Thursday, 1 March 2012

Singapore And Home – The Last Post

Monday February 27th – Day 54

Woke up to thunder, lightning and pouring rain…welcome to Singapore.
We had to vacate our suite by 8am this morning - although I did stretch it to twenty past eight – so then it was off to breakfast in The Colonnade with our hand luggage. Despite the rain we sat outside under the covered area and had our last breakfast (for this year!!) on The Quest. We spent most of our time saying goodbye to friends who were either leaving as well or continuing on for the next segment…lucky devils!!

From Cape Town to Singapore we have travelled 6575 nautical miles which makes our total half world cruise distance 15333 nautical miles and we enjoyed every one of them. Thank you Seabourn.

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We disembarked from deck five at 9am and we were waved off by Michelle, Vitor and the captain who said “Where are you going, I thought you were on to Dubai”….. for a moment I thought somebody had forgotten to tell me that Seabourn had extended our stay but no it was just a confused captain moment so after kisses and hugs all round we left the ship and our quest was finally over…boo hoo.

I’d like to thank Seabourn for giving us another wonderful experience and also the crew and staff, who make Seabourn so special, for all the wonderful service and the friendly ambiance they created. Special thanks also go to Barry Hill of Thomas Cook Cruising who worked tirelessly all last summer  to get us moved from waitlisted to confirmed booking; to John Delaney and Melody Kelly of Seabourn Seattle for their help in getting us our midship (almost) V2 suite; the captain who steered us safely and is one of the most friendly and approachable people I’ve met; Adam from The Patio bar whose smile really brightened my day and John who seemed to work day and night to bring us such wonderful entertainment …..don’t forget to sleep John!!

As for the guests, the mix of ages and nationalities made for a wonderful eclectic mix and it was a pleasure to spend time with them ….. apart from one or two guests who were unfortunately obnoxious and rude… to both other guests and staff …. luckily the ship was large enough to be able to avoid their presence most of the time (well the guests could but the staff just had to smile and bear it)…. and hopefully we will never meet them again.

After standing in the queue for over an hour to clear immigration…. a private car was waiting to drive us to the Conrad Centennial Hotel where we had a day room until 7pm.  After checking in we decided to walk to Bugis Street market for some last minute shopping and yes, I did buy another pair of shoes and a beautiful white ceramic watch.

As it was nearly twelve noon we were frantically looking for somewhere that sold Corona beer and for something to eat…starving by now…but it was not to be, so we settled for a Big Mac and a large coke….not quite the same.

On the way back to the hotel we called in at Raffles Hotel and in the Long Bar we met some of the Quest entertainment staff enjoying the traditional Singapore Sling and eating the monkey nuts.

The afternoon was spent swimming and lazing by the pool on the fourth floor and enjoying the last of the sunshine.

At 7pm our private car returned to drive us to Changi Airport where we met quite a few of our fellow Brit cruisers who were also on the 11pm, thirteen hour BA flight home. Luckily we were travelling business class so after a goodly dinner and several drinks we managed to sleep in our fully flatbed seats for over eight hours.

We landed at Heathrow at 4:38am where our friend Peter was waiting to drive us home.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this blog as I’ve certainly enjoyed writing it. Big thanks to Vance for his accompanying picture show complete with his captions to my photos …what a team!!

I can’t resist saying…. “I’ll be back”…. because we have booked to be on The Quest next January for another half world cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Hong Kong via The Panama Canal……sailing the right way round the world this time….well right to left/east to west …if you see what I mean.

So…That’s All For Now Folks…until next year.

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Sunday February 26th - Day 53

Cruising The Strait Of Malacca
The Strait Of Malacca is a narrow five hundred mile stretch of water between the Malay peninsula and the Indonesian island of Sumatra. It is named after the Malacca sultanate that ruled over the archipelago between 1414 and 1511.

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Weather is not brilliant this morning but as I have to start the packing...boo... I guess that's a good thing. It rained all morning but we still had our noon beer ritual...it's the last one!!

The sun came out for lunch so we dined at the Patio Grill to make the most of dining out of doors....we won't be doing that when we get home.  The sun shone hot and bright all afternoon so a group of us made the most of our last afternoon on board and partied noisily in the pool and drank the odd cocktail or three...hic...

Remember I told you about the 'Guess The Weight' contest well one of our group, Mike, won first prize so he now has a $2500 rock containing an uncut emerald as a reminder of the cruise...Mike I think wife Jackie will be getting that set for a pair of earrings.
This evening twelve of us had a special Brits going home curry dinner in The Restaurant (well Melanie is from the US but we made her an honorary Brit as she is married to Peter, a Brit).

After a few more drinks in the club it was back to the room to put our luggage outside of our suite for the midnight luggage pickup. That really brought it home that we are leaving tomorrow.
It will be a sad day tomorrow saying goodbye to newly made friends...there will be lots of hugs and kisses and perhaps a few tears.

Techie bits: At 9:55am we were:
3° north and 100° east
Travelling on a compass course of 170°
Speed = 14 knots
Apparent wind speed = 10 knots off the starboard  bow
Air temperature = 27°c (81°f)
Total nautical miles sailed = 15039
Depth = 56 metres
Humidity 67%
Sunrise = 7:31am  Sunset = 7:32pm

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Last Day At Sea And Penang

Friday And Saturday February 24th & 25th - Day 51 & 52

Friday - Our third day at sea and for some reason everybody is talking about going home except for Vance who keeps changing the subject.....you've guessed it...he wants to stay on for another month!!
Our clocks went forward thirty minutes this afternoon which means we are now eight hours ahead of UK time and it will stay this way all the way to Singapore.

At 6:30pm tonight it was the captain's farewell cocktails and the final of the 'Quest Factor' where the final five of the crew talent competition performed in front of the guests who will decide who wins the grand prize of $1000. We didn't quite make the live final but watched it in our suite on the tv as Vance wanted to watch the Cycling Championships on ESPN so we had to keep switching channels.
After the formal dinner in The Restaurant where we managed to get one of our favourite tables - thank you Andre - we went upstairs to the Grand Salon for the variety show.

Tonight there were three artists - Siobhan Phillips - singer and comedienne, cellist - Mariusz and comedian Jeff Stevenson. All three were fantastic and Siobhan dedicated 'Hallelujah' to Vance as she knows he's a great fan of Leonard Cohen. At the end of the show the talent show winner was announced...it was...(drum roll)...Jerry the singer and our onboard tailor...well done Jerry.
Drinks and dancing again in The Club then to bed...zzzzzzzz

Saturday - Couldn't get Vance out of bed this morning - it must have been a really late night last night...at breakfast he was half asleep and I thought he was going to ask for vodka with his orange juice as a pick me up...but he didn't.
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It is so hot now and the humidity is eighty-five percent and it's only 11:30am and I'm really melting.
We docked in Penang at 1pm and everyone is rushing to get ashore for private and Seabourn tours.

Penang comes from the Malay words for the betel nut - Palau Pinang and is an island state in Malaysia. A resident of Penang is colloquially known as a Penangite. Established in 1786 as a trading post by the British today Penang is favoured by travellers for both its scenic beauty and its places of ethnic and historic charm.
Our tour today was the north island tour, We left the waterfront and journeyed to a beautiful Thai Buddhist temple which houses the fourth largest reclining Buddha in the world - one hundred and eight foot long. The smiling Buddha is made of gilded cement and has eyes and toenails made of pearl. The outside of the temple is guarded by impressive dragons.

While wandering around the temple we found the statues that represented the twelve signs of the Chinese zodiac. Vance and I are both dragons and 2012 is also the year of the dragon.....could be a lucky omen!!
Afterwards we crossed the road to another Buddhist temple where I was blessed by a monk and sprinkled with holy water and had a yellow cotton bracelet tied around my wrist for good luck.

A leisurely drive towards the northerly tip of the island took us past the beautiful coves, beaches and hotels on Ferringhi Beach. We then visited the craft batik workshop where we were shown the intricate art of printing cloth with wax and dyes.
From here we went to the Butterfly Farm with its walk-in aviary providing sanctuary for over one thousand live butterflies, as well as tropical insects lizards and frogs. Vance took a fabulous photo of the Iguana feeding.

It was an amazing place but as they spray steam into the aviary every few minutes for the insects and butterflies it was even more humid inside than it was outside.
It was such a hot day that we were all looking forward to getting back to the ship and jumping into the pool but unfortunately as we drove back to the harbour a tropical storm blew in and the rain hammered down.

However that evening we were determined to eat under the stars so we waited until the rain stopped at 8:30pm and the patio grill staff laid us up a table and our wish came true.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Another Day At Sea

Thursday February 23rd - Day 50

Didn't wake up until 9am this morning - it's these one hour time changes, two nights in a row - it's a killer...nothing to do with the late night drinks though!!

Cloudy again today and quite windy but the temperature is still in the mid eighties.

We moved from the pool area (deck 8) up to deck 9 at 3:30pm so that the staff could start the setup for tonight's 'A Taste Of Madagascar' party - it was funny to watch them struggling with the draperies in the high wind and also to watch John our cruise director trying to float two giraffes on the swimming pool - we have pictures!!

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At 6:30pm we enjoyed cocktails and canap├ęs in the African setting by the pool. The entertainment team sang excerpts from The Lion King and other songs inspired by this beautiful country...like real troupers they continued with the show despite the rain starting to fall...doesn't it always.
Between 7pm and 9pm there was a Madagascar themed dinner (with some really spicy soup...yummy!) in The Colonnade which had also been decorated in an African theme.

Then at 9:15pm the desserts and 'Rock The Boat' show had to be moved to The Club as it was still raining. We danced all night - and thanks Luis for putting up with my attempts at dancing although he kindly said he awarded me ten out of ten for effort.
I forgot to say.... at 7pm Vance had an acupuncture appointment for his sore shoulder (golf inflicted!!). He came back a changed man (well almost) and said "this acupuncture stuff really does work"...hope they do it on the national health at home or any more sessions will be eating into my cruising fund.

Techie bits: At 11am we were:
5° north and 88° east
Travelling on a compass course of 085°
Speed = 12knots
Apparent wind speed = 32 knots off the port  bow
Air temperature = 28°c (82°f)
Total nautical miles sailed = 14188
Depth = 3890 metres
Humidity 66%
Sunrise = 7:50am  Sunset = 7:50pm


Friday, 24 February 2012

At Sea - Day 1 Of 3

Wednesday February 22nd - Day 49

Feel quite tired this morning after losing another hour (clocks forward) last night and I'm reading the daily Seabourn Herald and find that as we are now going directly east they are going to 'pinch' another hour off me tonight!!
Cloudy start today but still hot and balmy so we should be able to spend a pleasant afternoon on deck.

As there's not a lot going on today I'll give you a quick photo tour of Seabourn Square and some of the artworks around the ship.
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Seabourn Square is the meeting place on the ship for teas, coffee, snacks, reading the papers, doing the jigsaw  and generally getting together. It also holds guest services in the centre of The Square who take care of any problems that may arise and generally give advice on matters around the ship and with destination services  and future cruise sales on one side of The Square...it can really be a busy hub especially when the weather is not too kind. If you like your tea & coffee in relative peace and quiet there is an outside area at the back of The Square with comfy chairs and settees with a view over the stern of the ship.
As we are coming to the end of our cruise - only five days to go... boo hoo - I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all the blog followers both at home in the UK, onboard and around the world for all their lovely comments about the blog and a special mention to Brian and Margaret, previous world cruisers, who I'm sure won't mind me sharing their blog comment to us with you...

"Hi Helen and Vance.
It sounds like you are having an amazing time. Helen's blog and all the photographs have brought back so many memories of life on Seabourn and we've spotted quite a few familiar faces on the pics.

I bet you can't believe that you are on your last week. Life on the' outside' is hard to adjust back to. Actually I think that Helen has missed her calling. Her blog is such compulsive reading and so funny and informative that I think that Seabourn should pay you both to constantly cruise on their ships and write blogs of your travels. It would be the best marketing tool ever.  If it comes off don't forget your friends will you!
We'll keep in touch and we'll keep reading your blog and hope that you have another wonderful week on the ship.

Bye for now.
Love and best wishes
Margaret and Brian"
Thanks Brian and Margaret - great idea re Seabourn marketing. I will suggest it to them!!

Another hour forward tonight making us now seven and a half hours ahead of UK time...I think.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Colombo - Sri Lanka

Tuesday February 21st - Day 48

Colombo is the largest city of Sri Lanka and is a busy and vibrant city with a mixture of modern and colonial buildings. Due to its large harbour and its strategic position along the east-west sea trade routes Colombo was known to  ancient traders over two thousand years ago.
Originally known as Ceylon it became famous for producing the world's finest teas. It is also known for its fragrant spices and sparkling sapphires. The interior is a land of jungles inhabited by leopards and elephants and ruins of the great civilisations of the past.

After three days at sea we decided to go for a long walk along the coast before turning inland to the main city area. There were some fabulous old building but the thing that struck us most was the terrible pavements - all broken and missing. We learnt later that they are restoring the inner structure of the city but are starting from the outside areas first.

The other thing that struck us was the number of tuk-tuks and it was only later that we found out that the blue tuk-tuks were government controlled whilst the red and yellow ones were freelance. One crew member told us he got in a red tuk-tuk having been told the fare would be $2 to take him to the market only to be told as they drove off that the fare would now be $20...he quickly got out!!
At 6:30pm there was a show of traditional Srilankan dancing up on deck. The dancers wore richly decorated and colourful costumes and some had face masks. The energy of the male dancers was amazing with them spinning and performing acrobatics to enthral us guests.

Surf 'n Turf in The Colonnade tonight and it was really busy. The chef was really accommodating as I ordered a shrimp and avocado cocktail - without the shrimp and heavy on the avocado please! - and then my Surf 'n Turf main course was requested to be without the surf. Seabourn service at its best.
The show in the Grand Salon tonight was with Siobhan Phillips, a comedienne and unique vocal artist from Wakefield in Yorkshire, UK. It was also John, our cruise directors birthday and the audience gave him a rousing 'Happy Birthday to you....'

After the show Siobhan joined us for drinks in the club and two of the ship's other performers, Luis and Taylor, also joined us for a funny and entertaining hour before we were off to bed because the clocks go forward another hour tonight...zzzzzzz

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

At Sea On Our Way To Sri Lanka

Monday February 20th - Day 47
Happy fourth anniversary to us both!! and thank you to everyone on board and at home for your cards and kind wishes. We will be having a special anniversary meal tonight but more about that later.
There is a 'Guess The Weight' contest today - no not a person but some rocks in the onboard jewellers. We have to guess the combined weight of two rocks containing emeralds in their natural rough form. The draw will be made on Friday. I can't decide whether to do some research on Google or just rely on luck. Apparently one rock is valued at $1000 and the second at $2500 and the two people who have guessed the closest weight will win a rock each...hope it's me.
Happy anniversary beer at 12 noon (of course)....the bar staff suggested champagne but a ritual is a ritual.
Thought I might get the day off from Kinesis but Vance insisted I needed the exercise.
Graeme our exec chef cooked a special dinner just for us in the main restaurant tonight. We had lobster thermidor with pineapple rice baked inside the pineapple and our friends Cass and Julie from Sydney who we met on the first leg had kindly given us a bottle of premier Chablis which was perfect with the meal...thanks Cass and Julie.
Techie bits: At 10:05am we were:
5° north and 75° east
Travelling on a compass course of 066°
Speed = 13 knots
Apparent wind speed = 31 knots off the port  bow
Air temperature = 28°c (82°f)
Total nautical miles sailed = 13424
Depth = 2530 metres
Humidity 67%
Sunrise = 6:08am  Sunset = 6:06pm

Male - The Maldives

Sunday February 19th - Day 46

The Maldives is an island nation in the Indian Ocean formed by a double chain of twenty six atolls oriented north - south. The atolls encompass a territory spread over about 90,000 square kilometres making it one of the world's most geographically dispersed countries. Only 200 of the 1192 islands are inhabited. The Maldives is the smallest Asian country in both population and land area and with an average ground level of 1.5 metres above sea level it is the planets lowest country.
There were four tours offered today - a trip in a submarine...definitely not for me; a trip to a local fishing village...pass; a trip to Paradise Island Resort but as it was a fifty minute water taxi ride away and  we'd just had four days at sea we decided not to bother; the last tour was a guided walking tour around Male.....but we decided to do our own walking tour at our pace...and save a few dollars!!

We spent about one and a half hours on our walk passing the national museum where Vance found some World War 1 relics keeping him interested for a few minutes then into the shopping centre which was just a street with hundreds of shops that all seemed to be just selling shoes - and no I didn't buy any.

We ended up back at the harbour and explored the waterfront and local fish market. It was fascinating the watch the speed of the locals filleting the fish especially the large tunas.
Although it was interesting to explore Male we never got to see a beach so maybe one day we'll come back for a beach holiday.

Twelve noon ritual beer then lunch followed by sunning and swimming in the pool all afternoon....well someone has to do it!!
Tonight we dined in Restaurant 2 with Justine and Mark. It wasn't crowded in fact we were the only four in the restaurant - it was such good service!! Mark joked he'd booked the whole place just for us...yeh right but no complaint as he did treat us to a bottle of St. Emilion (Les Aromes de Pavie by Chateau Pavie 2005)....thanks dude.

Back on deck for a 'Rock The Boat Beatles Evening' where we sang and danced to the music of the entertainments team. Definitely ready for my bed after all that exercise!!

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

At Sea Crossing The Equator - Again

Saturday February 18th - Day 45

We are now crossing the equator from south to north towards the Maldives. It will only be the new people, both guests and crew, who have not yet crossed the equator and are therefore pollywogs who will have to go through the traditional right of passage ceremony to appease King Neptune.
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Our ceremony took place at 2pm and there were only about ten pollywogs who volunteered to go through the ceremony...although I'm sure there were many more who were hiding amongst the onlookers...we know who you are!!....
The captain joined in the fun and gave a bottle of aquavit to King Neptune as the fee for The Quest crossing his domain.

The usual gloop was flying around and as there were so few pollywogs they were well and truly covered. The ceremony ended as usual with the master of ceremonies and his henchmen being thrown into the pool where the captain gleefully joined them.
Tonight we were invited to a Grand Voyager Barbeque Dinner in The Spa Villa. Initially we were not sure we'd go as it started at 7pm - much too early for us - but we're glad we did attend (at about 8pm) as we dined with Vitor, the hotel manager and spent a few hours happily catching up on past times (last year's Sojourn World Cruise)....the food was good as well!!

For once we went to the show which was a Variety Showtime and it was a fun filled night full of singing, comedy and magic. It was really good and we enjoyed it.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Caviar In The Surf

Friday February 17th - Day 44

Caviar In The Surf is a Seabourn tradition in certain ports around the world but today the event was recreated in the swimming pool with officers, staff and crew in full uniform serving caviar from a surf board floating in the swimming pool and waiters pouring glass upon glass of chilled champagne to waiting guests. We guests either joined the servers in the pool or sat around the pools edge to be served at our leisure. The weather was perfect, the sea calm and obliging so a good time was had by all.
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The miracle has happened again, as like last year my nails have grown enough for me to be treated to a manicure in the Spa. What is it about cruising that allows me to grow my nails...I must be so relaxed that I never think about biting them...perhaps I should cruise more often Vance!!
Half an hour time forward today at 2pm so we're now five hours ahead of UK time.

Kinesis class at 4:30pm today and boy was it hard work as we've done no exercise for four days apart from walking around Mauritius. Perhaps we should have made a trip to the gym's treadmill...too late now!!
Tonight we had a table for eight people dining alfresco at The Colonnade - it was a set Chinese meal but several of the gentlemen decided to try all of the starters instead of just picking one. The weather was balmy, the seas were calm, the company excellent and the waiting staff were in good form...a brilliant end to the day.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Day 2 Of 4 Days At Sea

Thursday February 16th - Day 43

Wow...it's so calm today the sea is like a millpond. Today was one of those days where we just sat around and chatted with friends and talked about the cruise days gone by and those still to come - not many left now though for us at least!!
Half an hour clocks forward today from 2pm to 2:30pm not sure at the moment where we are time wise!! guess we'll just use ship time and not worry about it.

Fabulous sunset tonight coupled with the stillness of the ocean made for some fabulous shots. Sorry I couldn't resist showing off my artistic flair so there are loads of them.

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Techie bits: At 8:05am we were:
10° south and 64° east
Travelling on a compass course of 032°
Speed = 18 knots
Apparent wind speed = 2 knots off the starboard  bow
Air temperature = 29°c (84°f)
Total nautical miles sailed = 12142
Depth = 3780 metres
Humidity 68%
Sunrise = 5:44am  Sunset = 6:10pm



Saturday, 18 February 2012

Day 1 Of 4 Days At Sea

Wednesday February 15th - Day 42

Much smoother seas today and very, very hot - low 90's.
Noon beer was definitely welcome. I meant to go to the line dancing class today but didn't make it...also didn't make the golf putting prize game, the Baggo prize game or the fashion show. In fact all we managed to do - apart from the beer -  was sleep on deck, swim in the pool and then sleep some more.

If you remember back in Cape Town I told you that we saw John, our cruise director, carrying back to the ship a large plastic white deer...well here's the picture. He's had to put up with quite a bit of ribbing like...'look out here comes two old dears'  - and 'hello dear...no, not you John'.  We still don't know why he bought the deer but he assures us that it's for a future world cruisers event....yeh right!!

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Dinner tonight was French Market in The Colonnade and was so popular that we couldn't get an outside table so we had our first course inside then moved outside for the rest of our meal when a table became free and enjoyed a late balmy evening under the stars.

Another open 'mic'  joke night tonight and you know who got up to tell several raunchy jokes.... but the heat of the day had taken its toll and we were very soon back to our bed. Goodnight all.

Friday, 17 February 2012

Valentine's Day - Mauritius

Tuesday February 14th - Day 41

Happy Valentine's Day. ..I forgot to get Vance a card but luckily so did he...so we're quits.
After such a rough day at sea yesterday we thought we'd have a lie in this morning and just get up at about 8:30am to do the face-to-face immigration in Mauritius. John the cruise director thought otherwise and at 7:30am gave everyone a wakeup call over the tanoy saying 'could we come to the Grand Salon now' so that people going on tour could get off the ship early as everyone had to go through the immigration process before the ship could be cleared.

At the last minute we decided to go on the 'shopping with the chef' tour. So about twenty five of us joined Graeme and off we went to the local covered market in Port Louis.
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Although it was fascinating to see all the different fruit and veg available - many never seen in the UK - the heat and the humidity inside the market was unbearable and within minutes we were all dripping with sweat. However we persevered and watched Graeme haggling with the traders (in very good French) until he got down to the price he wanted to pay and then loaded Jackie Chan (his galley assistant) up with boxes of goodies to go back to the ship.
On the way back to the minibus for the return journey Vance spotted a street stall selling watches and as mine had broken over a week ago he said he would buy me a new one for Valentine's Day...lovely watch Vance but surely I'm worth more than $7.

Got back to the ship at 12:30pm so grabbed our ritual beer in The Colonnade with lunch - a bit late but well received after all that heat.
At 1:30pm we were off again to the Eureka Estate on a Seabourn complimentary shore event. Eureka House is one of the most beautiful and well preserved colonial dwellings in Mauritius dating back to 1812. After wandering through the rooms taking photos we thought there would just be hors d' oeuvres and a drink whilst watching the local dancers however the Estate had laid on a sumptuous lunch banquet which was a  bit embarrassing as we'd all had lunch onboard.

The trip should have lasted three hours but after about an hour and a half in the afternoon heat I'd had enough so Vance asked if one of the minibuses could take us back to the ship early...word soon went around and within minutes the bus was full of fellow guests.
Back onboard we all fell into the pool to cool down and spent the rest of the afternoon in and out of the pool with a goodly number of refreshing drinks ... non alcoholic of course... delivered by the waiters.

Tonight was a formal dinner and we dined with newly made friends Mark and Justine - she of the backup photographer fame!! - and both men's blushes were spared as Seabourn had provided red roses for the men to give to their ladies.
Back to The Club for drinks and dancing before falling into bed...very late and tired. What a day!!

Thursday, 16 February 2012

At Sea - It Should Have Been Reunion Island

Monday February 13th - Day 40

Oh what a night!! - really rough seas and our suite has creaked and groaned all night as the Quest negotiated the bottom of cyclone Giovanna. The pitch and roll of the ship was so noticeable in our suite - almost mid-ship on deck five - so I hate to think what it was like for those lucky (or unlucky) folk forward on deck ten!!
The swimming pool had been emptied overnight but due to the rocking and rolling of the ship it was deemed too dangerous to refill it and it was out of action for the day...a real pity as today it was so hot and a cooling dip would have been appreciated and also it's great fun to body surf when the pool gets really moving...fun but dangerous as it's easy to get slammed against the end of the pool.
Basically we did nothing all day but eat, drink and sunbathe so I've included some pictures of a tour  - a very short tour - of our bathroom...luckily Vance wasn't in the bath at the time.  The Protea - South Africa's national flower which appears on their birth certificates, passports and the five rand coin really brightens up the bathroom....thanks Desi.
Techie bits: At 8:15am we were: 23° south and 55° east
Travelling on a compass course of 085°
Speed = 13 knots
Apparent wind speed = 45 knots off the starboard  bow
Air temperature = 28°c (82°f)
Total nautical miles sailed = 11211
Depth = 4210 metres
Humidity 66%
Sunrise = 6:06am  Sunset = 7pm

Monday, 13 February 2012

3 Days At Sea

Friday, Saturday & Sunday February 10th, 11th & 12th - Days 37, 38, 39

Friday - woke up this morning with a sore throat (again!!) and sneezing so not feeling 100% today. I spent a lazy day on deck in the shade but I'm sure that I'll feel better tomorrow.

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John, the cruise director had invited us to his hosted table tonight for a formal dinner but I'm not feeling well enough to make conversation so it's just a quiet meal for two - Thai dinner at The Colonnade.

One of my blog followers had asked about dress code on formal nights and my reply was - I would say that the majority of men who go to the Main Restaurant wear a Tuxedo but many, including Vance, wear a dark suit with a tie or bow tie. At the other restaurants most just wear elegant casual - long trousers, shirt and jacket (no tie necessary).
Two hot toddies and off to bed for a good night's sleep and hopefully a full recovery,

Techie bits: At 11am we were:
25° south and 37° east
Travelling on a compass course of 093°
Speed = 19 knots
Apparent wind speed = 29 knots off the port  bow
Air temperature = 26°c (79°f)
Total nautical miles sailed = 10197
Depth = 2320 metres
Humidity 66%
Sunrise = 6:12am  Sunset = 7.17pm


Saturday - Woke up feeling much better this morning. I can't believe it's Saturday as the days really drift into each other on sea days but worse than that...there's only sixteen days of the cruise left for us.

Half an hour clocks forward today at 2pm...now 2:30...kinesis this afternoon and I found it hard today as I think I'm still a bit tired after my sore throat...my excuse anyway!!
Tonight we dined at The Patio Grill with Peter and Joanie (of the white rhino bottom photo fame) and Nairn and Margery. Most of us had the garlic and herb roasted suckling pig which was delicious although Margery opted for the grilled branzino (fish) and Peter just had pizza. We had a fabulous evening laughing and joking under the stars and then it was off to the show to see the Irish comedian Adrian Walsh...only my opinion but I think the score so far is Wales 1 (Kenny Smiles) - Ireland 0...

Sunday - this morning the captain gave an announcement that we may not be able to go to Reunion Island tomorrow as cyclone Giovanna is hovering just north of the island on its path to Madagascar.
Half an hour clock change forward again today so we're now four hours ahead of UK time. Kinesis class again today...hard work out...phew!!

We have sailed at five knots all day and are still well south of Reunion waiting for a decision on whether it would be safe to go there or not. At 6:30pm the captain confirmed that we will not be going to Reunion but will be heading straight for Mauritius. We are now sailing due east instead of north east keeping well away from the cyclone but of course it means another day at sea tomorrow.

Techie bits: At 8am we were:
23° south and 51° east
Travelling on a compass course of 099°
Speed = 5 knots
Apparent wind speed = 17 knots off the starboard bow
Air temperature = 29°c (84°f)
Total nautical miles sailed = 10990
Depth = 4960 metres
Humidity 67%
Sunrise = 5:51am  Sunset = 6:47pm

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Maputo - Mozambique

Thursday February 9th - Day 36

Maputo, originally Lourenco Marques before independence, is the capital and largest city of Mozambique. It is often called the 'city of acacias' in reference to the acacia trees found along its avenues.
With a population in excess of 1,800,000 its chief exports are cotton, sugar, chromite, sisal, copra and hardwood. It is estimated that 80% of the city's population live in slums without running water or electricity but there are also areas near the beach where the houses are large and luxurious.
Originally we could not decide whether to go ashore here as several guests had said there was little or nothing in Maputo worth seeing...glad we didn't listen to them. We decided to take the Maputo highlights tour and are very glad that we did. Our three hour tour started at the central market which not only sold fish but vegetables, household goods and souvenirs...even wigs...see photo - but we were told to take care of our cameras, wallets and purses etc.
We then went on to the catholic cathedral with its beautiful stained glass windows but were disappointed that the steps to the cathedral and outside areas were littered with rubbish and broken glass.
Lots of the buildings were either in the Portuguese or art deco style and we also visited the 'House Of Iron' which was a nineteenth century colonial house that was built in Europe and then reassembled here using steel plates that proved uninhabitable in this tropical climate.
Our guide Rosita took us to a modern catholic church which is locally known as the Lemon Squeezer due to it unusual design and shape. Normally visitors would only be able to take photos of the outside but Rosita knew one of the Fathers so we were allowed to go inside to view its stained glass windows and wonderful ceiling apex where the light streamed in creating a star effect.
After a quick stop at the craft market we drove up along the coast to an area called Costa Do Sol before returning for a quick stop at the beautiful art nouveau railway station which was built in the early twentieth century by Gustave Eiffel.
Unfortunately half way through the tour my new camera ran out of battery power  - I will have to sack the technician...you know who you are Vance!! Many thanks to Justine for being the backup blog photographer for the rest of the tour.
On returning to the ship anyone who had purchased wooden carvings, tapestries or carpets had to hand the items into the security station to have them quarantined for forty eight hours in the freezer.
Time change forward one hour tonight so we are now three hours ahead of UK time.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

At Sea On Our Way To Mozambique

Wednesday February 8th - Day 35

Last night at 6:30pm (well it should have been - they were late as well as the VAT man!!) before we left Durban there was a local Zulu drum and dance show on the pool deck.
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A troupe of Zulus in their traditional garments showed off their acrobatic and dance skills. There was also a very young 'Zulu' who tried to copy the dance moves which everyone thought was cute.. ahh...the whole experience was very impressive especially as we hadn't gone into the interior in Durban to see a Zulu village.

The sunset was a wonderful picture opportunity this evening...hope you think my photographic efforts do it justice. Later that evening was another 'Rock The Boat' and this time it went ahead without mist, rain or storm.
Today was a lazy day at sea and although there were several lectures, a dance class and a painting class we just stayed on the deck for the day enjoying the sea air and balmy temperatures.

At 3:30pm the first 'Baggo' game finally took place - I didn't win...it's the end of an era...boo hoo...should I retire now? The Baggo boards that had been built onboard by the ships carpenter look beautiful with the Seabourn crest on their slopes but they weren't laminated so the bags (filled with rice instead of beans) didn't slide properly ....perhaps that's why I lost - well that's what I'm claiming anyway.
Didn't make the show tonight...I still think the 10.00pm start time is too late ...so we had a quick drink in The Club then off to our bed...zzzzzzzzz

Friday, 10 February 2012

Durban

Tuesday February 7th - Day 34

The pilot came at 6:45am today fooling everybody who set their alarms for 7am....but Vance heard the helicopter, rushed out in his PJs and managed to take a few pictures as the helicopter was leaving but not the ones of the pilot being lowered onto the aft deck that we'd hoped to get.
Durban is the third largest city in SA and is famous for being its busiest port. Nature has contributed to much of Durban's prosperity. A superb harbour sees 18 million tons of cargo pass through each year and the round the year sunshine, magnificent scenery and miles of beaches washed by the warm waters of the Indian ocean attracts thousands of pleasure seekers.

Although the ship was offering several tours including one to the Valley Of A Thousand Hills - where the hills form an inspiring panorama haunted by the ghosts of the Zulu....we decided to do our own thing and caught the 9am shuttle bus to the local (25 mins away!!) shopping mall.

On arrival Vance said that this mall could be anywhere in the world but for us it was nice to be able to walk around for a few hours and window shop although I did succumb and bought another pair of sunglasses.
We are calling today - the day of early and late. The 'early' was the pilot who dropped onboard unobserved by most people (not Vance though) the 'late' was the VAT man - twice!! and the Zulus - once...more about the Zulus tomorrow.

The VAT man saga was very frustrating. We were told he would be onboard between 5pm and 7pm so that guests that had bought any goods in the three SA ports visited could reclaim the VAT on their purchases. We had only bought 'the camera' and a few other things but thought we might as well get our money back to spend elsewhere. However some guest had bought beautiful diamonds and other jewellery so their VAT refunds would have been quite large.
People started arriving in The Seabourn Square at 5pm and by 6pm there were at least forty people waiting...still no VAT man arrived...at 7pm after many phone calls from the ship to the Customs office we were told he was not coming and I can tell you there were a lot of unhappy guests...one man's VAT was $2000!!. At 8pm there was an announcement that the VAT man was coming onboard and there was a mad rush from the dining rooms back to the Square to form a not so orderly queue. As we had to bring our purchases as well as the receipts the Square soon looked like a mini department store....and finally, after filling out numerous forms but not getting the refund there and then (the cheque's in the post!! ...maybe!!) I arrived back at the dining table at 9pm - much to Vance's disgust as he had just been sitting there on his own for nearly an hour.....but apparently the wine waiter looked after him really well ...the moral of the story is...don't buy anything in South Africa!!

Earlier there had been a Zulu drum and dance show but I'll tell you about that tomorrow.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

At Sea On The Way To Durban

Monday February 6th - Day 33

1:30am this morning in the Grand Salon -Superbowl  XLVI Party - New York Giants v New England Patriots. Apparently the Quest's food and beverage team supplied burgers, hot dogs and nachos as well as the usual drinks and about 40 Americans stayed up to watch - we weren't there ... in our bed by then!! The score the Giants beat the Patriots  21 - 17...sorry Arnold...your team were beaten again this year.
Click Here For More Photos

Today the UK  papers are full of news about the arctic cold snap that has hit Europe for over a week and claimed nearly 300 lives, dumping snow as far south as Rome and North Africa. Also there is snow in the UK - Heathrow is closed...again!!. Glad we're here with 80°f+ temperatures!!
3:30pm I played my first game of shuffleboard - a knockout pairs competition - and we won!!...all thanks to Liana who scored all our points...my contribution was 'nil points' but I did have good tactics. Guess what the prize was? - you've got it...a Seabourn peak.

The captain gave an announcement that tomorrow morning between 7:00am and 7:15am the pilot for Durban would be coming to the ship by helicopter...hopefully we will be up in time to get some photos...I'll set the alarm.
The temperature was so balmy this evening that we had an alfresco dinner on The Patio Grill. Vance had Nigerian Shrimps cooked in garlic butter. In fact the temperature has been so high today that apart from swimming in the pool and lazing on our sunbed and eating and drinking we have hardly done a thing...so sorry not many photos today.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Port Elizabeth - Safari Day

Sunday February 5th - Day 32

Port Elizabeth is one of the largest cities in SA and is 468 miles east of Cape Town. The city often shortened to PE is often nick-named the Friendly City or the Windy City - surely not as windy as Cape Town!!

This morning we set off for the Pumba Game Reserve which covers more than 14,000 acres and offers the experience of spotting the 'Big 5' in a natural environment. The animals we hoped to encounter are lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard, white rhino (the Big 5), giraffe, zebra, hippo, warthog and others.

After a one and a half hours coach ride to the reserve we set out for a three hour game viewing in an open 4x4 vehicle. As we set off it started to rain - how can you have a safari in the rain!! so we put on waterproof ponchos and blankets were at hand if required but as it turned out the cooler weather made the whole experience much more pleasing.
The first animals we spotted were warthogs, kudus and nyala but we were really on the lookout for the big 5. After spotting giraffe and blue wildebeest we came across a sole African elephant wandering through the bush which made for a great photo shoot.
Later we came across the rare white lions - mummy, daddy and baby sleeping off their late morning meal so the driver was able get us really close - make sure you see the photos.
Unfortunately we never saw the hippo and missed the white rhinos by minutes but luckily the guests in another 4x4 got really close and Joanie has given me some of her fabulous photos - the one I like the best is her photo of mummy rhino with baby rhino waddling down the road. Thanks Joanie for letting me use your photo on the blog.
After lunch and a few glasses of red wine at the reserve it was back on the coach for the return trip...I was soon nodding off and despite it being a great experience, a seven and a half hour trip was too much...and we missed our noon beer...!!
Sunset tonight was at 7:15pm and I got some super photos as we left PE.
Dinner outside on The Colonnade was Polynesian and then we went to see Kenny Smiles the Welsh comedian who had been on last year's cruise so we knew to expect a great show - thanks Kenny.

Monday, 6 February 2012

At Sea - On Our Way To Port Elizabeth

Saturday February 4th - Day 31

We rounded the Cape Of Good Hope this morning - couldn't see anything as we were too far from land.
On the daily itinerary in the Seabourn Herald today was prize game Baggo at 3:30pm. This is the first Baggo game of the cruise as someone - no names - had mislaid the Baggo board and bags. Following last year's success perhaps I can win a new Seabourn peak to replace the one lost yesterday.

Click Here For More Photos

It's ok Seabourn you are off the hook as one of the guests on board read my comment on yesterdays blog and very kindly gave me a replacement peak...thanks Nick and Debbie.
New South African wines arrived on board yesterday - rumour has it there are 7000 bottles...enough for a few weeks!!

No Baggo...more technical problems as apparently they now have the board but not the bags so we played a "hole in one" putting competition instead - which is very difficult on a ship that is rolling and pitching...and I won!!  I told Vance I'd better join the golf club when I get home...he went very quiet and then changed the subject.....guess we all know what that means!!
Fabulous late afternoon temperature on the sundeck - with a warm balmy breeze - perfect.

Tonight we dined with the captain and his wife Juvy on their hosted table and what a coincidence - we met Peter and his wife Andrea who live two doors away from our friends Steve and Maggie in Guernsey...small world!!
Techie bits: At 8am we were:
35° south and 20° east
Travelling on a compass course of 098°
Speed = 14 knots
Apparent wind speed = 35 knots off the bow
Air temperature = 21°c (70°f)
Total nautical miles sailed = 8896
Depth = 114 metres
Humidity 67%
Sunrise = 6am  Sunset = 7.44pm

Cape Town - Day 2

Friday February 3rd - Day 30

To the South Africans Cape Town is the 'Mother City'. Lying on the Atlantic shore of cape peninsula it was the first area to be settled by Europeans in the seventeenth century. Today it is a major seaport and the legislative capital of South Africa.
In winter it rains a lot but in summer,  now,  it is hot and balmy but there can be a south easterly wind (known locally as the cape doctor because it blows the smog from the city out to the sea) that assails the city for days at a time. During this time Cape Town experiences its distinctive phenomenon the" tablecloth" on the mountain - a strip of fluffy white cloud hovering over the summit and slightly draped over the edges.

This morning as the tablecloth is still on the mountain we are taking the hop-on-hop-off red city open top tour bus which visits many of the city and surrounding area tourist attractions before making its way up to the cableway where you can access the cable car to the top of the mountain. It then travels down to Camps Bay and other seaside beaches before returning to its starting point. The tour takes about two hours but there are buses running every fifteen minutes so it's not long to wait for the next one if you want to get off to view an attraction.
Disaster - when we arrived at the cable car stop - half way around the route- I wanted to take a photo of the city below only to find a 'Lens Error' message on the camera screen - my camera had given up the ghost!!  We had to complete the route until we got to a stop near to the ship, hopped off, had a quick noon beer and lunch, grabbed  the credit card and then got back on the next red bus and got off at Cameraland to buy a new camera.
We then repeated the majority of the bus tour just so that I had photos of this beautiful city.

Then another disaster struck - the wind was blowing so strongly that my black Seabourn peak blew off, never to be seen again - please can I have another one Seabourn - it's good advertising for you!! In fact the wind over the last two days has been so strong that not only has the cable car to Table Mountain been closed - so no-one from the ship has been able to go to the top - but also at times the sea was too rough for the ferries to get across to Robben Island -  the notorious former prison island where Nelson Mandela was held for almost twenty years.
But there is some good news...the Corona beers are back on board and...the Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio white wine has finally arrived!! Happy days!!

After such a busy day we had an intimate open air dinner on The Colonnade - seared beef tataki followed by short ribs then cheese, biscuits and a couple of glasses of good port...of course.
We were watching the sunset as the ship left the harbour on our way to Port Elizabeth. We had only sailed a few hundred feet from the dock and as the ship turned the 'cape doctor' visited us and blew everything - glasses, food, cutlery, tablecloths -  off the tables and we had to quickly make our way inside - guess the doctor was letting us know he was in charge!!

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Cape Town - Day 1

Thursday February 2nd - Day 29

Today is changeover day - the end of the first segment - so we have to say goodbye to old friends that we've met on other cruises and goodbye to new friends that we've met on this first segment. We will miss you and hope that we meet again on another Seabourn cruise.
The wind is still blowing so hard this morning that the cable car to Table Mountain is closed - but the tablecloth is still on the mountain.....hope it clears tomorrow so we can see the flat top properly.

Spent the morning walking around the V&A Waterfront (Victoria and Alfred). This is so named because Prince Alfred the son of Queen Victoria laid the foundation stone here in 1860. It is a fascinating place with hotels, museums, shopping arcades and many restaurants and bars. It is also the place to book boat trips and helicopter flights...not in this wind though!!
Click Here For More Photos

Back to the ship looking forward to our noon day cold Coronas only to find that this time there really are no Coronas left onboard...shock horror!! we had to 'make do' with Grolsch...it's not the same and the ritual has been broken but we have been promised there will be some tomorrow when the new provisions are unpacked and cooled.
Spent the afternoon sunbathing on deck and watching the 'newbies' come aboard but also a lovely surprise to see old friends joining the cruise as well...lots of hugs and reunion kisses.

Had an early dinner on The Patio Grill then walked down to the V&A Waterfront to see it in its evening splendour. The bustling waterfront was full of people eating and drinking and the Ferris wheel  was lit up in silver lights against the clear night sky. It was a fabulous sight ...sorry no photos as I forgot to take my camera.
Really wish I had taken my camera because we met John, the cruise director, on his way back to the ship carrying a large white plastic deer in his arms...what's all that about John?...we'll find out later and let you know....and I'll ask around and see if I can get a photo from someone.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Land Ahoy - Sailing Into Cape Town

Wednesday February 1st - Day 28

Lazy day onboard today as some guests are packing to depart the ship tomorrow morning.
Lunchtime and it's getting serious now as the last two Coronas onboard were delivered to our table...thanks Marco but what will we do tomorrow? We've been told that there will be a new supply coming onboard tomorrow...hope it's before twelve noon.
The caviar sail in party was almost a blow away party as the winds were so strong that the ship had to be assisted into harbour by tugs. We went to the  Observation deck on deck 10 to watch the approaching views of Cape Town and Table Mountain but we were hardly able to stand upright let alone hold on to a glass of champers and nibbles. Table Mountain was completely covered in cloud which is known as 'The tablecloth on the mountain'.
On arriving in Cape Town we have now travelled a total distance of 8758 nautical miles since leaving Fort Lauderdale on January 5th with our longest stretch being Rio to St. Helena which was 2167 nautical miles and took The Quest five days to cover.
Techie bits: At 8am we were:
32° south and 17° west
Travelling on a compass course of 155°
Speed = 15 knots
Apparent wind speed = 26 knots off the port bow
Air temperature = 19°c (66°f)
Total nautical miles sailed = 8632
Sea depth = 241 metres
Humidity = 67%

Thursday, 2 February 2012

At Sea

Tuesday January 31st - Day 27

Quite chilly this morning only 15°c at 8:30am so it's jumpers on for breakfast outside at The Colonnade.
This morning there was a watercolours exhibition displaying guest's artwork that had been produced at their classes with Sonia Maher throughout the cruise and one grand winner whose painting was deemed to be the best by our ship's captain. Well done everyone.
Twelve noon and it's getting warmer now ....it's 20°c. Big problem here...no one can find our noon Coronas - what are we to do?...panic over...Marco our bar manager has found probably the last two Coronas onboard...phew!!
Our last kinesis class for this first world cruise segment ...it's hard work  but we're still loving it...see you after Cape Town Marvin ('The Stritch').
As lots of our fellow Brits will be leaving the ship in Cape Town we have arranged a 'Brits Table' at the formal dinner in the Main Restaurant this evening. We all donned our finery and met in The Club for pre-dinner cocktails. We had a table for twelve sitting male / female around the table then after every course the gents moved two places to their left giving everybody a new dining partner. It was great fun for us but did cause a few problems for the waiting staff as none of the men were in the same seats as when they ordered their dining courses.
From there we went to the show where Heather Clancy performed a series of songs ranging from Broadway hits to Puccini, Verdi and Mozart. It was a wonderful performance to end our evening.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Walvis Bay - Namibia

Monday January 30th - Day 26

Walvis Bay has always been a haven for sea vessels because of its natural deep water harbour and is the only natural harbour of any size along the Namibian coast. The waters being rich in plankton and marine life drew large numbers of whales and originally the English called it Whale Bay.
Click Here For More Photos

We took the Walvis Bay and Swakopmund tour stopping first at the highest sand dune - Dune 7 - where we had ten minutes to try and climb to the top. Impossible...Vance and Alan managed to get just over half way but no one did any better.....I stayed at the bottom and took the photos....wise choice.
From here we drove on to Swakopmund which is a beautiful town situated at the mouth of the Swakop river and is often described as 'a slice of Germany on the edge of the desert'. It is a seaside resort but resembles a Bavarian village with many buildings dating back to the turn of the century.

After driving through the town we stopped at the Swakopmund museum which turned out to be really interesting with rooms covering different aspects and times of the town's life. My favourite was the wildlife section which displayed many of the animals of Namibia and Africa. As Vance said we've nearly seen the big five now (no lion) so perhaps we should cancel our safari in Port Elizabeth...we won't though!!
Next stop was the Kristal Galeria where we saw the largest quartz crystal in the world. Some of the crystals were amazing in size, colour and shape. The jewellery made from the polished crystals were fabulous...Vance was glad he'd left his credit card back on the ship...but he did splash out $6 to buy me a bag of multi coloured polished stones.

After a stroll around the shopping arcade in the centre of the town we drove on to the lagoon and tidal flood plains where magnificent flocks of pink flamingos, pelican and other water birds congregate at certain times of the year - unfortunately not today!!
Back to the ship - missed our noon beer - just as well as we hear that there is a shortage of Corona Extra until we reach Cape Town......what will we do.

Deck party tonight is 'Rock The Boat' at Neptune's Patio Bar plus desserts. The band was setup ready to go but then the sea mist rolled in and everything and everybody was wet within minutes. The crew later told us it was the quickest breakdown in history as it only took eight minutes to clear the patio deck and move everything  to The Club including the wonderful desserts made by our pastry chefs.
It was a great opportunity to get on the dance floor and burn off some of those Seabourn calories.

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

3 Days At Sea

Friday, Saturday & Sunday January 27th To January 29th - Days 23, 24 & 25

Friday - Have now left St. Helena and have the next three days at sea before reaching Namibia. This is just as well as I feel terrible this morning as I have the sore throat that seems to be sweeping around the ship - Vance says I've just been talking too much - not true!!  Feeling so bad that I am just having a quiet day in the shade feeling sorry for myself.... although I did manage to soldier on and imbibe in our noon day cold beer - good for the throat!!
Have managed to get some photos of the Fashion & Jewellery show from last week...thank you Juvy for the photos.

It's Saturday now and still not feeling 100% but Graeme our executive chef has invited us to lunch and a catch-up. He has cooked Vance and I a Brit meal so we joined him in the main dining room at 1pm for individual meat pies with English cut chips and Heinz baked beans with HP brown sauce.....delicious.

Clocks forward another half an hour today at 2pm making it then 2:30pm...hmm less snooze time...but made up for it by having a really early night after a quiet meal for just the two of us.
Sunday - last day at sea. Feeling a lot better today so back out in the sun and had lunch at the Patio Grill after, of course, our noon day beer.  Rumour has it that there are now only two Coronas left on board the ship....disaster ...what will we do .....hope they manage to get some more in Namibia tomorrow or we will be on rations (one bottle between two) until Cape Town.

Another half an hour today at 2pm so we are now two hours ahead of British time. Not sure I like this west to east travelling losing time every couple of days.... thank goodness next year we'll be cruising east to west again and getting an extra hours sleep from time to time...although losing a complete day when we eventually cross the International  Date Line.
Kinesis this afternoon and even though the ship was rocking and rolling our instructor Marvin 'The Stritch' - decided that the Kinesis wall exercises would be supplemented with the balance board. Needless to say I fell off a few times.

Went to the show tonight in The Grand Salon with the new cast who joined the ship in Rio. The show was called 'Unforgettable' with tributes to Rosemary Clooney (Vance says 'Who's she...George's wife'), Perry Como and Nat King Cole. It wasn't our cup of tea but their voices were fabulous.
Techie bits: At 8am we were:
21° south and 9° west
Travelling on a compass course of 114°
Speed = 15.5 knots
Apparent wind speed = 26 knots off the starboard bow
Air temperature = 21°c (70°f)
Total nautical miles sailed = 7700
Sea depth = 3800 metres
Humidity = 67%