It’s always nice to have a sea day following the day in port. We won’t see another stretch of 8 consecutive sea days for the rest of the cruise. Until the last month of our cruise, our longest stretch of consecutive sea days will be three.
Tomorrow we will spend the day in Avatoru, Rangiroa, followed by Papeete, Tahiti, then Mooera and finally Bora-Bora. These days in French Polynesia can be especially taxing due to the high heat which is typical of this part of the world.
Coffee with Hamish
The guest this morning for “Coffee with Hamish” was Sarah Chandler. Sarah explained that she started with a saxophone because her sister had already started with clarinet and there were limited instruments to go around. She fell in love with a saxophone and has been playing ever since she was a young girl. She picked up playing the flute as a second instrument which was required as part of her university training.
Sarah got her start in cruise ships about 10 years ago when a saxophone player in a band had an injury which required them to find replacement on short notice. She had to be in Barbados in three days to join a band and she ended up staying with them for several years and eventually ended up with her own show.
She also showed off her engagement ring and announced that she is getting married to a magician this September.
Judy is making great progress on her “Starting Point” shawl, and I am making slow but steady progress on my square which I think I can now call a rectangle. I have been doing ribbing for last couple of days but need to do more than one or two rows a day to make any progress.
Texas Hold’em remains quite popular. I signed up for just one game today to give everyone a chance to play at least once. My game was in the morning and I finished in fourth place without any significant hands worth repeating. The downside about cruise ship poker is that they want to finish the games in under an hour, so the blinds double every 10 minutes until they reach $3200 and $6400. This forces a quick conclusion, but takes most of the skill out of how you play the last few hands.
There hasn’t been much action on the blackjack tables. I’m not playing, and many other folks won’t play a table where a Blackjack pays 6/5 instead of 3/2. This increases the house edge by a factor of four. These odds are becoming more common in Las Vegas as well, but we all have the choice to avoid games we no longer enjoy when the house increases their edge. Unfortunately, most of the casino staff now spend their days staring into space rather than dealing. Only the Texas Hold’em table and some slots are seeing much action.
Today at noon the ukulele class performed “Vini Vini Vana Vana” and one other song they have been practicing since Panama. They were assembled on the small bandstand by the Lido pool (now referred to as the Lido Dome). It was quite muggy around that time, and then started to rain, which required the closing of the retractable cover over the pool area. Once they closed the cover, it got even hotter, forcing them to open it a crack. Fortunately, it stopped raining in a few minutes and they were able to fully open the pool cover.
While we watched the Ukulele performance, we enjoyed our lunch by the pool which consisted of custom-made sandwiches from the Lido sandwich bar.
In today’s drawing class, Ben talked about Art History. He started with Cave paintings and how they used charcoal from their fire to draw on the sides of their caves. He then moved on to Egyptian painting and reliefs and how the hands and feet would both be drawn as right or left ones. Then he moved on to Greek painting and sculpture and how it took it’s influence from Egyptian art. About every third class or so Ben focuses on art history as opposed to the actual drawing.
The attendance for crafts has dropped slightly over the last few days so Judy is no longer turned away. Attendance is still good, probably about 100 people, but now the number of available kits matches the number of interested guests. Today Judy made a lavender sachet.
There is usually a large jigsaw puzzle in progress in the Library. Here is a picture of the current puzzle in progress
Our pub trivia team assembled as usual at 5 PM in the piano bar. One of the questions today was what state appears on the label of a Jack Daniels bottle. Well, wouldn’t you know, since we were sitting at the bar there was a bottle of Jack Daniels about 2 feet away, so we are able to read ‘Tennessee’ on the bottle.
The theme for dinner this evening was Tropical Paradise, which was advertised as a chance to kick back and dine between lush palm trees. The dining room was decked out with paper palm trees with the waiters all wearing colorful Hawaiian shirts. We received woven straw hats at our place settings. Everyone remarked that we were certainly receiving a lot of hats so this cruise and I suspect there’ll be more to come. There was a gourmet burger on the menu which included a fried egg along with barbecue and other tasty toppings. Judy ordered the Seabass and we each shared our respective items.
Robbie Howard was the headliner in the Queens lounge this evening. He put on a fantastic second show leading off with his imitation of several singers singing the classic hit my way including Ricky Ricardo and Fred Mertz. The show wrapped up the stirring and crowd-pleasing rendition of Neil Diamond’s classic, Sweet Caroline. Robbie doesn’t sell CDs, but he did say that if you send him an email from his website (HERE) he will send you a few tracks at no charge. Robbie is a great entertainer and we always enjoy the show very much.
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