Day 18 Monday 17th October 2016

Written by Kev

We are up at 7.30am today as the clocks went back another 30 minutes last night. I reckon someone is having a laugh.
’What shall we change it to tonight’?
‘Let’s put it forward by 16 minutes and then back by 27 minutes the following night’.
‘Yeah, that’ll confuse them’.

We have breakfast at the Oceanview Café. Although it’s nice to sit down in Blu for breakfast, it’s also nice to have a change now and then. We both have poached eggs, freshly carved ham (which is very nice), mushrooms, tomatoes and toast.
After a quick pit stop in the stateroom we go to the Solstice Theatre where John Manka is giving a presentation called ‘Terror Waves: Understanding Tsunamis’.
There are many, many more people in to watch this than the talk on sea turtles yesterday. By the way, have you noticed how some Americans miss out the ‘t’ in the middle of a word? Tam and I have taken to calling them ‘sea turdles’.
Before the presentation there is the daily announcement by the captain, who informs us where we are, the weather etc. It seems we are now sailing through the Timor Sea. We looked on the chart in Guest Relations earlier and there were all sorts of seas I’ve never heard of including the A, B Sea, the Sea of No Evil and the Sea I Really Do Know Everything. Some of these may be made up.
The presentation tells us about earthquakes and how they produce tsunamis. The largest earthquake ever recorded was in Chile in 1960 and registered 9.5 on the magnitude scale (the Richter Scale is no longer used) and produced a tsunami that devastated Hilo in Hawaii. We are also told the signs to look out for and what to do if a tsunami hits – basically run as far and high as possible.

We leave the presentation and run smack bang into some sort of jewellery sale going on in the shopping area. Tam says it looks like a pound shop. It’s packed and people are jostling around studying what looks like fairly plain jewellery to me. It’s like a Black Friday sale. No wonder Celebrity like these bloody awful expensive shops, they must make them heaps of money.
Back to the stateroom where I look down to the water from our balcony and see something skimming across the water for quite a distance. At first I think it’s a bird, but it’s quite small and low to the water. Tam joins me and we keep watching until we see more. They are flying fish. Amazing and quite surreal.

Next we return to the Solstice Theatre where they are doing a behind the scenes tour. The guy running the tour is the production manager and tells us a lot about how they put on the production shows before taking us backstage to the dressing rooms and then onto the stage itself. The theatre holds over 1,000 people and is quite imposing from the stage.
Tam says she feels guilty now about having negative thoughts about some of the production shows now she’s seen how much work goes into them.

We have a light lunch in the Oceanview Café and then get a couple of Bahama Mama’s (the cocktail of the day) with a view to sitting on the Solstice Deck for a while. The trouble is that it is so hot in the sun that all the beds in the shade are taken. We decide to retreat to our balcony, where the positive benefit of being on the shaded side of the ship is felt. If I’m honest I probably prefer it here anyway. We watch for turdles for a little while and I think I see a flipper once.
In the next couple of hours I see more flying fish and a couple of white, snake like creatures, which I assume are eels. Tam goes off to the library to get another book and when she’s gone, I see a turdle! I manage to catch it briefly (and very poorly) on video, but it is evidence that I am not fibbing. Tam returns and is not too disappointed as she swears she saw one yesterday, but I don’t think I help by dancing around singing ‘I see’d a turdle. I see’d a turdle’.
Tam goes in and gets the binoculars because she says the wildlife will come around now, as they know she means business. I ask her if she expects a turdle to appear wearing a top hat and carrying a cane to perform ‘Puttin’ on the Ritz’. She smiles knowingly and goes back to scanning the ocean.
A few minutes later she shouts ‘Look – Dolphins’! Sure enough there are a few fins and glimpses of dolphin backs as they swim past. We also catch a full on view of a couple as they swim close to the ship. It’s been a very pleasant afternoon relaxing and looking out for wildlife.

We shower and leave the room around 6.00pm and go to Cellar Masters for a glass of wine. We enjoy some of it there before taking the rest with us to Blu for dinner. I have the beef and mushroom ravioli to start and Tam has the goat’s cheese tart. Both are very good. For our main course Tam has the veal chop and I have the New York strip steak, which is easily the worst meal I have had on the ship so far. It’s tender enough, but completely lacks any flavour at all. It’s like it was made out of Quorn. We both have the blueberry pavlova for dessert.
During the meal we chat to the Australian couples on either side of us – one from Melbourne and the other from Hobart.

Meal finished we go to the World Class Bar where Loida has finished infusing her bourbon and makes me a Hawaiian Lava. It’s just as good as I remembered and a few others around the bar try it and like it as well.
I get a margarita next and we go to the 9.00pm show in the theatre. This is a guy singing a mixture of things including opera, Volare and Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen. I can’t say this particularly works for me, but most people seem to enjoy it.

As it’s such a warm evening we decide to go to the Sunset Bar on the back of the ship where I have a Cuba Libre and Tam has a Pina Colada. Ryan Andrews is singing and he asks people for requests. Tam asks him for anything by Pearl Jam. He says he’s sorry, but he doesn’t know anything by them. As she walks away he plays the intro to ‘Alive’. In the interval we chat to him for a while and ask for something by Ryan Adams. He plays ‘Come Pick Me Up’, which is a hauntingly beautiful, but does contain a few naughty words that he has to change.
A last drink of Guinness for me and Tam has a Rebel PA. She wonders how strong it is. When she looks on the bottle she finds it is 6.5%. Oh dear, I suspect she may be suffering from a bad head in the morning.
Back to the stateroom where we prepare for bed. It’s so hot outside that we sit naked on the balcony for a while. Fine for us, but maybe not so much fun for any passing oil tankers I suspect. Ah well, time for bed. Did I tell you that I see’d a turdle today? And a dolphin. And some fish that think they are birds?
I fall asleep a happy man.