Fastnet and Plymouth

Waking up this morning to our last full sea day, we were pleased to see that the fair weather we’d experienced yesterday in Cork was still with us.  It was a little breezy up on deck but still pleasant enough, if you found a sheltered spot, to sit out in.

After breakfast we spent most of the morning pottering around doing not very much in particular.  We got ourselves a coffee and sat out on deck, where I brought my laptop and did some of this blog, whiling away the hours until it was time for lunch.  We then made our way to the Crow’s Nest where, at 1.00pm, they were holding the Battle of the Sexes quiz final.

After meeting up with Charlie and Linda and enjoying a drink with them, it was time to get into our two teams.  The ladies’ team were lagging behind by five points, so this was our chance to make it up.   🙂

After the picture round, which was based on TV programmes, our team was ahead by a couple of points, so there was now only three points in it.  We were going neck and neck in the general knowledge, and also managed to ‘steal’ some points from the opposition (as they did with us) so we knew the final result would be a very close run thing.  It ended where the ladies’ team won this round, but in the overall competition the men beat us by only two points.  So we lost, but only by a whisker; we’d done well to make up the 10-point deficit we had after the first couple of rounds.  🙂

The men had the choice of a bottle of red, white or rosé wine and they chose the red; our team was then offered a bottle and we chose the white.  But when I asked for some more glasses to share it all out amongst the rest of the team, no-one really wanted any; they said they were happy for me to keep the bottle.  So when Linda and I went back to meet up with Charlie and Trevor, we got four glasses and shared it out between us, before the “Name that Tune” quiz at two o’ clock.

Once again, I excelled in the 70’s and 80’s music, and we ended up scoring 28/30, which we thought would be very hard to beat.  But another team (in fact there was only two of them) had 29/30, only dropping a point, so we were unlucky!   🙂

We finished the afternoon by going along to the Card Room where they were showing a 75-minute docu-film called Canberra – P & O Legend which related the history of this illustrious ship, particularly the part she played in the 1982 Falklands conflict.  The ship had had to be commissioned and refitted at short notice to serve as a troop carrier and hospital ship, and she spent 33 days in the south Atlantic, right in the midst of the war zone, looking incongruous in her white hull and yellow funnels.  The Cunard liner Queen Elizabeth 2 had also served as a troop carrier, but she stayed well out of the battle zone and was only there a few days before coming back to Britain.

The film was really quite moving in parts, especially when the TV cameras lined the docksides in Southampton to greet the Canberra’s return.  As she sailed majestically into port, her varnished woodwork dulled and her hull rust spotted, she returned to a heroine’s welcome.  We were amused to see a banner held aloft, proclaiming “Canberra cruises where QE2 refuses”.  The whole film was excellent and really brought a lump to the throat.  Canberra and the QE2 were both proper ships (in fact, ocean going liners) and they just don’t make them like that any more.

When we came out of the cinema time was getting on, and as it was formal night once again we went back to B117 to start getting ready.

Our dinner was fabulous as usual, and the meal was concluded by the chef’s parade, where you get the chance to applaud the chefs, cooks, waiters and busboys for their wonderful food and service (although really you should be berating them for being responsible for the extra inches around your waistline, ha ha).   🙂

The show in the Curzon lounge tonight was a comedian in the shape of Stan Johns.  He was OK I suppose, although his show was really dated; you know the type of thing – mother-in-law jokes and other jokes that would have had the PC brigade up in arms.  He was mildly amusing, but his humour wouldn’t appeal to the younger generation as it just didn’t keep up with the current trends.

We then stayed in the show lounge to watch Maiko Mori, the Japanese classical pianist.  I didn’t know any of the tunes, but it was nice and relaxing listening to her play anyway.

As ever, we ended the evening by going along to the syndicate quiz where we were joined by another couple who we recognised from the Battle of the Sexes quiz.  The guy had been the men’s team captain and he brought the bottle of red wine they’d won to share out.   More free booze.  🙂  We didn’t win the quiz, only losing by a single point.

Then it was back to cabin B117 for a nightcap before turning in; tomorrow we were due to arrive in St. Helier, in the Channel Island of Jersey.

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