Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Day 26 - Guess what? At sea - August 20th

Pictures belong to yesterday’s post!  Lobster tails pic for Jo, dance shoe pics for Helen.  Other pics show Darryl & Sue with their ‘spoof’ trophy and the phantom judges, Teri & Alex, who are joining our table after Beijing.

This is the half way point of our trip and with most of Asia in the bag, we still have the delights of Alaska ahead.  I think Paula is basically over Asia already, finding it far too hot and too crowded, so the ship is our refuge.  Paula was awake 6:45am and had her MP3 player plugged into her ear so is now feeling much better, though we still have Tianjin (China) and Busan, (Korea) to look forward to.

We were joined at the end of breakfast by banjo player Jim Coston who now has a Chris Barber/Kenny Ball CD to take home to New Orleans remind him of our meeting.

We had to leave Jim at 9:30am to head for today’s port lecture – Vladivostok.  I remember so well at school trying to absorb details of the trans Siberian railway that terminates at this Russian port after its 6,200 mile journey from Moscow.   To be honest, I really don’t think I ever thought I’d go to Russia – (nor NZ and all calls between there and the UK we have managed over the years!) as it was a different world then and our horizons didn’t really extend beyond St Ives, Bournemouth and Skegness.

Just for a change, we headed to the morning quiz and sat next to Darryl & Sue, but they had a full team so didn’t need our expertise.  Maybe they were as surprised as we were when we beat them, scoring 15/20!

Paula stayed on to watch the final of the Bingo, where the jackpot had to go, whilst I kept up to date with the blogging.

After a pleasant light lunch, we went to dance class which was mainly revision but also a bit more on the square tango) I think that is what it was...

The passenger talent show is often a must see but having suffered 4 recitations of the “Man from Snowy River” on 4 previous talent shows, I was ready this time and sat at the rear of the vista lounge as I had seen the chief culprit down as number three on the list!

Sure enough, every other act was about three minutes and his was 9 (but felt like 19) but I had escaped to the library so I missed it.  The star turn was “The Laundry Lament”, set to the Tom Jones hit, Delilah.  Very well done and very original and funny. The final act we missed, as we went off to the quiz, but not before catching the first few bars of Bali Hai, which really was bally awful.  In hindsight, I should have stayed and videoed it as it would have been perfect for the spoof video as it was done by a 90 year old.  Good on her for standing up, but she really should have stayed seated.

I have a new name for our video – “The Twilight Princess”.        

A miserable 11/20 for the afternoon quiz before relaxing before dinner. I have carried on collating photographs towards my spoof Princess video, mainly of the plethora of “Ralp Lauren” shirts and the width challenged passengers.

On this, the final night at sea for some, was the traditional baked Alaska parade by the chefs and assistant waiters.

It was just Paula & I for Alan’s atrium travel quiz – another we didn’t win.

Sadly, we farewelled Darryl & Sue who are young enough to have to go back to work.  Of all the nightly atrium dancers, they have been the keenest (and the youngest of course) so have often been the last one’s standing when Alan finally covered his keyboards.  We hope we’ll catch up with them again some time. 

Many had retired early anyway, as they are on early starts for long trips to the Great Wall of China or Beijing City tomorrow. (Ten hour trips, with 7 hours trapped in a coach are not our idea of fun.)  We are just taking the (free!) shuttle to Tianjin City so bed at 12:10 isn’t a problem.



  1. Very Smart shoes Paula.

    Twilight Princess seems an apt title as you are sailing on the Dawn. Still quite a few months to go for us til March 2013

  2. Love the new shoes Paula! Thanks for giving Neal a hug from me. Twilight Princess sounds spooky - any vampires involved???