Cruising the Restless Waves

Got up this morning about 8.30am, with the contented feeling that we had a whole, relaxing day at sea to do what we wanted, when we wanted.  One of those days where you can do can do that which is best described in the following well-known quote (for which I can’t find anyone to reference).

Sometimes I sits and thinks, and sometimes I just sits.

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We enjoyed our breakfast in the Lido buffet and ventured out on deck to see what the weather was like.  It was uncomfortably cold and very windy (it is February in northern latitudes after all!), as the bow of the Borealis rose and fell, rose and fell, and we watch the white horses dancing on the waves.  We wrapped up well and decided to have a walk around the promenade deck; at the stern we revelled in the roar of the sea as the propellors of the Borealis churned it into a white foam.  There is something incredibly hypnotic about watching the wake of a ship, the long white trail almost like a bridal train.  😊

Afterwards, we spent some time doing not much in particular, before going to the Neptune theatre at 11.00am to listen to a talk about Norway’s fjords, landscapes and legends.  Because of all the fjords and islands, Norway has one of the longest coastlines in the world at over 63,000 miles (three times the circumference of the earth!).  It’s a wonderful country that we have visited many times, summer and winter, but who could ever tire of Norway?

The talk was very interesting and informative, and took us nicely up to lunchtime.  We decided to go to the Poolside bar and eatery, where Trevor had fish and chips whereas I enjoyed a Ploughman’s Lunch washed down with a cold lager.  The pool had been drained and the net was over it, probably because it was too rough or too cold or both.

Talking of rough, it was somewhat disconcerting at times when, at regular intervals throughout the day, we heard announcements over the Tannoy for stretcher teams to proceed to various locations and/or cabin numbers around the ship.  Obviously some unfortunates had taken a tumble and, indeed, we saw the odd passengers here and there sporting slings on their arms. 

As seasoned sea dogs, Trevor and I tend to err on the side of caution, seemingly overly so, when seas are rough, holding onto the ship’s railings or banisters (or each other) to avoid losing our footing.  It’s a far cry from terra firma and, in fact, there is something amazing and humbling about the sheer power of the oceans and the elements, which should always be regarded with respect.  😊

After lunch we enjoyed an hour’s power nap before going up to the Observatory at 1.15pm to do the “Name That Tune” music trivia quiz.  The theme was 80’s introductions and they played the intros to well-known 1980s music (such as the instantly-recognisable intro to The Final Countdown by Europe)  There were 15 questions and you scored a possible two points for each; one for the title and one for the artiste.  We scored 29/30 and were quietly confident, but two teams (which each had six participants against our two) scored full marks.  So no prize for us this time!

We spent the afternoon wandering around the ship, pottering about and looking in the shops, where I bought a pair of diamante-trimmed flip-flops.  Because of the nature of our cruise this time the only casual footwear I had brought was trainers or walking boots and I don’t really like my feet enclosed in socks and trainers while indoors, so the flip-flops were ideal, and I put them on straight away.  They wouldn’t be suitable for wearing outside in the frigid air, though!  😊

We didn’t go to to dinner in the main dining room tonight, as we’d booked a table for two in Vasco’s, the speciality Goan restaurant on board the Borealis.  We had tried this last year when we were on board, and it was excellent. We love Asian food anyway, and the food in Vasco’s was a real treat.  Even more unusual is that it is a complimentary speciality restaurant.

We started off our meal with a selection of naans and poppadoms, with several different sauces and pickles to try.  Then we had a a tasting platter for starters, with samosas, spicy mushrooms, mussels in breadcrumbs and other delicious and flavoursome treats.  Our main course consisted of spicy king prawns in a rich sauce, served with vegetable pillau rice.  Finally there was dessert, and I tried an unusual sweet treat made from chickpea flour and grated coconut.

We left Vasco’s fit to burst, and had a drink in the Morning Light pub before heading to the Neptune Theatre and bagging our ‘usual’ seat in the front row for tonight’s entertainer, a north-east comedian called Dave Kristian.

In fact, we’ve seen Dave perform twice before; once on the Boudicca and once on the Braemar. We found out he was also from County Durham, a town called Chester-le-Street which is only about four miles away from us.  He’s very funny.  😊

As ever, we enjoyed his show and there were several laugh-out-loud moments.  There were actually quite a lot of passengers from the north-east on this cruise; that is because their cruise out of Newcastle in March on the Balmoral which was due to do a similar (but shorter) itinerary as this one was cancelled.  They therefore had the option of transferring to this cruise out of Liverpool at no extra cost; a real bargain when you think that their original cruise was only nine nights, and this one we’re on now is 16 nights – so they’re getting an extra week free!

After the show we made our way to the Observatory for the quiz and met up with the rest of our table-mates to form the “Three Counties” team; once again we didn’t win.

Afterwards Mark, Jan, Andy and Kal said their goodnights and Trevor and I remained behind to listen to the resident band Funky Blue and to enjoy a couple more drinks.  As we did so, the cruise director Taylor came in, accompanied by comedian Dave Kristian and the singer we’d seen the other night, Bruce Anderson.  We spent some time chatting to them, and it was inevitable it would involve some football banter, as two of them are Newcastle supporters while Trevor and I support Sunderland!  😊

It was after midnight when we left the Observatory and returned to our cosy cabin 3326.  We were due to arrive at the picturesque port of Ålesund, Norway in the morning, so it was with that happy thought that we drifted off to sleep as the Borealis carried us ever closer to our next exciting destination.

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