Friday, April 11
Arrghhh! Shiver me timbers, matey! We are in pirate territory. I know it is not a laughing matter (just watch "Captain Phillips") but as I type this we are all out in the hall (I'm amazed the number of people who can actually sit on the floor - and get up again!) taking part in Code "Sierra papa". (At least I now know what my neighbors look like.) We also have some armed men onboard (at least one is from the Royal Navy).
We were sent a note from the captain this morning that from now until the 27th (as we transit the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea) the following rules apply....
The external promenade deck will be closed on both sides from dusk to dawn with no passengers or crew allowed access during these times for the duration of the transit.
During hours of darkness, only essential open deck lights will be on as it is important to reduce the ship's external lighting. With this in mind I request that you turn off your cabin lights when not required and close the curtains of your cabin window or balcony.
It is a good thing that I did my balcony thing last night. It was a lovely evening and the water sounded so nice I decided to go to sleep in one of the chairs on the balcony (you all know I have no trouble sleeping sitting up). I wrapped the Cunard bathrobe around me, took one of the small gold pillows off the bed and fell right asleep. I slept for just under two hours and then went in and slept the rest of the night in bed.
Since we had been told the drill would be at 11:30, I planned to stay in my stateroom until it was over. I got up just before ten and watched the morning show, stood out on my balcony for a very short while (very hot and humid) and did a little knitting while watching one of the lectures (about the 2012 London Olympics from a man who was on the planning committee).
After the drill I had demagnetized my keycard so had to go to the purser's office and have it fixed. Then up to the Lido for lunch and a short read.
At 2 pm the entertainment staff presented "The Murder of the Master Mariner at Midnight on a Misty Monday Night in the Mid-Atlantic with a Mayan Machete". The warning that went with it was "Possibly PG rated and definitely NOT recommended for lovers of good entertainment." It was quite funny and a good way to spend some time.
Then it was Needlework/Knitting group with only about six present. I have been asked what I am working on. I first brought a ball of yarn from home and finished the scarf I made from it at about Hawaii. I then bought another ball of yarn from the bookstore on board and started another scarf which I am still working on from time to time. In Sydney, at the Rocks Market, I found a lady selling hand-dyed silk. I bought two balls and am currently work on a stole with the black/white ball (called "Silver Fox" ) which is slowly coming along.
Afternoon trivia gave me 11 out of 21 correct. Then I read a little more before getting ready for dinner. 10 out of 20 on early evening trivia. We had nine at dinner. The show tonight was a comedian and I decided to pass since the last one was so bad. It was a formal night and I watched the dancing for a little. When I got back to my stateroom I had demagnetized my card again and the bag I carried tonight did not even have a magnetic closing! Back to the purser's office again. I told the man who helped me that I would try to keep the card safe until at least tomorrow morning.
I have been on this ship for three months and it has only been in the past couple of days that I realized the elevators make two different sounds. If you are going up it dings once and going down it dings twice when the doors open. Talk about not being observant!
Not being able to open my curtains is really bothering me. I have gotten very used to spending some time out on the balcony each night. Before I go to bed I am going to turn off all the lights and take a look outside.
Saturday, April 12
I awoke about 6 and opened the curtains (it was light out so we were out of the "blackout" period). Went back to bed until 9:45 and then watched the morning show and part of a lecture I missed.
First thing I needed to do was go through Indian immigration which took place in the deck three section of the Britannia Restaurant. Took me about three minutes to get my yellow card stamped, pick up my passport and landing card, go to an Indian official who stamped a couple of things, another official who collected the landing card, and finally turn my passport back in. We have a photocopy of the front page of the passport and the yellow card which we have to carry with us in India.
Took the elevator up to the Lido and as I was walking towards it the Captain made an announcement. The very unwelcome Norovirus had come calling. Until further notice the alternative restaurants (including The Verandah) are closed because the staff is needed to serve in the Lido. I went through the Lido and all the hot foods, breads, etc. are being served. There were a few pieces of fruit in individual bowls that you could serve yourself as well as the cereal boxes. I had a couple of slices of bacon (both English and American although I have come to the conclusion that I like Cunard's English bacon better - the American is cooked to much for my liking) and picked up a muffin for tomorrow morning (we are meeting at 7:30!)
From the time I started planning this trip, the comment I heard most often was, "You are going by yourself???" So as I was passing through the World Voyage lounge I thought I would ask Rachel, our World Voyage Concierge, about how many other solos were doing the World Voyage. Out of a total of about 520 people, over 80 are doing the full world solo. Most of those are British, Canadian, or American but there are also a few from Holland, France, Denmark, Germany, Russia and a few other countries.
Lunch in the Lido (which went much faster than I anticipated with the new restrictions). Read some and then to the Needlework/Knitting group. About seven present.
A good afternoon trivia with 16 out of 23 correct. Then went up to the Commodore Club. They were already putting up the "blackout" curtains so I did not stay long. Instead I spent about an hour and a half on my balcony until the sun set.
Only had ten out of twenty on early evening trivia. Seven for dinner tonight. I have to go to bed early (well, early for me) because my tour meets at 7:30 am!
cleaning for Norovirus
curtains in the Commodore Club
covering the windows in the Golden Lion Pub
Smooth sailing until next time!