Gala Sea Day Night Passing Through the English Channel


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Oceans and Seas » Atlantic » English Channel
August 7th 2018
Published: August 9th 2018
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Daylight comes a bit later in the English Channel than it did when we cruised the seas around Greenland, Iceland and Norway. Being able to turn the clock back an hour may have also helped. Sharon still had to rise to make it to mass; I took a more lethargic pace. I still needed to get up to meet up with her for breakfast. I worked some on the blog, checked the “When & Where” for today’s activities. We’ll be checking out the new speaker at the 11AM lecture dealing with the Vikings and Ireland. She replaced Stuart Sutherland in Rotterdam and has her work cut out for her. Lunch and Trivia follow, then Bingo at 4PM and then a Gala Dinner. Just another peaceful day at sea.

I met Sharon in the Exploration Café where I waited for mass to let out of the Hudson Room. I checked with the café barista but; they have yet to restock the café with San Pellegrino. We headed up to the Lido, washed our hands, and they are still monitoring as people enter the Lido. I got in line and was waiting to get some fried eggs. There was one person ahead of me. Evidently this fast order chef does not consider himself a short-order cook but rather an artist. He took his time to cook everything just perfectly and even urged the cruiser to add some sides that he hadn’t asked for to make the perfect dining experience. As he turned to deliver the plate, somebody else barked his order at him from the other side for himself and two others. And he took the order. I decided maybe this wasn’t the time to be ordering fried eggs. I got two of the marzipan pastries that I’d spotted, and which can be as elusive as chocolate cookies are for Sharon. And I got some chocolate milk to compliment them. Sharon got some waffles with baked apple topping. She had her potatoes and chocolate croissant as well, of course. “Whew, those really don’t go together,” she remarked about her daily apple juice which tasted bitter compared to her waffle topper.

They were cleaning our cabin so we headed to the Ocean Lounge for our daily Sudoku Challenge. I’m sad to say, it wasn’t even close. I’m sad to say it; because, I came up on the short end of this one.

We had to wind our way through the King’s Room with our cabin key and passports to clear Irish customs before our arrival in Dublin tomorrow. There were no massive throngs and we slipped right through. We went on to the Showroom; but, it was full to capacity for Claudia’s “Discovering Dublin, Greenock and Portree” talk. We were hoping people would leave before Sunny Rose Marlow began her lecture. We were rewarded by our patience. Today’s lecture was titled, “The Norse Kingdom of Dublin: When Vikings Ruled Ireland.” She had some startup technical issues because she’d left the Apple adapter cable that she needed at home and so she was doing the presentation on a Windows based laptop. Her graphic presentation materials were superbly done, and her lecture was well presented. She didn’t strand braced behind the lectern reading her talk; but, neither did she venture far from the lectern. She stood away from it to the side and slightly forward, so she was talking to us as a group. Her talk covered the different times Vikings controlled Ireland; but, noted that over the years the Irish and Viking cultures merged. They were an adventurous and exploring people. She also has quite a sense of humor, at one point showing a picture of Apollo astronauts stepping out after landing on the moon to find a Viking longboat, and Neil Armstrong muttering, “Damn Vikings!” She will be doing further Viking lectures during our return trip to Boston.

We went up to the Lido to grab lunch. I had the port ragout rigatoni while Sharon got the brisket with some potatoes. By the time that she’d made it up to the Crow’s Nest for Team Trivia, she’d managed to come of with one of the large chocolate chip cookies from the Exploration Café. We had a full group at Trivia today, and the Crow’s Nest was full of all of the members of all other teams. We also had some new players that had boarded in Rotterdam. Linda does like her media award questions. “We all know what an Oscar looks like. What does a British Academy of Film and Television Award (BAFTA) look like?” The best that we could do was Britannia. It looks like a mask! Sharon was going, “Ooh, ooh, ooh, I know!” when Linda wanted to know, “What to Macaroni, Humboldt and Gentoo all have in common?” As Sharon knew, these are types of penguins. “Which famous dog was first to appear in film: (1) Lassie, (2) Rin Tin Tin, (3) Asta, or (4) Toto?” We dismissed Toto, knowing that movie was in 1939. The consensus was Asta; unfortunately, the answer was Rin Tin Tin (in 1922). The bonus question wanted to know, “What five pieces of equipment is used by rhythmic gymnasts?” Sharon was busy writing down “Balance Beam”, “Uneven Bar”, and was struggling to come up with the name of the equipment used for the “Vault”. I told her, “Rhythmic Gymnastics.” I wrote down “Hoop”, “Ribbon” and “Clubs”. Duncan had written down “Ball” also. All we could come up with for the fifth was “Baton”. Did you remember the “Rope”? We got 12 out of 21 points, losing miserably to the team with 16. Not to suggest that anything untoward is going on; but, have you noticed how we haven’t won since this Noro-virus thing has left us grading our own papers? I’m just saying.

I took a nap after Trivia and would have continued sleeping if Sharon hadn’t woke me up. We headed over to the Showroom to play Bingo. It was $12,000 Jackpot Bingo, and there were quite a few new players. Tino was in a rush to get us off to Gala Night, so we played the regular Bingo for the Blue Game. Then we played the Four Corners for the Orange Game; then, the Small-X for the Green Game; leaving, the Blackout for the Yellow Game. It was Sharon’s turn to buy, and she gave me an absolutely worthless Bingo Card. At least she would get within one of winning; but, every time she did someone else would call “Bingo”!

We got ready for Gala Night and sat at a Table for Four with John and Victoria of Tucson, Arizona. Sharon had given me a hard time for donning my dress shirt and coat and matching pants; but, leaving the tie in the closet. John of Tuscon had his jacket on, and a T-Shirt with a vest, tuxedo shirt and bow tie emblazoned on the front. I’m thinking, “I need to get me one of those!” It was Escargot night and I also got the Asparagus Soup. Both were terrific, as was my Ricotta Stuffed Shells (with spinach). Sharon’s Pepper Crusted Steak was grilled to her liking; but, she’d neglected to order a baked potato. She complained, “Those aren’t potatoes,” after sampling a piece of grilled pineapple. You weren’t going to get any complaints from us about the Chocolate Souffles with Chocolate Sauce.

I planned to play blackjack tonight; but, I didn’t quite understand what the Pit Boss was trying to tell me. Something about not being able to open the Fun-21 table for another twenty or thirty minutes because somebody needed to eat dinner. I said, “No problem, I have other stuff to do.” Sharon was spending some time with the Buffaloes. I checked out the Exploration Café, not too far away from the casino, and now they have San Pellegrino! I got two bottles and told Sharon I was going back to the cabin. The cabin steward came by to make up the cabin, so I took a little walkabout. Now I’m wondering what I will do tomorrow because I’m running out of clothes. We have two loads of laundry out. I went through four undershirts in the previous two days, so it may be necessary for Plan B. I’m hoping to get a laundry deliver tonight; but, it is already 9PM. I think I will just call it a night.

Sharon spent her evening by attending the Show Variations which was performed by the ships cast of singers and dancers. She said it was pretty good but she left just before the ending to secure her seat in the Piano Bar for a game of Ascertain that Tune Animal Style. She had to play alone again sitting between the two couples she’s gotten to know there. Barry only allows 1 or 2 per team. All songs had to have an animal in the title. For each one he gave an odd clue and then played part of the song so they could write down the answers. The clue for the first one was Pigeon Park though it wasn’t a pigeon or a park. He said it may be best not to focus on the clues. This one seemed to stump most people and Sharon didn’t have a clue that it was Swan Lake though she recognized the melody. Not a good start but she managed to get 17 out of 20. She’s giving me a hard time now since I said I would have know how to correct one of her answers. She wrote down Elephant Walk and if I’d know that I would have know it was Baby Elephant Walk. It went up for a vote but she was voted down for not having Baby. She also missed Yaba Daba Honeymoon. She said it was a fun night with everyone laughing at the clues. One couple got 19 to win and 2 other teams got 18 so they got to play the Bid a Note Bonus Round for 2nd place. So if I’d been there to support Sharon she’d have made it to that round and she actually knew the song though one team gave the other 9 notes to get Running Bear Loved Little White Dove.

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