Our last couple of ports did not have much in the way of amenities so we’ve decided to buy a 100 minute package of the ship’s internet. One tip I picked up from another passenger is to resize the blog photos so it doesn’t take so long to post. Early in the morning is the best time when fewer people are on line. And the best reception is upstairs in the lounge where Will likes to go in the morning to have his coffee, read and write in his journal. So I’ll join him a few mornings to send these notes.
We have an extra day at sea today. A contested election in the Ivory Coast yesterday caused the Abijan port authorities to close the port to all commercial shipping. That includes us. Can you imagine closing New York City harbor for a U.S. election? There had been a rumor around the ship that Oceania would cancel this port for safety reasons. I’m not interested in taking any chances but we are disappointed because Abijan is supposed to be the most sophisticated city in West Africa and it sure would have been interesting to compare it to what we’ve seen so far.
I like sea days. It gives me time to work on the blog and rest up for the next adventure. There are usually one or two lectures each day – history of places we are visiting, Greek mythology, how to take better travel photos, etc. There are ping pong tournaments. You can play bridge. There’s a big group doing Trivial Pursuit. I’m just taking up space for that one but we’re on a fun team. You can work out in the gym. I walk the shady side of the promenade; there’s a track that circles the pool area but it’s in the sun. Yesterday they had a cooking demo by the chef and I went to an origami class. You can be as busy as you want or lay by the pool. We are having pool weather now as we approach the equator.
For my birthday yesterday I celebrated by not dressing for dinner! We usually go to the main dining room but you do have to “clean up” to country club casual and it takes a couple hours to get through the meal, very civilized. Last night we went to the buffet restaurant instead. You can stay in your play clothes (no swim suits or tank tops, please.) They have the same food as the dining room, just a more casual setting. We sat outside on the back deck with a couple from Minnesota. Also did a load of wash. The laundry room is the least busy at that time of day and you can pop back and forth to check on it more easily from the buffet.
Our Trivia team entered the Ship Building contest. Over the last couple days we’ve saved up empty water bottles along with other odds and ends for building material. An engineer type on our team developed a raft plan so we let him run with it. The competition was this afternoon. Here are a few of the entries.
They’re made of “found” things on the ship. Besides floating they had to hold a six pack.
One had to be fished out when it sank. Ours passed the float test and held 6 cans.
A good showing but we were beat out by boats that held more. The winner held 10!
Ship life can be a bit like camp.