Thursday, 22 January 2009

Day Fourteen: Dolphins Ahoy

Actually before we get onto the subject of dolphins I would just like to relate a couple of anecdotes from yesterday evening. We were on time for dinner and as we approached the Peninsula Lounge there in front of us were Bill and Alison and when we spoke to them they both seemed a little strange, not off but just strangely different. They went on to say that they had been to a luncheon where canap├ęs and wine were served and it was then pretty obvious that they had partaken a little too much of the French white. This was confirmed when we arrived at our table to find that Richard was in a similar state and he asked if we would all mind if we didn’t have wine with dinner as he had himself over indulged at lunchtime. It was then that I realised it must have been a Masonic do as both Richard – an ex-copper and Bill – an ex-toolmaker are both Masons. Peter and Christine were the next to arrive, followed by Keiko who had not realised that Richard was already at the table and over dinner Peter had the table in hysterics ( perhaps partly fuelled by their lunchtime drinking) when he related how he and Christine were invited to a barbecue at their son’s house. His son lives in Salt Lake City and over Christmas 2007 they wished to have barbecued turkey, it was deep in snow outside, the barbecue was lit by wood and charcoal and not by gas so Peter went to the local hardware store to buy kindling but could only get 3 logs. No axe was available so he had to use a hand saw to make kindling while Christine hacked away at the turkey to make pieces of a suitable size for the barbecue. In the middle of all their problems, it was snowing hard, freezing cold and the barbecue was in a fixed position many feet from the house the son then decided that it was too darn cold for him and went indoors leaving his mum and dad outside preparing barbecued chicken for himself and his family. OK so it was funny when we heard it and even funnier for Alison, Bill and Richard with their alcoholic boots on. At the end of the meal we watched them sway away into the distance heading for their respective cabins.

OK back to the dolphins….. Having had a very long day and an early night (lights out 9.00pm yesterday) we were in no mood for an early breakfast so we roused ourselves around 8.30am and showered for the day ahead. Breakfast – need I mention Alpen and prunes again – was followed by a short stroll to the forward area on Deck 12 (The Lido Deck), also the deck with the Al Fresco and the Conservatory self service restaurants. We were intrigued by the number of sea birds that we had seen alongside the ship while we were eating, we know that we are not far from land as we are basically following the coast of Mexico until we get to Acapulco the day after tomorrow. At the pointy bit on Deck 12 there is a gangway that runs across from port to starboard and here you can get a good view of what is happening as the ship progresses forward. We started on the port side where there were a good number of sea birds – two different types – and we realised that not only were they tracking the ship but they were following the shoals of flying fish that were spraying out from the bow wave like a shower of fireworks. We had dozens of birds feeding on hundreds of fish and then we saw the dolphins. Some were alongside us, some heading away and some heading towards us, we were shouting “Look, look, see that,” as they jumped and played around the whole of the bow area. Someone later explained to us that they were following a shoal of barracuda but whatever they were doing it was the best sighting that we have had so far. We were both entranced and continued looking for them long after we had steamed past their hunting ground.

With that spectacle over it was time for Hilary to head for her model class and I tagged along to take some pictures of her at work. With a bit of luck some of the pictures are with today’s blog. Hilary’s class normally finishes at 11.15 am so with about 45minutes to spend I found a shady spot (we are heading north so the sun is basically behind us and shady spots are hard to find), bagged a couple of recliners and waited for Hilary to arrive. And waited. And waited. 11.45am, 12.00 noon, 12.15pm “She’s paying me back for not being around yesterday,” I thought, then “Sod it I am going to lunch but first I will take the towels, etc back to the cabin.” I hadn’t been able to swim, or pee, or go get a drink, because I didn’t want to leave the video camera and the binoculars so by now I was somewhat miffed. Just as I got to the door to go down stairs to the cabin who should come waltzing by with a “He kept us very late today as we must get them finished before he leaves the cruise in San Francisco,” you’ve guessed it…. We dropped our stuff off in the cabin and went for a nice salad lunch then settled down for a while on the recliners until the sun came round and it became too warm. While we were talking Hilary admitted that she had yet to see the decks at the stern. We packed our bags and gradually worked our way down the flights of steps at the stern. There are some very nice open decks there but with the sun behind us there is very little shade back there. However when we reached deck 8 where the pool and play area is supposed to be reserved for parents with children under 10 years old we found a nice shaded spot and immediately grabbed a couple of sunbeds and settled down for a snooze and a read. There we stayed until it was time to come back to the cabin so that we can blog and get ready for another formal dinner – I hate those, they are stuffy and hot, but Hilary has picked out a very attractive dress and I will be proud to accompany her.

Since we entered the Pacific the sea has been getting lumpier and lumpier, I am feeling a little uncomfortable with it while I am typing and looking at a screen so I am going to stop now and have a little lie down.

Tiz I. As if I would be petty and pay him back! We actually did work on the models for 2 solid hours and it has changed from looking like ET and now looks more like Jimmy Edwards the comedian of old. Today my formal dress is borrowed from Sheila, what would I do without my sisters’ good taste in dresses? At this point I am not sure if Sam will make it to dinner as he is turning a delicate shade of white and laying down on the bed resting. The sea is becoming rougher and the ship is tossing about quite a lot despite the stabilizers being in place. I’ll have to anchor my model down somehow to prevent him from skidding across the counter and cracking, I’ll do that before I go down for dinner (six flights of stairs down and on high heels). He’ll be good. Seeing the dolphins this morning really made my day and I was jumping about shouting to Sam ‘look over there’ and wow and there are more over there etc. Other passengers seemed to just accept that in the Pacific you see dolphins so what. Now I have to go and see if I can make my body and hair justify that lovely dress. I’ll write more tomorrow. God bless.

Very last point we saw the Matt Monro singer tonight, excellent but he missed my favourite "Wer'e Gonna Change The World."


Paul said...

Sam and Hilary,
I have been following your exploits and even had a look at the pan cams but it was 5am and very dark. Sam I hope that you are recovering from the wobbly sea legs syndrome. Take a good stiff whisky every 15 mins. Sounds like a good trip. Keep up the noshing.

Best wishes

Paul and Dorothy

samw7 said...

Dad - I hope you are feeling better soon. Mum - You have some hidden talent. I love your model, he looks very distinguished. So glad that you saw the dolphins. One of my favorite memories is being on the boat with Jeff off Kauai when the dolphins came and swam at the bow of the boat.
Academy Awards nominations have just been announced. Slumdog Millionaire is up for best picture. Yeah! It is my favorite movie so far.
Love to you both.

Marlene and Tara said...

Wow Hilary! I didn't know you were a budding sculptor too! He is magic. What a fantastic experience to see the dolphins. I am told that they come into Sennen Cove during the summer to play, so I am looking forward to that. Sheila is coming down for a couple of days in February and we are still trying to find a date that suits everyone for the reiki. The weekend we were going to do, Carolyn is coming and wants to do a session, so that obviously has to take priority. I haven't been drinking red wine either! Actually I am poorly again and off work with another chest infection and a wee infection. The good news is that my Bank will increase my mortgage so I can buy my bungalow if I can sell the house in Plympton! Wish me luck. Still persevering too with getting a pay increase at work. Lots of love as always. xxx