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Oceans and Seas » Atlantic » North Atlantic » Gulf Stream April 15th 2012

Our next stop is tomorrow night (Monday) at Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. We spend a full day there on Tuesday then do the final leg of the journey to New York. Pictured: The blue pin marks the Titanic wreck site where last night’s memorial service was held.... read more

Oceans and Seas » Atlantic » North Atlantic » Gulf Stream April 14th 2012

My selections from last night’s Titanic Dinner Menu, which was our chef’s interpretation of the Titanic’s dinner 100 years on: First Course: Salmon with Mousseline Sauce. Lightly poached salmon, with classic Hollandaise sauce and whipped cream. Second Course: Cream of Barley. Barley simmered with vegetable stock and a dollop of whisky cream. Third Course: Asparagus Salad. Blanched green and white asparagus, drizzled with champagne saffron vinaigrette. Fourth Course: Punch Romaine. A real palate cleanser. A punch with crushed ice, fresh orange and lemon juice, white wine and drizzled with Bacardi rum. Fifth Course: Filet Mignon Lili. Grilled to your liking, on sliced fried potatoes, served with roasted cherry tomatoes, baby carrots and Madeira sauce. Sixth Course: Waldorff Pudding. Sautéed apple, raisins and ginger, baked with custard and sprinkled with caramelize... read more
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Oceans and Seas » Atlantic » North Atlantic » Gulf Stream April 14th 2012

When Debbie, Damian, Don and I left Maryborough for this voyage, we thought the city of 26,000 people was well represented having four residents among Australia’s 235 passengers. We were wrong – there are six. Nisha Van Wyk and her daughter Mikaila are also here. Nisha had seen our photo on the Fraser Coast Chronicle before leaving and once the cruise was underway made contact with us via the reception. Nisha is a teacher at Riverside Christain College and Mikaila attends Maryborough West School. Our new friends from Canberra, Ian and Jenny, have told us Australia’s capital city also has six citizens onboard, but since Canberra has a much larger population than Maryborough – we’ve claimed a higher percentage of representation, based on percentage. We’ve also met fellow Aussies from Perth and Ipswich, so far.... read more

Oceans and Seas » Atlantic » North Atlantic » Gulf Stream April 14th 2012

... and here's a photo for our 3-yer-old grandson Bradley. His mum was having trouble describing to him what an iceberg was; the only thing she had to relate it to was an icecube. So for Bradly, this is the closest we've seen to an iceberg on this trip so far.... read more

Oceans and Seas » Atlantic » North Atlantic » Gulf Stream April 14th 2012

Our captain’s timing was impeccable yesterday with the first words of his daily noon cruise report. A few seconds either way and Captain Robert Bamberg would not have attracted the applause of passengers in the Neptune Lounge who were listening to authors Jack Eaton and Charles Haas present their talk, A Titanic Mythallany. Jack was saying the lack of a public address system was the one factor above all others, including the shortage of lifeboats, that had contributed to the loss of at least 400+ lives in the Titanic disaster when …. “Good afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen, this is your captain speaking,” could be heard throughout the Balmoral. More than 400 people died for no other reason than the lack of communication onboard the Titanic. While the available lifeboats could seat about 1600 people, 400+ seats ... read more
Book signing queue

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Oceans and Seas » Atlantic » North Atlantic » Gulf Stream April 14th 2012

Unlike Captain Lars, who had a beard and could pass for Billy Joel’s brother, on our Hawaiian cruise in 2006, Robert Bamberg doesn’t fit the traditional profile of sea captain – he’s tall, slim and blond, of Swedish origin (I think). Before last night’s dinner we were invited to meet the captain in the Neptune Lounge.... read more

Oceans and Seas » Atlantic » North Atlantic » Gulf Stream April 14th 2012

Fifteen seconds either side of the call “Hard to Starboard” would have made the world of difference to the fate of the Titanic and its passengers and crew. During yesterday’s talk, A Titanic Mythallany, authors Jack Eaton and Charles Haas said research had shown that if the instruction to turn the wheel “Hard to Starboard” been made 15 seconds earlier, the Titanic would have moved far enough from the iceberg to avoid extensive damage. Fifteen seconds later and the ship would have hit the iceberg head-on. The front end would have been crushed but water would not have filled more than two compartments and the Titanic would not have sunk. But it seems fate would have it the Titanic was on a collision course with an iceberg no matter what. The ship’s maiden voyage was initially ... read more

Oceans and Seas » Atlantic » North Atlantic » Gulf Stream April 13th 2012

The wild weather at the start of this cruise that caused about half the 1300 passengers to be seasick has settled. The sea has calmed and it’s been two days since I’ve needed medication, so in Captain Robert Bamberg’s words: “All is well.” We’re now about 500 nautical miles from the wreck site and need to maintain a speed of at least 14 knots to reach the spot by Saturday night. We’re currently moving at 16 knots so should get there with a few hours to spare. We’ve been turning our clocks back one hour each day but on Saturday (tomorrow), we turn the clocks back another one hour and 27 minutes. The odd number of minutes is because our time needs to equals that of 100 years ago when we hold the memorial service. At ... read more
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Oceans and Seas » Atlantic » North Atlantic » Gulf Stream April 13th 2012

The most interesting talk of the past two days was The Unsinkable Molly Brown, by Janet Kalstrom, who presented in the first person. It was standing room only in the lounge where she spoke. The estranged wife of Mr J.J. Brown, Margaret Brown, was travelling alone from France to New York to visit her sick grandchild whom she had never seen, when the disaster happened. Known as Maggie to close friends (the name Molly was created by Hollywood), she was in bed reading a book when the Titanic struck the iceberg. She ventured in to the hallway when she thought it was odd the ship’s engines had stopped, however it wasn’t until she returned to her cabin and saw a “bug-eyed” man looking through her window telling her to put on her lifejacket and get outside. ... read more
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Oceans and Seas » Atlantic » North Atlantic » Gulf Stream April 12th 2012

Thursday 12th April 2012 Ship's Log – MS Balmoral We're now somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean – cruising towards the site of the Titanic's sinking. The sea has flattened out beautifully, and whilst it's still cold outside, the weather is much more congenial and everyone we talk to is starting to get much cheerier. We were definitely not the only ones to be suffering from “mal de mer” … such a poetic French term for an appalling condition! :) Have attached a photo of Damian & I in our finery for you to have a giggle at!... read more




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