When we woke up this morning we’d already lost an hour of the day, as we’d had to put our clocks forward an hour last night in line with European time.
The day was already dawning bright and sunny although there was a brisk sea breeze and quite a lot of movement of the Black Watch as the North Sea was very rough.
After breakfast (where we saw yet another familiar face; someone who’d been on our cruise on the Arcadia in January) we had a look around the shops and wandered around, exploring the ship. The Black Watch is only a small ship at around 28,338 tons, and she holds 739 passengers, so it’s quite easy to find your way around the nine decks.
We didn’t really do much today; just wandered around and sat and relaxed. An announcement from the bridge advised us that the current rough seas (Force 9 on the Beaufort scale) would abate by around lunchtime and indeed this was the case. Just before 12 noon we sat out by the pool in a sheltered spot and enjoyed a beer before lunch. None of the pools or jacuzzis had any water in them yet, but in a force 9 gale they probably didn’t want all the water sloshing about all over the decks. 🙂
We enjoyed our lunch sitting in the Garden Café, which is a really attractive room done out in white trellises with a huge English garden-themed mural at one end. As we were eating we were entertained by the ‘Rosario Trio’, a string ensemble playing tasteful background music. How civilised was this?!
As the sea became calmer and the weather warmer, we spent more time sitting on deck making the most of the sunshine. We then heard the sound of gushing water and noticed they were filling the main pool; the guy said it takes four hours to fill.
At 4 o’ clock I went along to the salon to have my hair put up in readiness for the Captain’s cocktail party at 5.30pm, as tonight was formal evening. Mark, the hairdresser, took his time and did a really lovely job, giving my hair lots of volume and piling it on top of my head, which I finished off with a black fabric rose.
I wore a long black velvet off-the-shoulder Gothic dress with a black lace choker and Trevor wore his dinner suit, winged collar shirt and ‘Black Watch’ (very appropriate) tartan bow tie and cummerbund. Then off we went to the Neptune Lounge where we managed to get seats near the front to enjoy the free ‘champers’ and canapés on offer. 🙂
The master of the Black Watch, Captain Tom Hansen, appeared and made a little speech, outlining the history of the Fred Olsen line and introducing his officers. The captain was very tall (over 6’) and had a very quirky, dry sense of humour; this is something we’ve discovered with all the Fred Olsen captains, that they all have a good sense of humour and enjoy their own little quirks.
We had a couple more glasses of the free vino then off we went for another delicious meal in the Glentanar restaurant, and enjoyed the company of our table-mates, Ted and Fiona.
The Neptune Lounge featured a female singer called Suzi Woods, accompanied by the excellent ship’s orchestra. We really enjoyed her show a lot; she wasn’t cheesy, just a really good contemporary singer.
We followed the show by going along to the Braemar room for the quiz. The first lot of questions had answers that were all sweets or chocolates, and the second set of answers all had something in common (which we didn’t get). We only scored 14/20 so no prize tonight. But we got talking to some of the people in the team at the next table, and it turned out they were from Cramlington in Northumberland. They were Newcastle United supporters (we support Sunderland!) so the conversation for the next half hour or so was complete football banter, with both ‘sides’ raking up triumphant scores past and present, particularly Sunderland’s recent 3-0 victory over our arch rivals on their own soil. 🙂
We enjoyed a pleasant hour or so in their company and had a drink together before going back to our cabin fairly late. The sea was a lot calmer now and we had land to look forward to tomorrow morning, in the shape of Denmark.