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High Seas

September 1, 2013

I was reminded of the expression today when I read that David Frost died yesterday, having suffered a heart attack while on a voyage (as a guest speaker) on Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth; that is, while on the high seas.

As an aside, I wasn’t terribly surprised to learn that Frost was aboard the QE as a guest speaker. It’s been about five years since our last voyage but Laura and I made four or five trans-Atlantic crossings on Cunard’s QM2, which had (and still has) a similar guest lecturer program. My strongest memory was of British crime novelist P.D. James’ talk (wouldn’t you know!) on one of those crossings.

In any case, it had the effect of pushing me to think about when to publish the latest Carina Quintana Mystery, DEAD ON A RIVAL, the first section of which takes place on the high seas, in this instance on a cruise ship plying the western Caribbean for a week out of the Port of Miami. During the cruise, a handsome, wealthy Brazilian businessman goes overboard after having dinner with the alluring former fashion model Davie Parx, who he had met the previous day. His unfortunate death is initially thought to have been a suicide or accident but little is what it initially appears to be. In the interest of not having to provide more than a very low level spoiler alert, suffice it to say that Carina, who is enjoying a shipboard vacation with Alice (of WHITE TIE & TALES), is discovered to be the Miami Beach police chief and is asked to become involved in the mystery.  The rest, he said modestly, is most entertaining.

Then all this high seas talk got me thinking about the real subject of this post, which is the amazing number of strangers that Laura and I have met and spent all or a portion of an evening chatting with over the past few years at our favorite local South Beach restaurant, AltaMare–and more importantly, how we’ve struck up a few new friendships in the process.

{With some small apologies to native Italian speakers who might pick up on a peccadillo (or a bit of playfulness) with the nomenclature, AltaMare means High Seas in Italian but really should be Alto Mare, as I understand it.}

In any case, most recently we had our first scheduled dinner (at AltaMare of course!) with one of a pair of ophthalmologists, one from NYC and the other from DC, that we’ve wound up sitting next to at the restaurant several times over the past couple of years. Both have second homes in the area, are years-long friends and are delightful people, together or separately. And we’ve shared two dinners (at The Dutch and Hy-Vong) with a lovely couple we met in the Spring at…drum roll, please…AltaMare.

We also met our Canadian friends–sadly, gone for the summer, but a trip to visit them last month was the subject of my previous post–while dining at Altamare.  In fact, I can only think of one couple, dear friends now for several years, that we met while dining out but NOT at AltaMare!  It was at Prime 112 instead, years before AltaMare (the current iteration, at least) existed. These days, however, we dine with them regularly at Altamare, which has become one of their faves, as well. We also continue to meet and chat with new and interesting people there–the latest last night.  Our personal voyage on the high seas has been even further complemented by having become friends with the owner, Claudio, and his beautiful wife, Kathy. (Yes, Claudio is Italian, so it’s OK that he played with the wording of the name!)

Perhaps all these good people have been drawn to AltaMare because the food is consistently excellent, or because it’s friendly and well-run, or because it feels so right, or because of the decor, which includes photographs by one Laura Benson!

Whatever it is, there’s clearly something about the high seas!








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One Comment
  1. Robert permalink

    Gr8 post! 🙂

    Robert Gittess

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