Heading South

When we got up this morning and went out onto our balcony, we could already feel that the weather was improving and we were leaving the cold, grey, wet English January climate far behind. Tonight we should be able to leave our balcony door propped open to enjoy the fresh sea breeze and listen to the evocative sounds of the ocean washing against the side of the ship.

We spent the day doing not very much in particular; just attending the talks (another excellent Concorde lecture from Ricky Bastin), lazing around, enjoying a drink or two and passing the time of day with our fellow passengers. We had now reached the stage where some of the entertainment staff knew us and greeted us by name, and we had fun in the Rising Sun teaching one of the Filipino bar waiters, Joseph, about our famous local beer Newcastle Brown Ale; we told him that locals ask for a “Newky Broon” and we got him to repeat it; I told him if he was ever serving any Geordies and he said ‘Newky Broon’ they would be well impressed. 🙂

Around 1.00pm we were sitting in our cabin when I decided to open the net curtains that cover the glass balcony doors in case there was anything interesting to see upon the vast expanse of ocean. Not five minutes later we saw the tell-tale spout of water that usually indicates the presence of a whale or dolphin. Sure enough a black dorsal fin appeared and a few more spouts; a pod of three dolphins in fact. We have often seen whales, dolphins, porpoise and other sea creatures and it is a sight we’ll never tire of.

At 4.00pm we made our way up to the Crows’ Nest for a classical piano recital by Jonathan Powell. He mainly played Mozart but also a few Strauss pieces. I didn’t really recognise any of the tunes but it was a pleasant half-hour or so anyway.

It is surprising how quickly the time goes by when you’re doing absolutely nothing and before we knew it we were getting ready for dinner once again. We didn’t want to be tied to the 6.30pm sitting in the dining room, so we just went up to the Belvedere buffet where they were serving an array of authentic Indian cuisine, washed down with the inevitable Cobra beer.

Tonight the entertainment in the Palladium was a soprano singer called Jennifer Fair. She was actually very good and did some classical pieces as well as some contemporary. She had a lovely clear voice and sounded a bit like Katherine Jenkins.

Then as ever, it was along to the pub to take part in the quiz. We didn’t do very well this time despite it being a geography quiz; with all the travelling we’ve done around the world (70 countries so far across all seven continents) we are usually unsurprisingly good at the geography questions but there were some teams who were that bit better. So no bottle of wine for us tonight then. 😦 We were amused, however, by the fact that Joseph came over and asked Trevor if he wanted his usual “Newky Broon” – it was good that he’d remembered. 🙂

We didn’t stay too late in the Rising Sun tonight as were were due to dock in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in the morning, and needed to be up bright and early to go on one of the excursions. This time, we propped our balcony door open and slept soundly in the fresh sea air.

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