Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Day Twenty Four: Bumpety bump

This has been a very strange day as far as the weather is concerned, when we first got up it was warm and a little overcast but definitely bumpy and we later learned from the First Officer’s announcement that we are experiencing Force 6 winds sweeping across the deck from a North Easterly direction and that swells of 3 metres would be occurring. Well he was correct there and it has affected Hilary so much that she has taken to wearing her sea bands and having a little lay down every now and then. I notice the motion but it doesn’t affect me too much except when I sit and type at the screen (as now) and then gaze out of the window for inspiration. The warm weather has been a relief though and consequently many more people are sitting outdoors making places like the Crows Nest much nicer to sit in. The sea swell has made the swimming pools pretty dangerous places to be in and the one or two hardy (or foolish) souls that have tried to get in have found themselves tossed around like a cork in a bottle.

We went to our 10.00am meeting in the Pacific Lounge to watch the ITV director talk about problems in directing TV programmes involving ships and boats. One of the most interesting facts that came out of it was that he was asked to put on a beauty contest on board Ark Royal and he spent several days on board checking it out. As it turned out they realised that putting on a beauty contest while the ship was in Malta would be too expensive but that they had the makings of a good documentary about life on the Ark Royal. His team then put forward the proposal to the board of ITV who turned it down but allowed the Royal Navy to go to the BBC to see if they would be interested in it. And of course they did and the BBC made a 13 episode series called Sailor which became their star documentary programme for many years to come. The Pacific Lounge is a good location for these discussions but the room itself is always freezing cold, it seems to be the dumping ground for all the cold air in the air conditioning system on the ship. The wise amongst the listeners, including Hilary, always take a cardigan or sweater with them before they go in but then of course when you exit it is sweaters off because it is 77F out there. The Pacific Lounge is on deck 7, the Promenade Deck, so as soon as we got out of the lecture Hilary and I headed outside and “Walked the Mile” which is exactly 3½ laps of the Promenade Deck. It was very pleasant and if the weather stays good we hope to do this most days as we need some exercise after all the food we are taking in.

Hilary started her scrapbook in earnest today and spent several hours typing away while I sat in the Crows Nest reading my book. It is by John Grisham and called An Innocent Man and to be honest when I bought it I thought that it would be one of his typical novels however it has turned out to be a true story about a young man that is railroaded by the American justice system for a murder that he did not commit and ends up on Death Row. When I came back from the Crows Nest it was close to my lunch time (I have realised that I can’t go from breakfast to dinner without something), so we went to the conservatory for a small plate of steamed fish and a few chips which was OK until I ruined it by having marmalade sponge and vanilla custard. I must try and curb this desire to have dessert mid-day as well as at night.

We spent a part of the afternoon checking out the ship’s sporting capabilities, there was a cricket game going on that we watched, we didn’t follow all the rules but it seemed as if everyone was having fun. Then we went to the golf driving range where there are three cages, a selection of clubs and 3 balls in each cage. The middle one was occupied by a young man powering off some almighty shots and the fellow in the end cage came over to me and said “You know that he plays off 3 don’t you? It’s just not fair, I’ve been playing this game for 43 years and a young kid like that just gets up and does it.” I did pull out a club and hit a few balls but I have to admit that I will never have a feel for the game, but it was fun trying. Next time that we are wandering around Deck 13 we will see if we can play quoits or shuffleboard.

Sporting activities over we returned to our cabin and Hilary did some more on her scrapbook while I watched part of Kevin Costner’s Tin Cup, a film that I have seen several times before, now it is time to start the dressing up for tonight which is formal and not my favourite way of going to dinner. Before we go to the evening show I always come back to the cabin and get rid of the suit, the bow tie and the cummerbund and get into something a little more relaxing and then I watch all the other men in the audience tugging at their shirt collars and wishing that they had done the same as me. I guess that it looks nice but I would rather be comfortable than look pretty. Time for me to stop and get ready, I will turn you over to Hilary and maybe come back and blog some more after dinner and the Marti Webb show tonight.

Tiz I. A sailor I would never make! Flat seas and I am OK but a bit of a swell and my head disappears somewhere sideways. I cannot keep upright and control my legs and to say I feel dizzy is a massive understatement. Howsoever at least I don’t feel sick – just very odd.
Actually it looks as if we might experience our first storm at sea, the skies are very overcast and it is definitely warm outside. Still no signs of sea life except for a few flying fish but we have been trailed by two sea birds today which could mean fish near the surface and they might encourage dolphins and whales to come up to the surface – possibly! The script for each page for the landfall for the first leg of our amazing journey has been written and I will probably put the pictures in place during the next few days – while we are fighting the Pacific Ocean’s waves, it will keep me busy and so long as I don’t have to move around in an upright manner will be good way to spend the days. We had a super day in Oahu and I was really sorry to have leave, it was the longest day ashore that we have had. Well I must go lay down again, God bless.

OK so change of plan from a few minutes ago as Hilary has decided that dinner is out of the question so I don’t have to get togged up after all. If I feel hungry I will go to the Conservatory which doesn’t have a dress code, and I will grab something there. It also means that we won’t be going to see Marti Webb for this particular concert but she will be around again at some stage in the cruise and we will see her then. No pictures tonight.

Final word as I did get hungry after Hilary got into bed, I spent most of this evening – well two hours anyway – transferring the video from the camcorder onto the laptop so that at some stage I can start editing it. Because the camcorder is a tape system the transfer has to be done in real time so one hour of video takes one hour to transfer, this is a pain in the bum but it does give really good quality and once it is on the laptop it is fairly easy to edit (time consuming but easy). By the end of tonight I will have the first 3 hours of tape transferred, I have another one that is almost finished on the camera so that will make 4. By the time the cruise is over we will have at least 10 hours which I would like to edit down to a one hour DVD. My evening meal consisted of some sticky rice with vegetable jambalaya and a ginger sponge pudding with custard, not Peninsular Restaurant standard but I was in and out in 15 minutes and there was not a bow tie in sight. Goodnight and God bless, I am hoping that the seas calm down overnight and that Hilary gets over her collywobbles.


Liz said...

Hi there, me again.

Sorry to hear you are not feeling so great Hilary. Hope the sea swell settles down soon and that you are back on form to enjoy this fantastic journey you are both taking.

It will be nice to see the DVD when you get back. A lot of work I'm sure Sam, but great for us to see all the people and places that you have been talking about on the blog.

You are both in the right place, trust me. We are all going through the coldest weather England has had for 18 years, so they tell us with delight on the news! Yesterday, there were no buses or underground trains in London, and the Houses of Parliament looked beautiful with a heavy dusting of snow. Beccy found herself stuck in Cambridge on Sunday night. Unable to get back, she made the most of it and had a great day playing in the snow.

I was advised not to go onto the moors today as we could have snow showers and the roads are icy. As you know, it doesn't take much to put me off from getting behing the wheel!

Will write again in a day or two. Take care of each other and have fun. Love Liz x

Marlene and Tara said...

Hi chaps. I'm glad the cream has worked for you Hilary. We will have to market some when you come home! Lovely to see your photographs. I will start saving for Honolulu!
We have actually had snow down here in St Buryan. A lot too. I had to drive home from work in four wheel drive last night and still could only drive at 25 miles an hour. Tara had fun running around in it this morning but was not so impressed when we got back home because she had snow balls stuck to her paws. She sat on the rug pulling them off and chucking them on the floor.
All the children were out with sledges, surf boards, trays and anything else that may slide down a bank. Lovely to see. It has melted quite quickly today but more is forecast for Thursday.
Love to you both. xxx

samw7 said...

Hi There
After today I should be able to blow away anyone's tales of ice and snow. We arrived in Harbin at 5:00am after being on an overnight train from Beijing. I was on the top of three bunks and fell off the stairs the first time I tried to get in much the amusement of my fellow passengers. No harm done!
Harbin is North of Vladivostok and home to the snow and ice sculpture festival. We will venture out a little later today to see them and then are hoping to see the tigers tomorrow before heading back to Beijing.
Mum - I hope you feel better soon and Dad you do look dapper in your tux. Glad that you both had a wonderful day in Hawaii.
Love to you both,