Feet on Terra Firma from 10 days at sea with no land in sight - ahoy the Atlantic and of course respect to Neptune!

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November 23rd 2019
Published: November 23rd 2019
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So I have been back on Terra Firma for a few days now in Barbados and I think it is time that I update you on my 10 days at sea crossing the Atlantic as I now do not feel a rocking motion of being on the ship. Before embarking on this journey I thought what the hell am I going to do with myself for 10 days whilst at sea and also do I have enough sick bags to get me through this ordeal!

How wrong could I have been and if anyone would have told me that I would spend most of my time just looking out at the Atlantic with nothing to see most of the time but the horizon I would have said are you having a giraffe! I can honestly say I loved it and met so many fabulous people.

We went though 4 time zones and had to keep to ships time and each time gained an hour more sleep so not bad on that score. I got really confused with this so Mike decided that he would take off the automatic time as it was not lining up with ships time - now you know why I was confused.

Anita who was a guest on the ship and also loved yoga decided that if okay with the crew she would run a yoga class every morning for anyone who wanted to join her. First thing I thought of Yoga well that is not for me that is for different people than me and this medication stuff is really not for me (sorry all you yoga people out there I do not mean to insult you but just saying what I thought). Anyway decided with Sue that we should support Anita and go to the Yoga lesson as it was only half an hour and as we were always up at around 6ish to see the sun rise why not. Anyway to be honest I have to say sorry to all you Yoga addicts and have to eat my words I really enjoyed the sessions so much so that I am thinking of getting a yoga mat when I get back to Blighty - now that is a big turn around - however, lets see if I manage it - watch this space.

After the Yoga session there was an 1/2 hour exercise session - so decided might as well do this straight after what do they say in for a penny in for a pound!!! This session was taken mostly by Dima who was a young lad who to be honest lacked a lot in the personality stakes. We decided that he might have been home sick as he was only young he never cracked a smile during the whole ten days of his exercise class.

So after exercise class every morning down to breakfast I think I earned this after being up most mornings to see a sunrise. To be honest every sunrise I saw was with clouds but if I am totally honest this is more dramatic that a totally clear one - that is my way of thinking and as you know that is not ever reliable or normal thinking.

Now you are not going to believe this also there were navigational classes, firstly a celestial navigation class ( I can now tell you this is navigation using the stars etc - well that is my interpretation) and the other normal navigation. So my thinking here just in case all the crew got the lurgy I need to step up to the mark and navigate the ship across the Atlantic so at least I need to know a bit about navigation. Well I took 2 sessions of each classes and decided that my talents are not in the field of navigation so if the crew get the lurgy then I will have to look for something else I can do to ensure we still reach our destination. Anyway we had enough passengers who were pilots and sailors who could sort out this navigation stuff I would only be in their way.

So after doing the 1st walk the mile around the ship with Mino decided that up and down the ship opening doors going up and down steps is not for me I think I am too old and not sure my knees would be up to this every day - so Sue and I decided to have a break away group of walkers for the oldies (but goodies as they say) and we set up the Royal Ramblers or R&R for short.

The R&Rs walked around the top deck for 10 laps which equated to 1 mile. We started off with a few of us and ended up with 23 passengers joining us and not only that guess what we even got onto the daily programme, ha ha - do you think we should get in touch with the owners and ask if they would like to give us free passage and we will run this on their cruises?

So now you must be getting the gist of this getting bored is not an option at one stage when I was taking the navigation classes I was struggling to get everything in.

On one day a really nice couple Terry and Mandy renewed their vows on board which is a first for me - told Mike do not be getting any ideas as this is not going to happen!!!!!

I forgot to mention whilst having the celestial navigation class a yacht came across us which was called Actual Leader and we found out it was in a race from Brest to Rio and then back to Brest. The name of the yacht was not quite accurate as it was actually in 4th place. It was the first time we had seen anything for days and to be honest it was an amazing sight. It was also going at 30 knots which is really quick. It was quite good listening into the conversation with the crew on board Actual Leader and our crew.

Saturday was a good day for Ted (an Australian passenger) as it was the end of his medication and he could actually now have an alcoholic drink. Previously both myself and Sue decided that we could try and swop our bar bills for Ted’s however the first time we saw him on Saturday he had a whisky in his hands so we decided that this may not be the best plan of action just yet lets just monitor the situation.

We also listened to a talk by the captain who would you believe it was named Sergey, yes the same as Sergey in Compare the Market.com! Anyway he was talking about another captain who he served under who it seems was a real character, his name was captain Gerhardt. Anyway captain Gerhardt on one of his voyages on the Royal when the ship was a rocking and a rolling quite badly made an announcement over the tannoy “This is your captain from the bridge as you can see we are a rocking and a rolling quite heavily so I would just like to talk to you as this maybe my last chance”. I thought this was so amazingly funny as you can imagine what those poor passengers thought - he did have a sick sense of humour it seems. That is what we need in this world, more people with a good sense of humour.

I am now in a routine of getting up to see the sun rise, take a yoga class, then an exercise class then walk a mile with the R&Rs and look out to sea to see if I can see dolphins - and yes I did see one lot of dolphins but that was it apart from flying fish. Now flying fish in my mind would have been big fish but they are only small but are amazing and can fly for quite a bit.

There is a tradition that everyone who has never crossed the Atlantic under sail needs to be baptised by Neptune. Well the day they had decided that us virgin passengers who have not been baptised by Neptune came and the crossing started to get quite choppy to say the least down to the fact that the ceremony had to be postponed for a couple of hours. I am sure this ceremony is just so the crew can have some fun - however, it certainly was fun you all get dressed up and Sue and Eric who had sailed before across the Atlantic knew the score so brought us costumes so we were ahead of the game.

So how does this ceremony go! You are all put into a fishing net and your name is called out one at a time. You kiss a fish - yes kiss a fish (however, they are really kind and it is a melon made into a fish shape) the crew put loads of gunk on your head - told you this was so the crew could have some fun! You are then given some rum punch and then get baptised into the small swimming pool! This might sound stupid but just remember you have been at sea for 6 days and have not seen anything so this is a big event in the lives of the passengers and as most of us have not crossed the Atlantic under sail you all have a bit of a laugh and everyone who has already been baptised by Neptune loves to see everyone else being made a fool of. If I am totally honest would I have done this normally not sure but being on the Atlantic changes you! In the evening you have a pirates evening where people get dressed up in pirate outfits (this is sounding more like a Butlin’s camp not an upmarket cruise with middle to late silver surfers on board - but it is not honestly). So Eric who likes to get involved decided that he would find something in the ships dressing up box (I know this sounds really like a holiday camp!) and finds a long blond curly wig. Whilst having our evening meal one of the waiters thought he was a lady and asked “what would you like miss”. So now poor Eric is Miss Erica in the evenings!!

Day 7 of our sailing began with Yoga full blown mutiny we had been taken off the programme because a couple of days before Mino who was the cruise director had changed the time of yoga to 7.30 and we all decided 7.30 was too early and anyway Anita who was running the class and yes a passenger had not been asked about the time change - so we carried on with our yoga classes on the top deck. This appeared to annoy Mino so he removed us from the programme. Now you know when I thought these Yoga passengers were maybe a bit what do you call it calm meditational gurus all I can say is do not cross them if yoga is involved. Now it was a full out revolt I even thought at one stage there maybe man over board so Mino needed to watch out and if he saw a yoga mat he should step carefully dun dun duuun! Anyway by day 8 the Yoga mutineers won (would you really put those two words together Yoga and mutineers - me not think so) and Yoga was back on the programme at the allotted time of 8am. Can you honestly believe it I have written a passage about a mutiny with Yoga included - think this seeing nothing at sea maybe suddenly getting to me. Next thing I am going to be hallucinating whist spending so much time looking into the Atlantic - when I see a flying fish I am like so excited.

It is soon day 10 at sea our last day and I am really sad, I have loved every minute of it and if I am asked honestly do not want it to end but everything has to end so a new chapter can start - very philosophical (see this yoga thingy has gotten to me - next thing I will be booking on a yoga retreat and have my own mantra!)

We arrive into Barbados a little earlier than expected as there is a crew member that has not been well for a few days and they need to get him to hospital. Thank goodness it was quite late in the cruise that he got ill otherwise we do not know what would have happened. So now talking about not being well - yes you must have guessed it Mike got quite ill again on the cruise - not through sea sickness no he gets an infection in his leg. The last time this happened was a couple of years ago and he left it a bit long before seeing anyone and ended up in hospital for a few days on an IV antibiotic drip. So this was a real worry as he noticed around day 6 at sea that his leg was not right. He went to the consultation hour with the doctor - yes they have 2 a day and they prescribed him with some antibiotics. Now you may not know this but Mike is also allergic to some antibiotics so I was keeping a hawk eye on him to see if he was having an allergic reaction to them - thank goodness he did not. Mind you the doctor did mention when he sees his own doctor to explain that these were the only antibiotics on the ship and they would not normally have prescribed them - not sure what to make of this. Also would you believe it he caught the ships cough so was now also coughing for England which does not help when you do not have another bedroom to go into so you can get some sleep - no wonder I was up early every morning ha ha.


23rd November 2019

Great recap of a great trip!
Paula summed up this journey very well. The best was getting to know great folks like Paula & Mike! From a fellow Royal Rambler and onboard yoga afficianado!

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