries, people have been cruising; and for the same length of time they have been trying to efficiently store all the stuff it takes to pleasantly voyage upon the high seas. Take Ferdinand Magellan, for example, perhaps the most famous cruiser of them all. In 1519 he set sail with five ships, ultimately becoming the first person to circumnavigate the globe, before being killed by natives during a shore excursion in the Philippines gone awry (and you think you had a bad time in San Juan!). Magellan and crew stored their necessary stuff in hogsheads. But before you get all concerned about the senseless slaughter of pigs, and about their body parts being used to store food items (yuck!), you should know that a hogshead is a barrel or cask that holds somewhere between 63 to 140 gallons of stuff. I'm not making this up. Check the dictionary. Among other things, the imprecision of this particular form of storage made it hard to figure out just how much stuff to bring. Modern female cruisers have similar storage devices. They call them suitcases.
But I want to introduce you to a new, inexpensive concept in managing all the stuff you bring along on a cruise: the aforementioned One Zip Slider Bag, available in two styles [general storage and freezer], and two sizes [quart and gallon]. I've thought of literally hundreds of uses for this modern miracle, though I'm only going to torture you with the few you may find interesting (and yes, the winters really are long in Vermont):
Those are just a few of the hundreds of uses for these modern day hogsheads. If Magellan had a few of these, he might never have gone ashore in the Philippines looking for extra stuff, and Mrs. Magellan wouldn't have experienced that terrible visit from the cruise line representative: "Ma'am, the good news is that your husband, Ferdinand, is eligible for a refund for that shore excursion he took in Manila . . ."
Brent Betit is a freelance writer who lives in Vermont with his wife and two young children.
Brent has written many SeaLetter columns on such subjects as sea-going language, cruising with kids and cruise etiquette. To find all of Brent's SeaLetter columns and cruise reviews, use the SeaLetter Search Engine entering "Brent Betit" as your search phrase.
Brent is always interested in your comments and suggestions and may be reached at: Brent@sealetter.com.
If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please