En route to Kodiak

I was tired this morning so I didn’t go up to breakfast, enjoying some fruit and coffee in our stateroom and getting out of bed quite late, around 9.20pm.  I had to get washed and dressed fairly quickly if we didn’t want to miss the grand Quest Expo at 10 o’clock.

The Quest Expo consisted of all the ship’s departments setting up their stalls/stands in the Cabaret Lounge to give passengers an inside view of what they do and how they do it.  Therefore there were crew members from the engine room, the maintenance department, the galley, the entertainments team, the security team and many others.  The ship’s officers, including Captain Magnus, circulated freely around the room to meet the passengers and ask questions.  We visited many of the ‘stalls’, speaking with the staff  and looking at their examples with interest.  One of the stands contained laptops with information about the early seafarers and the art of celestial navigation; in another part of the theatre some of the inflatable life-rafts and other life-saving equipment was on display.  Trevor, in particular, was interested in the engine room and spent some time talking ‘shop’ with some of the engineers.  It was all fascinating stuff and certainly something different; we haven’t seen anything similar on any other ships.

There was also a table set up containing photographs taken by the passengers for entry into a competition to win a bottle of fizz; there were four categories: people, landscapes, wildlife and architecture.  The only rule was that the photos had to be taken on this cruise.  I’d entered a couple just for fun; one of a group of colourful carp in a pond, and one of the group of school-children, with their teacher pointing out the “big ship” to them.  🙂

After the expo finished around 11 o’clock we went up to the Windows Café and had a cup of coffee, then ventured out on deck.  It was very windy and, unsurprisingly,  the pool deck was deserted once again.

At noon, as usual, came the captain’s voice over the tannoy giving us the navigational information.  By now, we’d actually noticed the ship’s motion slightly and saw that there were cresting waves on the ocean, against the backdrop of the mountainous Aleutian Islands on the horizon.  However, Captain Magnus had some bad news for us; we were heading into high winds and rough seas, with waves of three to five metres.  The forecast for the next 24 hours didn’t look great at all and, because the safety of the ship and passengers is paramount on any voyage, we were unfortunately going to have to miss Kodiak tomorrow, and stay in the relative shelter of the Aleutians.  As a result, he was just going to change course, slow our speed down and wait until it was safer to proceed on towards Homer.  We would therefore spend tomorrow at sea, and the entertainments team were currently engaged in putting together a programme of events for us.  It was disappointing that we were going to miss a port of call, but we know from experience that sometimes these things are unavoidable.

Lunchtime was different today; instead of going to the buffet the galley had put on a special Officers’ BBQ in the Discoveries Restaurant, complete with live music from Riviera Sounds, the dishes being served by the officers of the Azamara Quest.  We went along there and I enjoyed juicy spare ribs in a sticky barbecue sauce, baked potato, corn on the cob and savoury chicken wings, all washed down with a glass of chilled rosé wine.  Then we just pottered around the ship for a while until it was time to go to another presentation by Charles Richardson, called “Alaska: Land of Many Surprises”.

The talk was very interesting and showed lots of photos of the amazing wilds of Alaska, from mountains, icebergs, glaciers and the flora and fauna, including the King of the Arctic, the mighty polar bear.  There were also fantastic photos of the Northern Lights, or aurora borealis, and he explained how this phenomenon occurred (which we already knew, having previously seen the Lights in Norway and Greenland).  🙂

After the talk we went along to The Den, where we had a couple of drinks and I did some of this blog before the quiz at four o’clock, when we were joined by our regular team-mates Dale and Susie.  The first round was science and the questions were pretty hard, but I was relieved that I got the computing question correct (Which programming language was named after a French mathematician? Answer: Pascale)  🙂

The music quiz was entitled “British Invasion” and we did pretty well at that, scoring 18/20 but, as usual, some teams scored 20. We still got a stamp on our prize passports for participating, however.

At five o’clock we made our excuses and returned to our stateroom to get showered and changed and spruced up a bit, as dinner tonight was something special.  A few days ago we’d received an invitation to dine at an Officer’s Table, and this was taking place at 6.30pm in the Discoveries Restaurant.  I therefore wore a black dress with an asymmetric hem and white contrast pattern with a neat little black shrug, along with black and white ‘Mary Jane’ type shoes.

When we arrived at the restaurant we were shown to the bar to wait a short while, and we met up with Norman and Anne, the couple from Liverpool.  We were then shown to our table, with contained four couples plus the Second Officer, who introduced himself as Alex (I didn’t get his surname).  The Liverpool couple were on our table, and there was one couple from New Zealand and one from the US.

The meal was scrumptious; I started off with jumbo shrimp cocktail followed by an exquisite salad containing arugula, papaya, mango, melon, mint and radicchio leaves in a plum wine vinaigrette.  Then came the main course, a completely melt-in-the-mouth beef tenderloin steak with lobster tail, the traditional “Surf ‘n’ Turf”.  It was washed down with a crisp white wine and finished off with a passion coconut parfait with raspberry sorbet – yum yum!  🙂

During the meal the conversation flowed and we learned that Officer Alex was 32 and came from Italy.  Afterwards I asked him to sign my souvenir menu for me; he then made his apologies and said he had to be back on the bridge for 8.00pm (it was after that now!) because he was on watch tonight.

What an interesting and delicious meal it had been!

We were too late for the early show by now, so we just went back to 6009 to use the loo and look at the TV screen to view the ship’s course, as we could certainly feel the increased motion of the vessel, and outside there had been the occasional gusty squall of rain.  We could see on the screen that we hadn’t really got all that far from Dutch Harbor, and the Quest was just circling slowly around, south of the distinctive curve on the map that forms the Aleutian Islands archipelago.

The show tonight was called “Songs from the American Book” and featured the show-company singer Geoffrey Jones accompanied by the fantastic ship’s orchestra.  As ever, it was an excellent show, and we finished the evening in our usual way, by going to the Living Room where the DJ was playing requests and the dance floor was packed.

We had a couple of drinks there before settling down for the evening.  We could feel the Azamara Quest cutting her way through the waves in the Force 7 winds, but it never bothers us at all (in fact I quite enjoy rough seas!) and we slept very well.

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