Three days at sea after leaving Reunion on our way to Port Elizabeth; it begins with a relaxing Sunday. Church service for Steve, a massage for Lynn – we each do what we need to do – Steve working on pictures and Lynn reading a book – and we each do what we want to do. The weather has cooled down as we continue further south, making it tolerable to be outside enjoying the cruise through the southern Indian Ocean.
On Sunday evening, we passed Madagascar – 15 or so nautical miles off the southern end. People were complaining because they couldn’t see it that well and ‘why doesn’t the Captain take the ship closer’ and ‘why don’t we stop for a while so we can see it.’ Really?? It is certain we aren’t going there because it has diseases, a political uprising or maybe they are trying to charge the ships a huge amount to come there. Do any of these reasons seem like a good reason to not go there? Stopping offshore to take a picture is pointless. If people want bragging rights they should go their on their own. Just say’n……
All the shows on our onboard TV are presently about animals in Africa. Everyone (including us) is excited about Port Elizabeth. This is the hopping off point for the various safari trips. Some people will be doing a three-day land adventure and reconnecting with the ship in Cape Town. The other offering is to take one-day tour to a reserve and then re-board the ship in Port Elizabeth. That is our plan. All of the reserves in this area of the country are malaria-free, a nice bonus.
Early this morning 6 AM, I am sitting outside checking my email and writing the blog. Steve’s already in the gym. I go at 7 am. We changed the clock back an hour last night, again, so everyone is up early – people are doing laps in the pool right now. Steve rows for 20 to 40 minutes most days – the Captain should just attach a kayak to the bow and save some fuel.
One of the lecturers is a Dr. Neil Caithness talking about African wildlife, the big and/or ferocious kind. He grew-up in Cape Town, Johannesburg, has a degree in Zoology and PhD in something else, taught at Oxford etc. etc. He explains the Big Five and their behavior in one lecture. The second lecture is about Prides, Herds and Grumpy Old Men. The Grumpy Old Men are the old males who leave the herds and hang out by themselves. It sounds maybe a little like human behavior. There are several more lectures to come.
Another lecturer is former Ambassador Douglas Gibson. Wide-ranging and useful (cheerful?) summary of world politics and of course, BREXIT.
His second lecture was all about Queen Victoria, who he called ‘Grandmother of the Empire.’ Attending these lectures is one way to learn British history.
Another lecturer is Reza Mahammad- a food network celebrity. He is talking all about spices.
Last night, towards the end of our dinner, the typical cruise event occurred – recognition for all the waiters and staff that serve us. Then the chefs came marching out of the kitchen and paraded around the dining room while we waved our napkins and clapped. These people are serving, in just our dining room’s two seatings, 800 people every night. There are 200 galley staff making 9,000 meals a day – EVERY day. Now that is incredible and definitely deserves recognition and gratitude.
This last sea day has me attending the lectures while Steve reads. Also, a free lunch at The Verandah (included in every segment) will fill us up. The movie playing this afternoon is “Green Book” which I’m planning to attend. Then we are attending a pre-dinner gathering at a new friend’s Penthouse Queen’s Grill room. Now our life on the ship is sounding a bit like Sarasota.
Clocks back another hour tonight and then off the ship in Port Elizabeth for our next adventure!