I'm not what you would call a water enthusiast.

Oh sure, I enjoy swimming as much as the next person or even lounging on a scenic beach taking in the, ahem, scenery, but anything beyond that I don't want to know about.

Especially watercraft of any type.

No matter how many times people have regaled me with tales of the pleasures of boating, I can't see it. Boats, in my opinion, are more high maintenance than a supermodel on a 5th Avenue shopping spree, and after each excursion, I always manage to return to terra firma with a facial palate approximating green.

So naturally, my wife booked our family vacation on a cruise.

Not just any cruise mind you, but aboard a 4,000-passenger behemoth that probably doubles as Chicago when it's in port.

But since I'll be out of New York during the much-ballyhooed Republican National Convention I've decided to go along with this seafaring odyssey.

We didn't plan it that way, but I'll just as soon not have to put up with pedestrian logjams and increased security measures, not to mention having some protesting dolt scream at me through a megaphone.

The last person who did that to me, when the Democratic National Convention was in the Big Apple, should be about done with his orthodontic treatments.

But since we're being honest, another reason I'm ecstatic to be getting out of Dodge is that I don't want to hear another go-round about the effect of the Bush tax cuts or what exactly defines the middle class in this country.

Personally, I don't care who's "reporting for duty" because neither of the potential occupants of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue has a clue of how to run anything, let alone this country.

Bush's resume of business implosions until the Texas Rangers is well documented, while Kerry appears to have to ask his wife's permission if it's okay to laugh on occasion, never mind attempting to set policy.

The 2004 race for the White House promises to be a dogfight and since you literally have two canine-quality candidates, it's probably apropos.

Dubya couldn't distinguish supply side from port side, while some trusted advisor needs to inform Kerry that the nation would be more confident in his abilities if his message focused on his two decades in politics instead of a few months in Southeast Asia and some shrapnel in his posterior.

When the convention ends and New York begins to return to normalcy I'll bet there will be people other than me reaching for the Dramamine.

But I've resigned myself that matter how good a time I have on this floating city, I'm still not seeing "Open Water."

There are some things I will not do.

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