Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Day Thirty One: Rain?

This is not what we paid our money for! At the moment we are sitting in the Crows Nest watching the intermittent showers pass over the ship as we cruise between Fiji and New Zealand, it is also a little bit of a lumpy sea – not what we ordered at all. We went to the presentation for Sydney this morning after breakfast and our plan was to sit out for a bit enjoying the sunshine and maybe having a swim but when we came out from the theatre we stuck our noses out of the door on the Promenade Deck and saw that parts of it were closed due to the high winds so we made our way up here and have stayed here ever since. I have had a go at the Sudoku and failed miserably, there are several clues in the crossword that we can’t complete and what with that and the weather it has not been our best day. The tour talk was pretty informative if a little long as it usually is but she does cover everything and we saw several places that it might be nice to go to with Brian where we can sit and talk about life and the family. One of the tours that she covered was the Sydney Harbour bridge walk and if we weren’t meeting Brian that was probably the one that we would have been on although it is disappointing that they don’t allow you to take cameras with you. Perhaps they are worried about people leaning over or not having both hands on the safety rail or more likely in my cynical old eyes is that they want to sell you the photos that I am sure they will take of and for you.

Perhaps the most disappointing part of this leg between San Francisco and Sydney is that we have seen just about no marine life whatsoever, a few flying fish is all and there have been no sightings of dolphins, whales, turtles, sharks or in fact anything other than floating logs and debris. Again, not what we paid for, come on P & O it is time to do something about it!

Lunch yesterday was interesting in that we met a much wrinkled lady, we have seen her around the ship sitting out in the sun and she really seriously needs some very heavy ironing to make her skin smooth again. Her normal attire is extremely short shorts and a T-Shirt with no bra – I only mention this because without much looking you can see that her boobs end roughly where her belly button is. She had the only table in the Conservatory Restaurant that was close to a window and that had two empty seats on it and as we sat down she said, “Don’t worry about me, I am just going to finish my coffee and then I am off.” That didn’t happen of course and 30 minutes later after we had finished eating she was still at the table and would have continued to chat if we hadn’t got up to leave. We learned that she was 84 years old, single and was on her 52nd P & O Cruise, she has also been on some of the other shipping lines but prefers P & O because she knows all the captains and the cruise directors. She lives about 2 miles from Manchester Airport, although how often she is there I wouldn’t know as she seems to spend most of her time sun bathing on cruise ships. We did learn that her husband died when he was 52 of an unexpected heart attack having been given a clean bill of health only a couple of months earlier.

As I write this the rain has stopped, the sun is out and the sea is blue again, well done P & O and thank you for listening to me, now what can you do about those whales and dolphins?

One of the little things that seem to happen to you when you cruise for some time on board a ship as large as Oriana is that you start to organise your day by where things are located deck by deck. Take today for example one of the guiding things in my mind was that we wanted to go to the Theatre on Deck 7 at 10.00am to see the Sydney talk and as this would be after breakfast we then had to decide which restaurant to go to. Now Al Fresco and the Conservatory are on Deck 12 and our cabin is on Deck 9 so that would mean climbing up 6 flights of stairs (we avoid lifts to keep the weight down) and then with breakfast over we would have to go down 10 flights to the theatre. OR if we had breakfast in the Peninsular on Deck 6 we could walk down 6 flights of stairs to breakfast and then after breakfast up 2 flights to the theatre. Guess which restaurant won? Yup we went the formal route and into the Peninsular for the waited on service and the easy route up and down to the theatre.

Tiz I. Well I am having an amazing day again. I made Sam promise that if we had breakfast in the restaurant that he wouldn’t want to go for lunch as well – too much food in a short space of time for me – well he hasn’t mentioned lunch but has hit the bag of macadamia nuts he bought in San Francisco quite hard! I quite like the crows nest and the hot chocolate drink they make, it makes a nice treat occasionally. Today is the first day where it has rained regularly most of the day, which is not bad – 31 days dry weather in a row, I think that is fantastic, and it gives me some time to do another page in the scrapbook. I want to get the first leg to San Francisco finished before we reach the end of the second leg in Sydney. Then the plan is to catch up and have it almost finished by the time we leave Barcelona.
New Zealand is the next stop then we will be half way round. No longer going away from you all and starting to head back towards everyone – and seeing Jess in Hong Kong, I can’t wait. The trip has been so special so far, especially with all the comments from you all and I would not have missed it for the world but I do miss you all. I had a successful go at the codeword puzzles but can’t get two of the crossword answers- tomorrow will bring the answers to that problem. The embroidery just needs the large roses on it now and I will attempt to start them tomorrow if the ship doesn’t rock and roll too much – if it does then I will contemplate the ceiling of the cabin while solving the problems of the world. Sheila, I have been reading the meditation book that Liz gave me. It seems that we have cracked the fairly major obstacle of being able to clear out unneeded thoughts. Apparently that is a problem for a lot of people and takes time and exercises to overcome! I will read more and keep you posted. I wondered if, when I get home, we could all get together and practice meditation once a week- it seems to be the way to achieve the object that we all are striving for. Well I’d better stop rambling, Take care, God bless.

Julian I have downloaded a pdf about Azipod so at least I know what question to ask and I will put it into Reception next time we go there, I did ask our dinner companion Bill who has contacts with the Chief Engineer and he insists that it is shaft propulsion because he has a photo of the shaft but I don’t think that it is as simple as that and I will get you a definitive answer.

OK just got back from the evening show with Nicky Martyn a comedian in the same mould as Ken Dodd, lots of short gags, lots of shaggy dog stories combined with a bit of singing and this time some drum playing. He is an excellent observational comic and we on the ship will now always call her the Horiana. Just like Ken Dodd he overran and instead of doing 45 minutes he ended up doing twice that and has given himself just 45 minutes to prepare for his second show of the evening.

Julian I got my definitive answer and it is that Oriana does not have Azipod propulsion, apparently she was commissioned before that system came out and it would not be economical at this stage of her life to modify her.

Jess/Sam checked your blog and we can see the thumbnails but we won't see the full pictures until we get back home as our time on the internet is limited, but they look reall great.

Just to colour the page a bit I have added a couple more of the orchids that we saw yesterday. Keep your comments coming, it gives us an incentive to write more if we know that someone is actually reading this drivel. Night all.


Marlene and Tara said...

hello you two! Not bad to only have a little bit of rain. We had a full day yesterday and my eldest sister sent me some photos of Morwellham quay completely flooded.
We all miss you too, but are so glad you are having a fantastic time. Sheila is coming down with me for the weekend. I have four days off, so am going home Thursday and Friday and bringing her back with me on Sunday. That will be lovely.

Take care for now and continue to enjoy!! xxx

Hayley said...

Hi Aunty and Uncle!

Wish i had time to read your blogs but I am so tired i am going to have to go to bed. Will look forward to catching up on your week soon. Just wanted to tell you that I was successful in my first interview from Friday and they have offered me the job! they were very impressed at the Interview apparently! I havent heard back from the school about my second interview but wither way i have a proper job!

I'm sure you are having a wonderful time as i can see from quickly looking at the photos. I will have a proper read soon.

Much love, Hayles xxx

Julian said...

Hi glad you are still enjoying yourselves. Still waiting to hear how you are getting on in the gym! Fiji looked beautiful and I hope the weather stays calm on the way to New Zealand. No azipods how 6 months ago is that! The rock dodgers will laugh at you if you call the 'forward spring' a bow spring it gives them something to do apart from stand on the bridge and look ornamental. Sam and Jess I got to see the pictures of China and it looks beautiful too. The tigers were stunning. Enjoying the blogging. Take care.
Love Julian Moira Carl & Kelly

samw7 said...

Hi There

Sorry to hear that you had some rain, just send it to Austin and Jiujiang, both places need some. We had a relatively quiet day until the evening. Ring, one of the English students took us to get our nails done. The shop was a husband and wife in a tiny shop in the middle of a small alley. Not somewhere we would have found by ourselves. Jess got fake nails that are now painted with a pink tartan pattern at the end and mine are a dark red with flowers painted on them in white. I thought I was just going to have color but they thought that was far too boring and so showed me one nail with the flowers which I liked and so they did all of them. They were very pleasant and some of Jess's friends came and joined us in the shop, which helped in the translation of the flower business and then we all went to eat. Again, a good time was had by all. On the way home we had a very chatty cab driver who challenges Jess to use her Chinese skills and she did a really great job. You would be proud. Oh, and my nails cost the equivalent of $1. 50!
Love to you both
ps Hayley - what kind of job? Hope it works out.

Sharon and Georgia said...

Hi Aunty and Uncle,

Love reading your daily adventures. Just know that we are all laughing out loud at your detailed description of pot bellies, wrinkly skin that needs ironing and germ infested fellow travellers! I have such a visual memory and I am seeing it all! Keep it up Aunty and Uncle , you are both doing a great job!

Well, the snow is slowly starting to disappear...I have sent some pictures to your email address at home of Georgia and our snowman that we built in Cornwall 5 days ago! First time she has experienced snow in her memory. Bless her!

So glad to hear you will be meeting up with Brian. Send all our love.

Sam, great to read you are having good time with Jess in China. We are such an international family!

Sending much love, Sharon xxxx

jeff said...

A truly masterful job of nursing a bag of Lay's potato chips. You'll have to teach me how to do that.