Second Time’s the Charm Sea Day Cruising Prince Christian Sound

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August 17th 2018
Published: August 18th 2018
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The day began with a thick veil of fog engulfing our passage towards Prince Christian Sound. The fog was burning off and by the time that we went up to the Lido for breakfast, today was turning into an incredible sunny day. It was nothing like our last passage through the fog shrouded stony walled passages of Prince Christian Sound. I had worn just a light sweater up for breakfast, and Sharon suggested that I go on up to the Sports Deck, take her phone and take some pictures. All of this because I’d observed a fair-sized iceberg passing by on our entrance to Prince Christian Sound. She was going to go back to the cabin and get the camera.

At first there was no noticeable breeze, and I found an opening on the rail. I readied her phone camera to take some pictures and as I’m ready to take the shot, I realize that it’s in “Selfie Mode”. Not being too familiar with her camera set-up, and the outdoor light making it almost impossible to see what’s on her screen, I had no idea how to fix this as the iceberg was drifting farther behind us. I slipped her phone in my pocket and decided to use my phone. I opened the camera app and it was ready to shoot. Who leaves their camera app in “Selfie Mode” anyway? I took a couple of pictures, leaning out over the rail, and suddenly realized that I was experience a fear that hadn’t occurred when I was doing the same with Sharon’s phone: “What if I drop it?” I decided that I’d gotten my picture and was going inside. Before I came in off the Sport’s Deck, Sharon appeared with her camera. I told her that I was cold and was going back to the cabin to get my jacket.

I returned and Sharon was busy going from side to side, trying to find the best pictures. I went inside to find a place to sit in the Crow’s Nest. Sharon was ready to come in too, and we found a seat in the corner booth by the entrance. Sharon was waiting for some Bergie Bits to get closer. The scenic cruising narration began at 9:30AM, and we learned that icebergs are chunks of ice that are a minimum of 60 feet across. Smaller chunks are called “Bergie Bits” or “Growlers”; but, these smaller chunks of ice can also pose a threat to a large cruise ship. We were proceeding very slowly through the glacial carved waterways. In places, the width of the channel seemed quite narrow for the cruise ship to navigate. But the seemingly straight up-and-down shear rocky walls extended well down below the waterline. Still, there would be no room to turn a cruise ship around in these narrowest passages. Any large flows of ice in our path could terminate our attempts to make and end-to-end passage. Sharon asked if the ice flows in front of us were upon us, and I said that they would be in a few minutes. She decided to go out and continue taking pictures.

On our starboard side was the first of a series of “No-Name Glaciers” that were pointed out to us by the narration. These tidewater glaciers were extending down to the sound, presenting steep craggy faces from which ice chunks would calve and plunge into the water. Where snow had been compressed into these ice masses, the ice showed bluish colors. Many of the Bergie Bits and Growlers also had these rich blue colors. When Sharon returned she noticed that a couple that I’d had dinner with a few nights back had taken her spot. “You gave my seat away.” She kidded. I got up to give her my chair, but the two that joined us and Sharon was going to sit down. “Wait. Let me slip in too!” calls Rose Marie (our Trivia Teammate) and she slides into the round bench seat in our corner booth; and, then Sharon sat down. I introduced Sharon to the other too, reminding him I’d had dinner with them when he was talking about the safaris that he once setup in Africa. I said Sharon is doing that for our trip in 2020 (well actually we have friends that have made the arrangements for the Safari and we’re joining them since what they planned was just what we were looking to do and it will be fun to travel with friends).

I headed back to the cabin and Sharon took some more photos before heading to the Lido to watch the Polar Bear Plunge. She was later joined by Rose Mary who was there to watch her husband Jim do the plunge. They didn’t pour as many ice cubes into the pool this time. They did however, paint the noses of those participating blue.

We grabbed lunch up in the Lido and I decided to try something different. I got some Asian rice noodles with vegetables and curry chicken added to that. Sharon had some carved beef brisket. Due to the scenic cruising, Team Trivia once again was being held in the MIX. I told Sharon that I would go back to the cabin to get our pens, and I would stop by the Exploration Café and get some chocolate chip cookies if they had them. That was my bribe to get her to come to Team Trivia. She was hinting that she might just get so caught up in taking pictures that she might not be able to make it. She’s been a little bit contrary today because I haven’t quite as interested as her in taking pictures out on deck and seeing the sights first hand and spending too much time in the cabin. I’m trying to shake this cold that is trying to get ahold of me. It’s an irritated throat right now, and I suspect that the full-blown congestion that so many cruisers have come down with is going to plague me too. And when it does, I will probably end up with a cough that I won’t be able to shake for months; although, swimming in our pool has helped with that in the past. Pam snuck up behind me as I sat at “Our Table” in the MIX, and asked, “Guess Who?” “Thank Goodness!” I said. “I thought I was going to be left on my own.” This time there were enough chairs for our whole team; although, Sharon had told me that Jim would probably be going to the lecture. The bar steward took my order for a double Sambuca and a second glass with ice. Best medicine I know for an irritated throat; although, Drambuie works pretty good as well. Rose Marie noted her husband may be joining us after all noting that “Jim changes his mind more that a woman.” However, he did not show up so it will be his fault if we lose. There were only a dozen teams present so I thought our chances should be pretty good. Linda puzzled us with “What is the better-known name of Thomas A. Swift’s Electronic Rifle?” “Oh, I got it!” Sharon said confidently. When I saw her answer, it was clear she was right. Rose Marie had written down the question; but, wasn’t seeing it… so I underlined the first letter of what she had written down: Thomas A. Swift’s Electronic Rifle, or TASER! “In ‘Alice in Wonderland’, Alice changed size when she drank from a bottle that said what on its label?” Sharon knew this one too: “Drink Me”. It was finally my turn to contribute when Linda wanted to know, “In the TV series “Kung Fu”, what was the nickname Master Po used for Kwai Chang Caine?” The first two seasons of this classic 1970’s show are among my all time favorites… the third season not so much. I couldn’t believe that nobody on my team knew “Grasshopper”. All the other teams got this one right as well! Four Americans on our team and not one of us knew where Skyy Vodka in the blue bottle was made (I guess we can excuse our semi-teetotaling Canadian teammates). Nor did we know, “La Peregrina is the name of a famous gem, once owned by Elizabeth Taylor, and in 2011 sold at auction for $11 million. What type of gem is La Peregrina?” Richard Burton had bought it for Liz and paid an estimated $37,000! La Peregrina is a large perfect pearl with a pedigree that dates back to Queen Mary I. Linda gave us a Day-of-the-Week question that I’d not heard before: “Only one of the days of the week is an anagram. Name that day… and for a bonus, give the anagram.” I figured that it must be one of the days with the fewest letters, so I was trying to think what we could make out of Monday, Friday or Sunday. I didn’t think that “Thursday” was a good choice, having a “U” in the day; but, that’s what Duncan chose. The answer was “Monday”; and, that anagram was “Dynamo”! Six of today’s questions were in my spreadsheet, and for some reason I panicked and couldn’t come up with the complete list… I forgot my pneumonic clue: GG-SPLEW! “Name the seven deadly sins.” We came up with Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Lust, Envy and Wrath. We also came up with “Anger” and our generous graders gave us credit for that as well! Do you know what one we missed? Don’t be too prideful if you get this one, just because we didn’t!

I went back to the cabin and am trying to stay warm and avoid drafts. I can feel the onset of congestion setting in and although the drink did get me through Trivia, evidently all my teammates were conscious of my licorice flavored spirits. If I need help again tomorrow, maybe I will go with the Drambuie! Sharon went Buffalo hunting, and played for quite some time, but made no real headway.

We sat at a table for six. One of the couples sat with us on the first night of the cruise, and a month later we’re together again. They also are now considering the 2020 World Cruise. Everybody was thrilled with the weather today. One of our fellow diners noted that they’d heard that about one cruise in three are unable to get into and navigate the whole Prince Christian Sound due to weather, visibility or ice conditions. I guess we should feel fortunate being two-for-two! Neither of us were thrilled with tonight’s choices for dinner; although, the grilled scallops were very good indeed. I got the endive and spinach salad which I enjoyed also. And I selected the Veal Cordon Bleu. Sharon fell back to old habits and chose Erin’s favorite… the Everyday Chicken. I went with my favorite Banana Crisp for dessert, and with no real chocolate choices, Sharon got the Coffee Fudge Ice cream, and had them put some chocolate syrup on top. After dinner I was feeling like my nose was about to explode, and so decided to call it a night. Sharon decided to do her own thing, go to the Piano Bar where Barry From Boston is featuring “Ascertain That Tune” this evening. She thinks that she’ll go to the Late Show. I had to go up to the Upper Promenade for about half an hour to let them make up our cabin for the evening; but, at least the ice bucket is full. Unfortunately, they left Sharon two milk chocolates.

Sharon got her seat in the Piano Bar and I suspect that she was a little bit happy that I’d remained back in the cabin. I don’t think she could afford another evening of bribing me with drinks. Up to two people per team were allowed; but, Sharon was going to brave it on her own. Today’s theme was songs that have the word “I” in the title. Sharon’s set the bar pretty high for herself. She did 15 points with my help (and what fine help that was). She did 15 points without my help on a second occasion and 17 points by herself on the third occasion when I actually could have helped her (I knew she needed to preface her answer “Elephant Walk” with “Baby”). But tonight, she was on her own again. This Ascertain That Tune was the “I’s Have It” meaning each song had to have the word I in it. He confirmed that there were no contractions (i.e. no I’m, I’ll etc just the word I). Sharon got a respectable 16 so was beat by 3 teams that had 19, 18, and 17 respectively. Though the team with 17 did get a vote to give them a point for one title where they added another whole sentence to it. You can usually get the point if you add a few words to it to make sure you get the right title. Now Barry always likes to have a tie so he can do a Bid a Note playoff but was going to stop with the top 3 till everyone said they wanted to see who came in 4th. Well that was Sharon and a couple we had dinner with a few nights ago; so Bid a Note was on. Unfortunately, the category was the 70’s not Sharon’s best decade (that’s when she was in college, got married and started her first real job as she puts it). The other contestant started the bidding with 12 notes (the max allowed) Sharon answered with 11 and he went to 10. She knew she had no clue on this one so told him to name it with 10 notes. Barry and others couldn’t believe she let him have that many but he wasn’t able to name it, so Sharon won even though she couldn’t have named it either. It was some Abba song. Barry decided to give both teams his special Barry from Boston Signature Pens even though 4th and 5th place should have been the cruise line pins. I’m sure she’ll give me one of them (well ok maybe not). Sharon had planned to go to the 10:00 show for Paul Pappas but the game took much longer than anticipated so at 10:15 it was a bit late for that. Plus she had to run down and show me her winnings though I was asleep so not very enthused for her.

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