Fastnet and Lundy

As we are doing a cruise in British waters, I thought I would continue this blog using the title of whichever shipping forecast area we happen to be sailing in on that day.

We woke up this morning and went up to the Conservatory for our breakfast, and afterwards we went out on deck to get an idea of what the weather would be like today. There was a lively wind blowing and still quite a chill in the air, so we didn’t stay out too long!

At 10 o’clock we went along to the Curzon lounge where a bloke was doing a presentation and showing a short docu-film about the building of P & O’s original Oriana. A lot of the documentary was filmed in and around the ship yard, and it was fascinating to see the architects, welders, platers and painters at work. It was also a little nostalgic because there are hardly any ship-builders left in Britain, and where we live in the North-East there used to be two great shipyards; Swan Hunter on the Tyne and Austin Pickersgill on the Wear. Alas, they have been swept away in the passage of time (and not necessarily progress).

When it showed the Oriana being launched and going down the slipway into the water for the first time, it really was such a tremendous and moving sight; I can’t imagine how proud all the men who had helped to build her must have felt.

Afterwards we went back into the Conservatory for a cup of coffee, and we bumped into Charlie and Linda again. We decided we’d get together in the Crow’s Nest at 1.00pm for the “Battle of the Sexes” quiz, and share our prize from last night’s quiz.

At lunchtime we went into the Lido café to have something light; the weather looked a little brighter outside so we took it out on deck at the rear of the ship. There wasn’t much of a wake as she was hardly moving, maybe only doing five or six knots. I enjoyed a cold meat salad and a helping of apple crumble, then we went back to the cabin to get the bottle of vino to take up to the Crow’s Nest.

We got together with Charlie and Linda but then we had to split up into two teams, men on one side of the room and women on the other. Then the format of the quiz was that each team took it in turns to choose a number, and that dictated which questions you were asked. There were two correct points for each answer, but if the team didn’t know the answer or got it wrong, it was passed to the opposition and they could ‘steal’ a point if they answered it correctly. Then men’s team won, 32 to our 27.

Afterwards we decided to stay in the Crow’s Nest for Name that Tune. There was music from the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s as well as TV themes. We thought we’d done quite well, scoring 28 out of 32, but another team had also scored 28 so it went to the tie-breaker, which we lost by a whisker. 😦

We then went back to our cabin where I had a half-hour’s power nap and Trevor went up to see a classical pianist perform.

Tonight was formal night, so I took my time getting preened and dressed. I wore a long black velvet Gothic dress, together with long evening gloves and silver sequinned platform shoes with a 5” heel.

We went along to the Curzon Lounge at 5.45pm, met the captain and enjoyed three free glasses of wine, before it was time to go for our dinner.

The menu featured smoked salmon and lobster thermidor tonight (yum yum) with kiwi pavlova for dessert, and we finished off washing it all down with a nice glass of ruby port.

The show in the Curzon Lounge tonight was excellent; it was a husband-and-wife Irish duo called “Livewire” and featured the lady on the fiddle and the man on either the accordion or the typical Irish drum called a bodhran in which the drum is held in one hand while a double-ended stick, held in the middle with the other hand, is used to beat out a fast rhythm. The music was really catchy and they finished off with a brilliant rendition of Riverdance. We really enjoyed their show; it was the sort of music that lifts you and makes you feel cheerful.

We finished off the evening by going up to the conservatory for the Syndicate Quiz, but there were only four teams and we didn’t do so well this time, only managing third place out of four.

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