Give Me Just A Little More Time

Today was just a relaxing day at sea, when we could do as much or as little as we wanted.  We got up about 8.30am (a bit later due to the lost hour!!) and I decided not to go to breakfast, just eating the fruit that was provided in our stateroom; Trevor brought me back some coffee from the buffet.

Then we went along to the Cabaret Lounge for 10 o’clock to listen to another of film producer Dale Pollock’s interesting lectures; this one was called “Are the Movies still the Movies?” which discussed the point that so many people these days watch films by means other than the cinema and TV; for example Netflix, Amazon Prime and other movie-streaming services.  After all, you can sit on a train or flight and sit and watch a movie on your mobile phone these days, streamed via wi-fi or the 4G network.  As ever, it was very interesting.

Afterwards, we decided to go for a coffee and went up to Deck 9 to the coffee machines.  When we went outside, it was cold and windy once again, and no-one was out on deck or in the pool.

As I hadn’t had any breakfast, I was quite hungry when lunchtime came around, so I enjoyed some tasty home-made soup followed by some salad meats and fresh vegetables, washed down with cold water and some rosé wine.

Then we returned to our cabin for a post-luncheon nap, before making our way to the Discoveries Bar for Round 1 of the “Battle of the Sexes”, in which the men competed against the women.  In this, the women were given questions about sports and cars and typical ‘male’ topics, whilst the men were given questions about cosmetics and fashion and chick-flicks, so-called typical ‘female’ topics.  If a team got the answer wrong, it was passed to the other team for a chance to steal.

We were then both given the same set of questions and marked on our answers.  Finally, we were given a ‘picture round’ in which silhouettes of countries were given, and you had five minutes to list as many countries as you could.

It was all good fun, with lots of banter between the two teams.  Round 2 would take place tomorrow.  😊

We then went along to The Den for a couple of drinks before the first of the quizzes, the topic of which was “History”.  We joined up with Dale and Susie, who answered most of the questions; Trevor and I didn’t contribute much to them at all.  Oh well, everyone has their specialist subjects, and I would never say that history was mine.

The music quiz was set in the 1950s, and I didn’t expect to do very well because that was before my time, but it was surprising how many we managed to get between the four of us.  We didn’t win, but a score of 16/20 was respectable enough, and we enjoyed the company and the conversation in the meantime.  😊

We stayed in the bar for a drink afterwards, until Trevor reminded me that we had to get ready for the “Le Club Voyage” (LCV) cocktail party at 5.30pm, so we hotfooted it back to 6009 to get dressed up a little more.

Le Club Voyage is Azamara’s loyalty programme, and because Celebrity Cruises is a sister company any nights on a Celebrity cruise count as well.  So far, Trevor and I have done two Azamara cruises and two Celebrity cruises, so we are only in the first tier of the club (but we have another Celebrity cruise booked for October this year).

We therefore got ourselves spruced up and made our way to the Cabaret Lounge, where we were greeted by the Captain and his senior officers, as well as the cruise director.  The band was playing tasteful music in the background and, judging by the way the lounge filled up, it seemed that just about everyone had cruised with Azamara/Celebrity before.  We were offered the usual glasses of free fizz and canapés, and then Captain Magnus came out to the front and made an amusing speech and spoke to us about the International Date Line, which we were due to cross tomorrow.

The International Dateline is an imaginary line extending between the North Pole and the South Pole and arbitrarily demarcating each calendar day from the next.  It corresponds for most of its length to the 180th meridian (which is opposite the Greenwich Meridian at 0˚ longitude) but deviates eastward through the Bering Strait to avoid dividing Siberia; it then deviates westward to include the Aleutian Islands with Alaska.

South of the equator, another eastward deviation allows certain island groups to have the same day as New Zealand.  The Date Line occurs as a result of timekeeping around the world; every 15˚ of longitude is a new time zone, so starting at the Greenwich meridian and moving east, it is plus one hour for every 15 degrees (up to a maximum of +12 hours).  Going West, however, it a minus one hour for every 15 degrees (up to a maximum of -12 hours).  Therefore, at 180˚ of longitude, the difference of +12 hour and -12 hours give you 24 hours, therefore a new day.

A traveller going completely around the world and carrying a clock that he advanced or retarded by one hour for every time zone crossed would find, if he did not change the calendar date, that he would be one full day out on returning to his starting point.  When you cross the Date Line on a westerly course (as we did in September 2009) you completely miss out a day, and when crossing on an easterly course (as we are doing now) you experience the same day twice.  😊

Trevor and I find it all fascinating stuff, and it has certainly been strange (and quite tiring) not being in the same time zone twice since leaving Japan!

After the cocktail party we remained in the lounge for a short while, chatting with another British couple, before making our way to the Discoveries Restaurant, where we told the receptionist we would be happy to share our table.

We therefore found ourselves on a table for four with the charming Belgian couple, François and Marliese, with whom we’d shared our table during our first night on board.  We enjoyed a delicious meal and good conversation, washed down with rosé wine and finished off with amaretto and coffee.

Then it was along to the Cabaret Lounge where, once again, the comedy magician Greg Moreland was performing.  He was as hilarious as ever, and his tricks and sleight of hand are really good.  It was an excellent show.

Afterwards we returned to the Den, where the large TV screen proclaimed in a huge font over the background picture of a clock:

“PLEASE TURN YOUR CLOCKS ONE DAY BACK AND ONE HOUR FORWARD THIS EVENING”

I’d already given up trying to keep tabs on the time here compared to back home in Blighty, but now we were going to go 23 hours backwards as we headed towards the western hemisphere.  😊

We enjoyed a nightcap, and then we returned to 6009, where I made the necessary adjustments to the time and date on my phone, messing up the dates on my calendar entries and photos in the process.

After reading for a short while, we settled down and sleep came very quickly in the darkness of our cabin, lulled by the gentle sound of the waves on the vast Pacific Ocean.

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