Penultimate Blog

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April 9th 2020
Published: April 9th 2020
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Penultimate Blog.....

Managed it! A few photos from my iPad! There’s not much scenery except sea and sky. The picture of the people on the ship if from the day the second showing of support for NHS staff took place, at noon, the whole ship took part and the ships horn blew for the whole minute. I found it very moving,

Thursday 9th April.

Our days are blending into one, it’s hard to distinguish between them. I’m not sure how interesting this all is to you, dear readers, but it will remind us of our long sea crossing this spring. I hope it’s not boring. We really are enjoying ourselves still. Who wouldn’t? A floating hotel with lots of nice people, all our meals prepared, no housekeeping, we would happily go on and on.

Day 48 - Monday 30th March, 2020

What’s on? Can’t be much different to the other days! Shipwrecks that changed History from Geoff Peters, An Audience with Wayne Sleep in the afternoon, David Copperfield again in the evening, film - A Cry in The Dark, Meryl Streep, the story of the dingo that got the baby.

Well, Roger wasn’t so keen on Wayne Sleep and I wasn’t so keen on the evening show so he went to the film in the afternoon and I went in the evening!

Wayne Sleep talked some about his involvement in The Real Marigold Hotel documentary he was involved in that was on TV a few years ago. He was entertaining, talking about the other celebs in the programme too.

I had some WiFi time so I spent time on what’s app talking to my sisters and friends and sending emails, as well as doing as much blog as possible in an effort to catch up.

If I write Shipwrecks now I’m never going to catch up, so I’ll save these write ups for another time.

Day 49 - Tuesday 31st March, 2020

Another day of lectures and shows. Today John was back with more stories of Papua New Guinea, this time the most valuable commodities, namely Nogo (pigs), Tindi (Land), Wali (Women) and the Igini (Men). This was about their ancient customs and social welfare and new government laws. He also introduced us to Kaweyava, a singer from PNG. He gave us the impression she was to appear live, but we later found she had been videoed.

It was another lovely day and so we went up onto the sun decks to pass the time at the tables there, and I also managed to post my blog. It’s been difficult getting the pictures in, as well as the text, so apologies. I’ll try and just do some photos at some point, although there’s not much photo opportunity these days, apart from sea!

The film didn’t appeal to me so we went back to the theatre in the afternoon to hear John’s prodigy. As I said it turned out to be a video but nonetheless she had a lovely voice. We were expecting a traditional singer from the islands, south sea islands style. She came from The Trobriand islands, her father was Australian and a friend of John and Morag, she had grown up islands and loved to sing and dance. She opened with a traditional song and then proceeded to sing ballads, playing her own accompaniment on the guitar, very very well! She travels with her mum and sings on cruise ships at the moment, but can be found on You Tube.

In the evening I went to the theatre to the variety show with a young magician and a soul singer. They’re putting on some of the entertainers that we now find out we’re quarantined when they got on. The Magician was entertaining, very clever with cards, how did he do that????. The soul singer was ok, too busy trying to get the audience to sing with her to really get on with it! Still with only half the show of 45mins she was ok.

Roger had booked to go to the film in the evening but ended up chatting with others in the Piano bar instead.

Day 50 - Wednesday 1st April, 2020

The weather in the tropics is lovely. The days are sunny and warm, getting warmer as we approach the equator, due on Friday. After the morning talks we go and find a table if we can, either in the shade or sun, depending on the temperature and the wind, and spend 2 or 3 hours there until early afternoon. If it’s windy the roof is often closed, or open slightly. I usually have a light buffet lunch, a roll and salad, or lately we’ve shared a pizza from the grill. Alternatively Roger sometimes goes to the main dining room for lunch, before he heads off for a siesta before the afternoon film.

Today Geoff Peters was back with a talk about The America’s Cup, as riveting as always. The film in the afternoon was fully booked, there aren’t so many seats now due to the social distancing, so I thought I’d fo and listen to a guest speaker who was talking about the history of spices.

The evening show was another variety show, with Suzi Madin, who’d sung the Karen Carpenter songs with more 60s, 70s and 80s songs and a guitarist, Mark Ruebery, with songs from ‘Sinatra to Sherman, Clapton to The Eagles’. An enjoyable 45 minutes.

Day 51 - Thursday 2nd April, 2020

Getting hotter. Too hot to sit in the sun, it’s at least 29 in the morning and 35 ish by early afternoon and light winds so the sun is blazing down. A day in the shade I think.

John was back this morning with ‘ Memory Meanderings’. He’s put some extra talks together for us due to our extraordinary circumstance. Today is about the architecture in different locations, the traditional weapons, musical instruments and other items used daily.

The film is Knives out which we managed to get seas for in the afternoon. We have seen it already but enjoyed it tremendously the second time too.

The evening show was a repeat of 2 nights ago so we went out on deck for a while in the balmy air.

Day 52 - Friday 3rd April, 2020

Geoff’s talk today was about Ernest Shackleton, and the heroic age of arctic exploration. It was inspiring and as gripping as always. ( More of this at a later date. ).

The weather was definitely tropical, it was hot and humid with very heavy showers all day. Stepping outside was like stepping into a sauna! It was about 34 degrees. We crossed over the equator at almost exactly 4pm, with a countdown by the Captain from the bridge.

We went to see the film early afternoon, End of Sentence, which filled some time.

After a buffet supper upstairs ( Spanish evening) we spent some time out on the promenade deck waiting the sunset, the weather having cleared by now. It was idyllic, something for us to remember in the coming weeks. I managed some pretty decent photos.

Then we went to see the show in the theatre, a repeat of 2 days ago, but just as enjoyable as they varied it slightly.

Day 53 - Saturday 4th April, 2020

It was a much nicer day today but still really hot so a day for the shade. That is after listening to John’s last talk about PNG. It was a rounding off of facts about the islands.......just a taster, the island bit island is divided into 2 parts, West Papua, belonging to Indonesia and the eastern side which is Papua New Guinea. I’ll write it up later and post, just to complete my news properly.

I managed to to post my blog although annoyingly could get the photos to download properly. I spent the rest of my WiFi time

I wasn’t out for long as I had a haircut and pedicure booked, last ones for some time I suspect. The hairdressers had run out of hairspray some time ago, and the girl who cut my hair commented that they had also run out of hair colour. This is a cruise that lots of people will not forget!

Roger went off this afternoon to listen to a talk about a Russian submarine that sank and the politics surrounding it.

We caught up with each other later and after supper went to the theatre to see the Ships Theatre Company with a show about songs from the films, Reel To Reel. There are some very talented dancers and singers in the group. One couple do a bit more acrobatics than the others, the girl doing some high rope turns , pretty impressive.

Day 54 - Sunday 5th April, 2020

The weather was perfect today. About 24 degrees. Very light winds. I went and sat outside on the back deck for my breakfast. Roger ad his early in the dining room and then helped me outside for the rest of the morning. He went off to the interdenominational service in the theatre and then came back to join me. Only one week left now, time seems to be accelerating.

There weren’t any other lectures that appealed to us today so we went to the film this afternoon, The Tomorrow Man. It was a bit slow to get going but was ok. Filled a couple of hours!

The evening was another variety show. Think they’re getting the moneys worth out of the performers that haven’t done much yet! Today was the pianist who was on a week or so ago and then David Copperfield, the not very funny guy with the good singing voice. Chatting with some people after they said that he used to be in 3 of a Kind with Tracey Ullman and Lenny Henry. I remember them but certainly not him. Jeff Stevenson, the better comedian, compared the show, doing 5 mins or so at the beginning and then in between the 2 acts.

He was very topical about life on the ship, and very funny.

Todays sunset was rather lovely. We sat on deck after supper and just enjoyed the light and the sound of the sea, trying to commit it to our senses to enjoy in the weeks to come. A haze seems to appear just before the sun gets to the horizon, but my phone gives a colour that’s not quite what we see, but looks pretty good, none the less.

Day 55 - Monday 6th April, 2020

Roger’s tooth still playing him up so headed for the Sick bay to see Doc. soon as could. Is pretty fed up about it. Not sure how we will manage getting treatment when we get back but obviously needs it seriously.

Circumnavigation was Geoff’s topic today, notes made ready to write up. The weather today was a northerly, right on the nose, our heading taking up parallel to the African coast. We spent time on the covered sun deck, me writing this up and roger coming and going for sleeps and walks.

We went to the film in the afternoon, My Cousin Rachel, which we had seen some time ago but I’d actually forgotten the ending so enjoyed it again.

The evening was another black tie, but roger still not feeling great with his tooth we decided to give it a miss and had some Spanish Buffet in the restaurant upstairs on Deck 9 and then went to the show, a repeat of 2 days ago, Reel to Reel, equally enjoyable. They’re a pretty good troupe!

Day 56 - Tuesday 5th April, 2020

At 9am we were at 21 degrees N, due to cross the Tropic of Cancer about 1pm. Our position was about half way between Cape Verde and the Canaries, 30 nautical miles off the coast of the Sahara.

Another day closer to home. Weather the same as yesterday, only about 20 degrees, cool wind. I started another book! Kiss of death for writing then! Really got into it. Nothing on that we wanted to take part in today. No lectures, the film is a space/fantasy story and the show a repeat of 2 days ago. Roger did go to that as he really liked the pianist. I read instead!

We’ll be at Tenerife in the morning.

Sorry this is so uninspiring. But we are still making the most of our wonderful trip. It hasn’t been as we anticipated when we booked it, but when we set out in February the world was already changing due to the pandemic, although it was labelled that until a few days after we left. We have had an amazing time and will be sorry to leave the ship. Even the captain commented he would like to continue cruising instead of facing what we have in store next week.

I’ll probably publish the next blog after we get home, unless I have time on Saturday once I’ve managed to pack our bags.

Love to hear from any of you.


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