A Smashing Time in the Indian Ocean

I woke up in the middle of the night – I think it was about 3.00am – to go to the toilet, and I noticed that the Voyager was at sea once again, but I don’t know what time she eventually left port. The creaking and rattling noises around the cabin indicated that the sea was quite rough, and I had to put my earplugs in before I could go back to sleep.

Nevertheless, we were up at 8.10am as usual, and we changed and went up to the Lookout Lounge for our Sea Stretch session. The ship’s movement was very obvious and we had to do some of the leg stretches whilst sitting in a chair, as the instructor didn’t want to risk anyone losing their balance and falling over.

After Sea Stretch we went up to the Veranda Café for our breakfast and went to eat it outside as usual, but it was a bit windy so I had to tie my hair back so as to avoid it blowing across my face and into my mouth as I was trying to eat. I was glad to get back inside again!  🙂

Looking at today’s programme of activities there wasn’t really a great deal of stuff I fancied doing, so after breakfast Trevor got his book and I took my laptop to do some of this blog, and we went back into the Lookout Lounge, which (as its name suggests) has sweeping panoramic windows overlooking the ship’s bow.

We could see lots of white horses on the sea and a large swell. Watching the continuous rising and falling of the Voyager‘s bow was almost hypnotic, broken only when a huge wave or shower of sea spray crashed off our window.
When we emerged from the lounge I noticed that the shop was having a sale, so I went in to have a browse and came out with a colourful chiffon top with complementary necklace for only £25.00. The top could be worn either over a camisole with a pair of black trousers, or over a swimsuit as a poolside or beach cover up.

Around lunchtime we noticed that, although the sea still looked very lively, there were patches of blue in the sky and here and there the sun was peeping out of the clouds. As we knew they were setting up a stir-fry station on the pool deck, we thought we’d go up, have a pre-luncheon beer, and see what was on offer.

I managed to find a table on the lee side of the ship (portside) and sat down, while Trevor went up to get his stir-fry. The Voyager was still going up and down, up and down on the waves but it was still very pleasant sitting out in the sun, and in any case we are never affected by rough weather; as far as I’m concerned it’s all part of the fun of being at sea.

Just then, the Voyager felt as if she was dropping into a trough and an enormous wave hit the side of the vessel, resulting in a large, graceful arc of sea spray coming right up and over the top of Deck 8 (the deck above us), and cascading down over me, and a lot of other passengers, like a shower of rain. A few seconds later there was an almighty bang followed by a loud crash of crockery and glassware shattering. Over where the stir-fry station was set up, one of the tables had collapsed and everything on it, including the metal covered food warmers containing the rice for the stir-fry and stacks of plates, crashed to the decks. Officers and deck crew rushed over from all directions to make sure no passengers had been hurt. There was a hell of a mess with rice all over the deck, bits of broken crockery, and of course the table whose leg had buckled. As one of the chefs said as he cleared up the mess, “The show must go on”. Presently everything was cleared up, the table reset and everything back in its place again. I should imagine that, one a seagoing ship, this sort of mishap would be a regular occurrence, and the staff all took it in their stride.

We sat out for a while longer and pottered around for a bit before going into Scott’s Lounge for the afternoon trivia. We were joined once again by Beryl and Sue, the two ladies who had previously joined quizzing ranks with us. This time we got 18/20 and we won! Yes, we had finally won the Voyager trivia. Our prize was a neat little Voyages of Discovery notepad each. These would be handy for keeping by the phone or carrying in your handbag, as you’d never know when you needed to jot something down. In any case, we were more interested in the ‘bragging rights’ than the quality of the prizes.  🙂

After the quiz we went into the Darwin Lounge to listen to Peter Snow’s lecture, called The World’s Greatest 20th Century Battle Fields which also formed the basis of a series of BBC programmes he had broadcast in conjunction with his son Dan Snow, who is also a TV presenter. As ever, Peter’s talk was very stimulating and interesting; he certainly is a natural speaker and, combined with his cut-glass English accent, you can see why he was successful as a TV broadcaster.

After Peter’s talk it was time for us to get washed and changed and ready for dinner, which we enjoyed up in the Veranda Café. The wind had dropped by now and the Indian Ocean was much calmer.

As usual, dinner was followed by a visit to the Sunset Club for the evening quiz. Once again we were joined by Beryl and Sue. When the papers were marked we were joint top with another team so it went to the tie-breaker. Both teams got the answer wrong, so it went to a second tie-breaker. This time both teams were right! I suggested to cruise director Gerry, who was hosting the quiz, that if we were still tied after a third tie-breaker then both teams deserved to win and she agreed. It never came to that though, because I correctly said that the old sixpenny piece (worth 2.5p today) was withdrawn as legal tender in 1980, nine years after Britain’s currency was decimalised. So we’d won the quiz again! Twice in one day.   🙂

The show tonight was one of the male singers doing 45 minutes of Michael Bublé classics. OK, but nothing earth-shatteringly exciting. Likewise, up in the Sunset Club later on, Paul Burley (who is a dancer rather than a singer) did his usual karaoke impression; one of them was Status Quo’s Rockin’ All Over The World, and it was obvious that Paul didn’t really know the song because not only was he blatantly reading the lyrics from his iPad screen, but he was singing completely out of time. It was just as well people were more interested than getting up to bop about and weren’t really listening to Paul’s singing.

We stayed for one more drink, then went back to our cabin in good time tonight, as we had to be up at 7.30am tomorrow ready for our excursion in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

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