We awoke this morning to the sound of sliding glass and realised that the ship was rolling a bit more than usual, it was our water tumblers sliding across the shelf and back again that made us realise that something just wasn’t quite right. Then came the announcement from the Captain, “We are sorry to inform you that there is a problem with one of our fins but we would like to assure you that in the meantime our engineers are working very hard and we expect that the problem will be resolved shortly. In the meantime please make sure that you keep one hand on the handrail as you move about the ship.” As we went to the stairway we noticed the crew tying sick bags at every convenient point. Not a good sign.
Actually we kind of enjoyed the roll, it wasn’t very much by some standards but it could have been dangerous for many of the passengers walking with the aid of sticks and crutches – and there are quite a few of them. We intended to do some laundry today, well it is the end of the first week and so freshening up the knicker drawer would be a good thing to do, but it wasn’t to be as all the laundries were full and even had people wandering from deck to deck trying to find one that wasn’t in use. So we abandoned that idea and continued upstairs for breakfast. The effect of the ship’s roll and the change in time zone meant that for us we were up very early and in fact we had completed our breakfast (outside this time) by 9.30am, mind you our breakfast was very small compared to some of the plates that we saw being carried around. Mine consisted of some muesli with extra raisins, walnuts, figs, prunes and apricots washed down with tea, while Hilary opted for just the fruit and orange juice – neither of us were tempted by the hot food or the croissants.
Then it was “take your positions by the pool and watch the world go by time,” and that was when I saw the yards of brown crepe walking by. Some of these dear old ladies really do need ironing badly; they sit in the sun all day long beside the pool, constantly turning as if they are chickens on a spit. Many of them are on their own, or if not their partner looks like a teak Buddha with huge pot belly and while the women drink wine the men down cans of Fosters.
My day was a very lazy one and I finished one novel and started another and did most of a crossword puzzle. Hilary was a lot more active for she went off in the morning to sign up for a clay model class that starts on Sunday and then to a demonstration about hair care. Later in the afternoon she was off again to the latest Spymaster lecture while I sat by the pool and watched a fashion parade (actually it was just an advertising thing to get people to buy tropical ware for the dinner and party tonight). Yes I forgot to tell you that today’s dress code is Casual/Tropical, and I plan to wear one of my Hawaiian shirts coupled with a silk lei. Around what would be lunchtime – if we allowed ourselves lunch that is – there was a poolside band playing and singing popular music followed by I’m an Officer Get me out of Here. That was just a bit of fun where some of the Officers undertook competitive tasks and the loser was pushed into the swimming pool. I actually did my bit in the pool today with a good few lengths on front and back, so what with the exercise and the reduction in food intake I hope to get rid of the flab.
We did go to the movies this afternoon to see a comedy called The Baker, a British film about a hit man trying to retire who ends up in a small Welsh village. Quite funny and passed away 90 minutes – well a bit less actually as the projectionist seemed to have a bit of trouble and I think that he fast forwarded through the first 15 minutes.
Hope that you enjoyed the pictures, when I looked at them later they didn’t turn out too badly and I will try and put some more up after our trip to St Maartens tomorrow. This is the end of my first part of the blog as I need to get changed into my fancy gear for the Tropical Evening; I expect that Hilary will add a bit when we get back from dinner.
Tiz I. The pool still had quite a swell going on with the missing stabilizers on the ship and the temperature was only 28c – it has to reach at least 30c before I get in there. Still, there is plenty to watch with the grannies parading past. With the ship rolling about so much I decided to miss the shower experience today and settled for a bowlful of water which was much easier to cope with.
The Tropical Dinner went well, with only one of the men not wearing a tropical shirt, I did wear a white silk lei and a shell necklace too but I was the exception among the men in the dining room. The meal had a tropical flavour too with shrimp for starters, red snapper for main course and Pina Colada coconut tart for dessert. Bill bought today’s wine, a white French which he warned us would be dry and he was correct, a bit too dry for my palate. The discussion got a little heated between Hilary and Alison when Hilary was talking about Derrick and Alfred and their time in India. Alison thought that the time of British colonization of India was a very bad thing for the Indians, who were demeaned as servants while we lorded it over them. Richard brought the conversation to a halt by stating that he knew many Indians who would be very happy if British rule was re-introduced. An interesting insight into how others think.
The evening’s entertainment was concluded by a visit to the theatre to see Colin “Fingers” Henderson, an old time cabaret entertainer specialising in highly skilled piano playing coupled with lots of groaning old jokes. He has obviously been doing the cruise line circuit for a long time and knew how to conduct a sing a long to close his routine. One thing that he did amazingly well was his impression of an Australian pianist i.e. playing the piano while standing on his head! And not slowly either, a full blooded fast recital of a modern piece of music; very clever.
While I remember now I forgot to give the names of our dinner companions on the photograph that I posted. From the left Alison, Richard, Keiko, Sam, an officer, Bill (Alison’s husband – they are Welsh) and Hilary.
Tomorrow morning we have a 4 hour tour of St Maarten and St Martin and in the afternoon we will probably do a bit of shopping in the main port. Goodnight and Godbless from our tropical waters which managed to reach a very comfortable 74F today.