Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Day Ten - Bonus

 Our ship's yellow rescue boat
 Checking out the scene
 Just a hit of orange junk
 The rescue crew return to the ship
Here was the culprit

Well today was an exciting day for some of the crew. One of the officer's spotted what appeared to be an orange raft this afternoon off our port side. Our ship slowed and diverted to check it out. That's our cracker jack rescue in the yellow boat off to see exactly what it was.

Fortunately it was just what you see a bunch of orange junk. But seafarers always come to the aid of any trouble or potential trouble. But we are now back underway to our next stop on Thursday.

This morning there was a bit of excited for another area when the call "BRAVO, BRAVO, BRAVO" went out and nobody was asking for encores. There was a little chemical spill in the laundry area. No harm no foul, everything got cleaned up and there were no injuries.

One thing our Captain is Johnny-on-the-spot in letting us know what is going on. No cover-ups here.

OK, I think all this excitement deserves to be toasted. See you all down at the bar.

Day Ten - At Sea

I have the cutest little creatures that come and visit me in the evenings. Never quite know what to expect.

Just logged 3,494 nautical miles, sea depth is 11,000 feet and we are traveling about 17.7 knots. After today we have one more day at sea and then the Atlantic Crossing will be complete. Thursday  we arrive at Madeira, Portugal. I am looking forward to tasting the delicious wines of Portugal.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Day Nine - At Sea

Some photos taken last night after dinner. Enjoy see you soon.

 Ocean Depth 11,400 feet
 Distance Traved 3,106 nautical miles at 10:12 a.m. 4-29-13

Fun Fact: Katie Spotz, the youngest person to cross the Atlantic by herself...on a rowboat!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Day Eight - At Sea

Middle of Nowhere

Current distance traveled 2,789 nautical miles, sea depth 15,550 feet, speed 18.7 knots.

Today’s chat with the Captain revealed that we are literally in the ‘middle of nowhere’. I always wondered where that was.  Now I know and now I have been there

We have been experiencing seas with a swell of about 12 feet. Not too bad, but it caused enough of a slosh that they had to drain the two main pools. Occasionally we have to grab a handrail but for the most part it hasn’t been bad at all. I wonder if there is a point when you can drink just the right amount to level things back out again.

Captain say tomorrow it will calm back down and it will be smooth sailing the rest of the way.

I had to push myself to get to a 9:30 am lecture this morning.  I am really enjoying the series that the forensic psychiatric is giving. In fact I ran into him later on the ship and got to have a chance to say hello.

The debate today was: “Death Penalty – Yes or No”.  Hands down Americas favor the death penalty over other parts of the world. One American man even suggested that rather than the death penalty, criminals should be forgiven and then they should become part of a mandatory organ harvesting program. OK, first time I have ever heard that as an option.

This cruise is really opening up my eyes to things.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Day Seven - At Sea

I woke up early this morning. I enjoy the quiet time each morning and having breakfast brought to my stateroom. The sun is just rising now over the bow of the Mariner. Have I happened to mention yet how good the coffee is? Absolutely love it.

Reflecting on reading my paperwork prior to the ‘crossing’ my first impression was ‘wow, seven days at sea’. But we have been so busy the time is really flying by despite being at sea.

Every evening after dinner I walk outside on the deck and stand by the railing and I am just mesmerized by the sea; the colors, the movement and the sound that the ship makes as it makes it way through this mass of liquid. It really is a different world.

Did you know that it took Columbus five weeks to sail to the Americas from the Canary Islands? Since that time countless of vessels have tried different routes to shorten the route.

Here is a Goggle item for all you readers to search: the Blue Riband. Since 1952 the honor has belonged to the United States for the fastest transatlantic crossing, east to west, of three days, ten hours and forty minutes. Now I would call that flying over the sea.

Because of my early start today I think I may make the Maritime Talk on Great Saves: Rescues at Sea at 9:30 am and then maybe even stop by the beginning Portuguese language class.

I will see how the day unfolds; if my body was willing I could attend the Michael Jackson “Thriller Dance” lessons. On second thought perhaps everyone is better off if I don’t attempt this.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Day Six - At Sea

I am taking today off from blogging. Just too many things going on. Hee hee.  I will be back with more photos and information later. Update on our voyage; we have traveled 2,041 nautical miles, the sea depth is 16,890 feet and our speed keeps pretty much at 18 knots. Weather remains good, even in the wind it is comfortable.

Be back soon.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Day Five - At Sea

As of eight a.m. this morning Thursday, April 25th we have traveled 1,378 nautical miles.  Right now we are cruising at 18.4 knots over an ocean depth of 16,430 feet.

I have been sleeping so well each night; maybe it is the gentle motion of the ship that lulls one into such a deep and restful sleep. I think perhaps the mind has been tricked into thinking the body has returned to the womb. Whatever the reason I am not going to complain.

Yesterday Mollie and I walked into the town of Nassau; it was only five minutes from the ship. We did a pretty good job of covering the main street from one end to the other and back again. For three hours we kept our bodies in motion and that is a good thing.

If I can get my act together in time I would like to attend a presentation of Maritime Talk: Finding the Lost. It’s all about what happens when you call MAYDAY.

This afternoon the Forensic Psychiatrist will lecture this time on Jack Ruby: Inside the Assassin’s Brain. I enjoyed the first one on serial killers so this might be a good one as well.

There is a four class series on how to learn the Michael Jackson “Thriller Dance”. Dare I even attempt this? But wouldn’t that be a hoot if I could learn it and I now I would have a new talent to show off at family gatherings.

Now that we are at sea for several days I may break up the writing time with some card playing. Lot’s of people are playing bridge, I won’t go there but I thought I might wander up to the card room and see if I can find a game of gin. That might be fun and if I still have my touch maybe I could win a buck or two.

Interesting tidbit in the latest Cruise Compass about Atlantic crossings and how they haven’t always been the glamorous event they our today with all the amenities the Mariner of the Seas has today.

Between the 1850’s and the 1920’s millions of European immigrants sailed across these waters to start a new life. With the growing demand, shipping companies began building faster, more spacious vessels. Then in 1870, the Oceanic raised the bar altogether, adding electricity and running water to its list of lavish amenities.

Imagine that kids, going off on Spring Break on a cruise without electricity or running water. “Oh, no, Mr. Bill.”

In the book I am writing I have a section from my Uncle’s letters that he wrote crossing the Atlantic on a troop ship to Europe during World War I. I am going back and revisit that while I share the same waters with him if not the same coordinates.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Day Four - Nassau, Bahamas

Today Nassau is known for its warm smiles and balmy breezes and most of all its easygoing lifestyle. But it has not always been like that. Nassau has a very tumultuous past, this Caribbean haven sheltered religious dissenters, Spanish invaders, freed slaves, English Loyalists and rum smugglers.

The most infamous pirates of the 17th century found the hidden harbors on the island a welcomed refuge. I wonder if there are any traces of the ghost of Jack Sparrow still lingering about. Arrrrr matey.

Today Nassau is part of the British Commonwealth and welcomes visitors from all over the world to relax, enjoy the translucent waters, its colonial charm, and savory cuisine and of course that unmistakable calypso beat.

Here are more tidbits from the Cruise Compass. I don’t know maybe it is the water I am drinking but I am really enjoying this little daily publication. Here is a sampling of what the Mariner Day Spa has to offer.

HAIR & NAILS – It’s all about you. Our professional staff will make sure you look and feel fabulous. Would you look better as a blond, a sassy redhead or a mysterious brunette? Hmm, maybe I will go for the Elizabeth Taylor look when I reach Egypt.

BAMBOO MASSAGE – Imagine warm bamboo and rattan sliding over your muscles. This indulgent massage based on Southeast Asian techniques will revive your senses in a new and innovative way, inspiring the most relaxed state. I have to admit never, ever have I imagined warm bamboo and rattan sliding over my body, I've imagined lots of other things but never bamboo and rattan.

RESTORE YOUTHFUL FACIAL CONTOURS – Experience the safe and effective, youth-enhancing benefits of BOTOX Cosmetic and Restylane, return home looking visibly younger. Ok, family I will send updated photos before I come home so you will recognize me at the airport. This might be the year I send out photo Xmas cards.

Take a bow or two.

Notice: We were informed that due to our positioning, satellite outage will occur while crossing the Atlantic Ocean. So if you don't hear from Artichoke Annie you will know why. I will continue to write and post to the blog whenever the Internet connection is available.

Day Three Update

I did attend the lecture on Serial Killers yesterday given by a forensic psychiatrist from Sydney, Australia. And you know what, it was very interesting. It will be a subject of a future blog after I get back home.

I also went to the “debate” on the topic of Creation vs Evolution. Before they started the facilitator took a show of hands poll on those that believed in Creation, those that believed in Evolution and those that accepted both. He gave the results as 33% for each, but you know he didn’t want to cause trouble among the guests, that was OK.

The guidelines he gave for comments were to be respectful and keep on topic. How wonderful, how magical, how civil. The people gathered weren’t going to change the world with their comments but I actually enjoyed listening to what people had to say. And because of the ground rule of respect it was actually easy to listen to views I didn’t agree with.

I doubt that any views were changed today but what I came away with that if we are all more civil to one another we could easily live with dissenting views. It is such a small thing on one hand and a very big thing on the other.

Maybe Congress needs to have more cruise directors run for office.