Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Report # 86 Sailing Towards Durban, South Africa March 25, 2014 Tuesday Partly cloudy, 85 degrees

What a difference a day can make. After a long night of 45 mph winds pushing waves into the sides of the ship, we woke up to dark, cloudy skies, and very choppy seas. The deep swells in the water kept the ship in motion practically all day. Even though the daily newsletter said we would have 85 degree weather, we doubt it ever got anywhere near that. The winds and the waves were the best on the lower promenade deck, where we took a walk after breakfast.

This is when things got exciting. Every sea day after walking three or four laps, one of us takes a break to either watch for fish, but more so, to catch their breath. Got a little more than a break, when a huge wave sent a spray of water that came up and over the railing, hitting the ceiling and the windows on deck three. Everything got soaked, including me, because I had no time to react quick enough. Well, that woke me up in a hurry and gave some lounge- reclining guests a laugh for the morning. Knowing it was not meant to be mean-spirited, I laughed as well.

Most everyone stayed inside the ship today doing the usual activities. Two lectures were held in the Queens Lounge, one all about fish, and the other about the Sochi Winter Olympics. A Royal Dutch High Tea was held in the dining room at 3pm. If one is in the mood for popcorn, a movie in the Wajang Theater would work. Today it was, Now You See Me, a 2013 flick.

We have had some questions regarding the upcoming Mariner Appreciation Days with Stein Kruse, the CEO of HAL and his entourage. Here is what we know. This group will be joining the Amsterdam in Durban. We and 140 other passengers will miss the festivities , because we are all taking overland trips to go on safaris. The special days they will be onboard will feature Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a Nobel Peace Prize recipient and close personal friend of the late Nelson Mandela. Recently, we received an invitation for a welcome cocktail party in the Queens Lounge on March 30th. Of course, we will not be able to attend. Nor did we get an invite to Mr. Tutu's talk in the Queens Lounge. Other folks received tickets for this event, because there will be two talks to accommodate all of the folks. During those four days, we assume there will be several lunches for the Mariner members to attend according to their level in the Mariner program. What's missing this year? Well, there will not be a wild drinking party held in the Lido pool area. In fact we heard there will be no building of any kind in the Lido pool area. Now that is a good thing in our humble opinion, because the crowds of people they shove in there is not really fun. We have heard many guests complain about the disruption of their cruise with this extra fuss and building of structures. We can live wthout it. And will, because we won't be here.

Dinnertime found all of us back to the table, with Maureen joining by dessert time. She keeps a list of questions and answers from both trivia games of the day. When we are ready, she whips them out and enjoys becoming the trivia host for us. Barb knows the answers for the noon game, but not the 5pm one. She wisely does not answer before giving us all a chance first. It is surprising how much we DO know, but also how much we DON'T know. The answers most times are on the tips of our tongues, but speed is also the name of this game. If you snooze......you lose. Anyway, we have loads of fun when Maureen joins us.

Two more days to pack for our 5 day overland trip in South Africa, but more about the details tomorrow.

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