Early this morning I while just settling in to enjoy our room service breakfast, I heard the distinctive sound of a boat motor and high rpm very nearby. I went out on our balcony and sure enough a small fishing boat was closing on us heading the opposite direction and would pass within about 50 yards. Other much larger ships were nearby, some heading in the same direction and some going back toward Singapore. I recall one of the ships officers telling me that in these waters small boats consider it lucky if they can maneuver so their wake is cut by the Amsterdam or if they can cut across the Amsterdam’s wake. I am not sure if this is what was happening with this small boat, it was never on a collision course, but it was very close.
Virtuoso Pianist Filip Wojciechowski was the guest on Good Morning Amsterdam. He started playing the piano when he was 7 and now 39 years later he is still going strong. Gene asked if he had to be forced to practice and learn piano as many youngsters are often required to take an instrument by well intentioned parents. Filip said that he fell in love with music and the piano immediately and it has been his passion ever since.
The Shore Excursion manager, Nyron, and the Location Guide, Barbara, teamed up on presenting an overview of the available shore excursions between Phuket and Oman. After Phuket tomorrow, followed by two sea days, we will be spending the day in Hambantota, Sri Lanka which will be the first time for the Amsterdam and only the second time for any Holland America Ship. Barbara mentioned that the Hambantota local tourist bureau is eager to get more cruise ships and still figuring out what they needed to make their port more attractive. I would expect that we will get a warm welcome – we will see if it tops the one we received in Semarang, Java, Indonesia, where we had a full honor guard and marching band.
Nyron mentioned that Cricket was very popular in Sri Lanka, but not very popular with Amsterdam guests as they had only sold one seat on an excursion featuring a visit to the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium and an opportunity to discuss everything Cricket related with the manager.
After the presentation on excursions, I hung around the Queens Lounge to listen to Guest Speaker Revell Carr discuss the maritime activities and explorations sponsored by the Dutch over the years.
It was very hot and muggy outside and we stayed inside all day to enjoy the air-conditioning. We spent most of the afternoon watching the news from the USA about the primaries and Judy continues to knit on her Lotus Shawl. It’s a lovely pattern with an intricate lace pattern that she is knitting in a lace weight linen yarn. She says it requires her complete attention and will only knit it when she is in our cabin. HERE is a link to the project on her ravelry page and here are some pictures.
I had good luck with the cards again and won the Texas Hold’em tournament.
A combination of haze and humidity while uncomfortable, does manage to produce some beautiful sunsets. Judy captured this one today.
Prime rib was on the menu tonight and it continues to be very good. In celebration of St Patrick’s day tomorrow, the ship was selling tickets at dinner to a special St Patrick’s Day pub crawl tomorrow evening from 9-10 pm. Most of the people at Table 52 bought the 4 special drinks for $19.95. Full report tomorrow.
Mel Mellers, was on the main stage tonight and presented an entertaining magic show with comedic twists.
We will be in Phuket tomorrow docking some distance from the town. Apparently due to local union issues, we cannot charter a shuttle bus to town. Everyone must negotiate with the taxi drivers on the pier. Gene, Barbara and Henk will be on the pier to assist folks in making arrangements.
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