Thursday, January 23, 2014

Report # 26 Sailing Towards Pitcairn Island January 23, 2014 Thursday Partly cloudy, some showers, 77 degrees

Seems like we have run into some showers this morning, if that was really a rainbow we saw while eating breakfast this morning in the dining room. Of course, the rain comes with the territory down here in the South Pacific. Speaking of down here, we are so far from any land mass, we can say we are in the middle of nowhere. We have not seen one ship of any kind sailing in this direction. Sort of lonely, although, we are sure there may be company out there. Just can't see them. The only sealife we have seen are a few flying fish, and nothing bigger. Another sign that we are far from land is the fact there are no birds following us.

Guest speakers continued their talks on Pitcairn and digital photography. Barbara gave a talk on things to do and see in Papeete, Tahiti. It is not too late to sign up for tours in French Polynesia, or any other future port on this trip. Something tells us that few excursions are selling out, and more people are doing their own thing.

We have been invited to another wine tasting session, but once again, it was held at 11am in the dining room. Of course, if we were interested in drinking wine, we could buy a ship package with a 50% discount, a Mariner perk. We are certain that we would be reminded of this if we attend the tasting. Wish this tasting was offered around 1pm instead. Sipping wine at 11am is too early for us since we just finished breakfast.

While some folks were indulging in Polynesian high tea, we were blowing away at the aft pool. The winds had become rather gusty. You know, the kind that lifts the towels off the lounges with you on them. We finally got smart and purchased heavy duty clips at our Home Depot to secure the towels. Small bungee cords help keep the backs of the lounges secure so they don't beat you on the head and back when you sit up. One by one, most sunbathers gave up and left. Henk, our hotel director, was out for some fresh air, and came back to talk with us. Actually, he can barely talk, because he has been dealing with a case of laryngitis for the last couple of days. Must be something going around with the staff, because the librarian also has the same malady. She has a sign on her desk saying that she has misplaced her voice, and hopes to find it soon. Oh we sure hope this is not the start of a shipwide problem. Would not surprise us.

Every sea day at 12:45pm, Captain Jonathon delivers his daily ship report on the speakers. He states all the facts of our position and weather first. Then he gives an idiom always related to ships or ocean travel. On past cruises, he admitted that these interesting facts have been the idea of his wife's, who does the research on them. Karen has traveled the full world cruises in 2012 and 2013, but family matters have kept her home until Hong Kong this time. We do have a feeling that she is still supplying these idioms by email. Where else would we find out where a square meal, a clean slate, or a slush fund originated from? A square meal was food served on a square cut piece of cedar wood, such as a shingle. A clean slate was actually a smooth stone that was used to list ship jobs for the day. Wiped clean at the end of the day, you started the following day with a clean slate. A slush fund is something you may not expect. Wooden barrels that were used to hold preserved meats or fish would be scraped of the excess build up of fat. This fat would be sold onshore and the money was kept for a slush fund for the crew. Interesting.

We had company for dinner tonight, since two of the regulars went to Canaletto. Friends Ellen and Aart were brought by good buddy Barb. They seemed very comfortable with our friendly group, and will be welcomed anytime. Dinner was good with the entrees we ordered of good ol Thanksgiving-style turkey and gravy with mashed sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce. Real comfort food.

We have fallen behind on the entertainment. So we can report that Peter Neighbour, a clarinetist, had some problems on stage. The Amsterdam singers and dancers performed That's Life, with tunes from Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Jr. We heard that the costuming was much better for this show. This evening there was a game show at 7:30pm....Battle of the Sexes. And the later show featured a man by the name of Michael Bacala, a violinist.

The clocks went back again tonight one hour. This is going to get habit-forming.

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