Another Lazy Sea Day with Nothing to Do – Double-NOT


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Oceans and Seas » Atlantic » North Atlantic
July 24th 2018
Published: July 25th 2018
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Some people don’t like sea days. It’s a good thing that we do. For one thing, it gives us a chance to catch our breath instead of going on a tour day after day to the point that it becomes a grind. And also, like yesterday, we found ourselves with an unscheduled sea day. We’ve been on cruises where fellow passengers would insist that if they missed a port it was due to some sinister plot by HAL to keep them on board to buy more things in their onboard stores; or, just to ruin their vacations! That doesn’t seem to be the case on Voyage of the Vikings where the norm is to be a 4-star or 5-star mariner and there seems to be an appreciation that the captain’s primary focus is our safety. And I like them because without them it would be much more difficult to keep up with writing a blog.

Sharon went off to mass, and I was just finishing up yesterday’s blog. Father Roman’s sermon, at the request of many of the passengers, was on the differences between the Easter and Western rights in the Roman Catholic Church. He is from the Ukraine Eastern Right but is also certified to say the latin rite used by most Catholics. Some of the differences are in the way they cross themselves. The Holy part of the cross is actually supposed to be on the right shoulder which it was when it was in latin but when translated to English it’s on the left shoulder and they decided not to change it. However, they changed the direction in the Ukraine mass. Another major difference is that priests can be married in the Ukraine orders. In fact his brother is married (Father Roman isn’t since he is a monk) and that has caused some confusion for his son in school. I met Sharon after mass in the Explorer’s lounge. There were no sudoku puzzles out today, and a lot of people had been coming by to find that there would be no sudoku today. We took this Sea Day as an opportunity to have breakfast in the dining room; as, we often do on such days.

I had the standard Eggs Benedict while Sharon had cinnamon French toast. The seas have definitely picked up since we began sailing away from Labrador. Sharon had mapped out the whole day for us and this afternoon our calendar was full. Most of our schedule would be in the Showroom; except, for Trivia which we learned the hard-way yesterday is at 1PM on Sea Days (even unscheduled ones).

Sharon had gotten her 11AM and 2PM lectures mixed up and was going to go with me to the Showroom at 11AM until I mentioned that this was the Shakespeare lecture. I hadn’t realized that she’d picked it out just for me. This is supposedly supposed to help with the obligatory Shakespeare questions in Team Trivia. Roberta Sloane gave a talk on how Shakespeare is still alive today. She began by reviewing the many everyday sayings or turns of phrases that go back to something he wrote. And she put up three or four slides of such phrases that we’ve all heard. She talked about how the Globe Theatre today does productions of Shakespeare in the “Original Language” and gave samples of how the spoken language would differ today from how it was spoken “back in the day”. And she talked about how movies today may be derived from his plays (e.g. West Side Story being based on Romeo and Juliet).

I went back to the cabin, and we went up to the Lido for lunch. Today I went for Italian again, and this time got the baked pasta with ham and a chopped turkey salad; while, Sharon got her turkey and potatoes and we went to find a place to sit. There was no place to sit. We circled the Lido and outside by the pool. Every table was taken. On a second circle of the Lido we found a just cleaned table by the exit and grabbed it. Sharon went off to get a Sprite and her turkey and potatoes were cold by the time she returned. She wasn’t a happy camper, vowing tomorrow would be different: Find a table first, then get the drink and then go for the food. The unspoken truth in this is that she’ll need a pack mule to hold her table for her while she does this!

Jim and Rose Marie met us at a new table that I’d found for Team Trivia. Duncan and Pam were no where to be found. One man came over saying he was looking for his team, and that we were not them, and that we were sitting at his table. We pointed out that somebody else was seated at our table. He went off thoroughly confused. Linda was getting ready to start, and two young women with distinctively European accents approached as asked if they could join our team. It was already five minutes past 1PM and Linda was starting so we said yes. We introduced ourselves, and I asked them where they were from, and they replied “Germany”. “Who had the 1990’s hit ‘I’m too Sexy’?” Annabelle and Alexi discussed it among themselves a bit in German. None of us had a clue; but, they wrote on a piece of paper “Right Said Fred”. As all this is unfolding Duncan and Pam scurry in; but, they shrug off their tardiness, and find another team to join. I’m still trying to make heads or tail of their answer; but, they assure us that they know what they’re talking about. As it turns out, they do indeed! We thought that we were cruising with no problems through the first ten questions. Linda even asked a “Tennis Question” which I should have been able to answer. “Who is the only tennis player to have won four career grand slams in tennis?” Actually, I did come up with an answer, and that was part of the problem. My answer was “Margaret Court”. I pointed out to Annabelle and Alexi after the answers were revealed that they should have corrected me to “Steffi Graf”. We also failed to identify what the third most common gas is in the Earth’s atmosphere after nitrogen and oxygen. I wasn’t happy with hydrogen which was the answer our team voted for. I considered Carbon Dioxide or Methane; but, didn’t think they were right. We did consider Helium but dismissed that as well. We just overlooked “Argon” altogether. Sharon had the answers for the Grammy Album winner with the title of 1984 (Taylor Swift) and the Singer that has top albums in 5 decades a few tried to talk her out of Barbara Striesand but luckily they didn’t since that was right. The bonus question was a Super-Hero Bonus. “Bruce Wayne is Batman. Who are Bruce Banner, Tony Stark and Britt Reid?” Our new teammates knew the first two: “The Hulk” and “Iron Man”. To be honest, I knew the second one (it is in my spreadsheet). But the last one stumped us. We put down “Elastic Girl”. It was however “The Green Hornet”. Linda required us to give the paper to the most honest person on our team to grade; so, of course we gave our answer sheet to Sharon. This is a precautionary measure to avoid contamination due to a higher than normal incidence of Noro-virus on the ship. She’s too honest if you ask me. She wouldn’t even give me partial credit for my definition of the acronym “LASER”. I wrote down “Light Amplification by the Synchronized Emission of Radiation.” I mean, one lousy word is wrong. So, what if “Synchronized” should be “Stimulated”. They both start with “S”! They both end in “ED”! That should be close enough. After all, spelling doesn’t count. If another team had graded the paper, they might not have even noticed! I later checked and realized that this answer from a previous Cruise Trivia question was in my spreadsheet, and it had said “Synchronized” too, so now I’m really confused. I’ve checked, and it is indeed “Stimulated”; so, hopefully I’ll get this one next time. We got 10 and one-half points; but, some lucky first-time winners got 13 points. (We got the half point because we only knew the first name of the character played by Jennifer Aniston on “Friends”).

After Trivia, we headed back down to the Showroom for Donald Sutherland’s presentation on Greenland, And the Man Who Changed the World. You might think, as I thought, that this might be a talk about such Viking legends as Leif Erickson. And if so, you might also be surprised, as I was, that I really can’t remember hearing of the man who changed the world: Alfred Wegener. Al, as I like to call him because it’s easier to type, postulated the theory that the continents drifted apart from one land mass; and, eventually his meticulous work was accepted by an initially skeptical (to say the least) scientific community. His work was largely scoffed at while he lived; but, after his death his geological observations provided evidence to give pause to even his most ardent critics. Al died in Greenland failing to return from a geological site he’d established in the middle of the country. His body was found in a grave dug by his companion (who was never found). The speaker observed that Al would be pleased to know that he is buried in Greenland in a grave that is moving at a pace of 2cm per year.

We stayed in our seats for the next lecture on Greenland by the excursion team to cover highlights that we may see Discovering Paamiut (our next port of call) and Qaqortoq (the following day). There are no HAL tours in these ports, and exploration is left to us to go out and see these communities. Sharon is on a quest to find Whale Bone Arches; and, to report back to Ruth her findings. We visited Ruth on our last day in Rhode Island, prior to boarding the Rotterdam.

After the lecture on things to see in Greenland, we went down to the lower Showroom level to play $5,000 Jackpot Bingo. Nino is a really good bingo caller. It was Sharon’s turn to buy the Bingo Cards. Again we agreed to buy the 6-pack for $35 (better value than 3-pack for $25). We didn’t come close for the first regular Bingo game. Nino doesn’t ask people to stand when they are one number away; only, that they wave at him and catch his attention. I was surprised during the second “Four-Corner Game” that I was the second to get within number. I needed B-2! Nino then proceeded to call seven straight B’s. On the seventh B I immediately shouted “Bingo”. Somebody else called “Bingo” also; so, we split the $182 prize. It didn’t seem fair to us that the person who won the “Postage Stamp No Free Space” game was the same lady who stole half my Bingo right out from under me! At least it didn’t seem fair until Sharon called “Bingo” on the coverall on the 65th number called; only, she didn’t have to split her $360 prize with anyone!

For dinner I had the Goat Cheese Torte and the Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup. Both were delicious. Sharon enjoyed her Watermelon Gazpacho. I thought my Asian Salad with Salmon was very good; and, everyone at the table thought that my salad looked very good also (but I secretly think they were glad that I was eating it and not them). They had things like Chicken Kiev and Grilled Red Fish. Sharon had the everyday sirloin Steak. I had the Cheese and Fruit again for dessert. Everybody was eyeing Sharon’s Chocolate Torte with No Sugar Added. She said that it was great. It seems that only Sharon was indulging her sweet tooth. The others were being good too ordering fruit.

Due to the rolling seas, the Show tonight was changed because it was supposed to be a dance show. Instead we saw Nick Paul Comedy and Magic. His show was entertaining; but, I’m noticing a recurring theme in all the illusions that we’re seeing recently. Write something on a card or bill… Have it disappear or be destroyed… Have it reappear somewhere else. In the case of the $50 that somebody loaned him, it reappeared in an orange, and he returned the bill to the lady, with the soggy bill in a plastic bag. He assured her that it would dry out in a day or two. Now he did one trick that just doesn’t “ADD” up. He borrowed somebody’s iPhone and then asked random people to type in a number into the calculator app. He asked the first person to type in a two-digit number. He then said that he would press the “Multiply” key. He asked a second person to type in a two-digit number. Again, he then pressed the “Multiply” key. He asked third person to type in a two-digit number. Again, with the multiply. The fourth person he asked to input a 3-digit number; and, multiply. And finally, the fifth person was asked for a 4-digit number. And voila. He touches the “Equal” key and the phone is handed back to its owner and that person reads the result: “7242018”. A piece of paper is then taken from a jar that had been in plain site all during the act (although who was really looking at it in the jar on the table… not that it matters). And he unwraps the paper to reveal “7242018” which also just happens to be today’s date July 24, 2018. The problem is, if you do the multiplication as he said that it was done, you wind up with a number that has at least nine digits. Oops. What is interesting, is this illusion should have been done with one 2-digit number, one 3-digit number and one 4-digit number. And if that had been done there would have been two and only two possible set of numbers provided that could give this result: 14 x 269 x 1923 or 21 x 269 x 1282! (Sorry about nerding out on you; but, as I write this tomorrow’s port has been cancelled and we’re on another Sea Day waiting for the “When & Where” to be updated with our activities for the day and I find myself with a little too much time on my hands.)

Tonight, Barry From Boston is hosting a game: Ascertain That Tune. The owners of the “Name That Tune” trademark have restrained him or HAL from infringing on their trademark. I think we were hoping to join a team; but, he was limiting it to couples or singles. So, Sharon “lucked out” and got to play with me. We started out pretty well knowing the first one which was Annie’s Song and then Oobla De Oobla Dah (though we weren’t sure how to get to break the words into the 4 he told us was the answer). We didn’t have a clue on the Sinatra song I’ve Got You Under My Skin but got the rest of the round 1 answers where you had to name the song. Round 2 was 5 questions involved naming the artist associated with the song and we had no idea on Let Me In (Olivia Newton John) and I messed up the singer of 16 tons and wrote Jimmy Dean even though we were told it was 3 words (Should have got Tennessee Ernie Ford). Sharon got Garth Brooks for Friends in Low Places, Petula Clark for Downtown, and Miley Cyrus for Wrecking Ball. The final round was 5 songs from Musicals. We got three of those (Chorus Line, Sound of Music, and Hair) but missed South Pacific and Chicago. We actually didn’t do that badly getting 15 out of 20. The winning team got a perfect score of 20. The 2nd place team got 18 and then there were 3 teams tied for 3rd including the couple next to us that Sharon had sat with the previous night. After 2 rounds tiebreakers the team next to us won. The last tie-breaker was a Name that Tune in so many notes challenge. It wasn’t clear either of the finalists remembered that game.



And that character on “Friends”: Her name was Rachel Green.

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