Day 80 – At sea in the Arabian sea. The air temperature this morning is 79, the skies mostly clear with a 20 MPH wind out of the North. The humidity is 70%. The seas are about 3 feet and we are cruising at 18.5 knots, the fastest we have run the entire voyage. The ship has negligible pitch and roll, but occasionally gets hit broad side by a larger wave that makes everything rattle for a few seconds.
I was scheduled to have dinner with the captain tomorrow night, but received notice this morning that dinner has been canceled. The captain is required on the bridge to meet minimum manning requirements as we travel thru the piracy threat area. I suspect this change in his schedule might be the result of an officer departing the ship in Mooloolaba.
Since I first checked, razor wire has now been installed around the stern of the ship. We also have some additional security personnel on board. How many, I have no idea, but at least two that wear a "Security Guest" ID nametag.
Barbara gave her presentation on Dubai this morning. No question, we will not be there long enough. I will have some time after my excursions each day, but I know it won't be enough. Tall buildings, ski slopes, aquariums, gold markets, floral gardens, Atlantis, just too much to see in two days.
One of her most interesting comments was that beyond a chance encounter with a stranger in the mall it is very unlikely we will encounter any UAE citizens. Most workers are foreigners in the country on temporary work permits, and have zero to little chance of becoming local citizens.
Last night after sunset the skies became clear. Two of the navigation officers could be found on deck ten "shooting the stars". They were using modern versions of ancient maritime instruments to calculate the ships position using star sightings. They do this on a regular basis, just as they still plot our course on paper charts. Who can predict if someday something disables all the GPS satellites we all have become so dependent on. Solar flares? Terrorists? Political foe? Software error? There are many possibilities of the unimaginable.
Last night I learned another trick to get booze on board. Befriend a passenger that is leaving the ship. Have them buy a case of Scotch, and when the ship returns the case to the passenger the night before disembarkation, transfer it to your cabin. I must admit this is so simple I am surprised HAL hasn't caught on. I was told it occurs very frequently on the long cruises with multiple segments. So many passengers knowing each other just makes it easier.
This afternoon I listen to Revell Carr talk about the history of tea from the time seedlings were stolen from China and taken to India and eventually other parts of the world, to the multitude of unfounded health claims being made today that echo claims made hundreds of years ago. I stay awake, but there were several others that don't.
Tonight we have another performance by Graffiti Classics. They will play different songs, but the style will be a repeat of their previous show. I wasn't impressed last time, but it's about the only game in town tonight, as there is a party for the crew in the Crow's Nest. I'll probably go. I did, I left after 10 minutes. I'll look for a movie on TV.
Again it is time to set our clocks back another hour. Dubai time is 8 hours ahead of Florida. Port Everglades is approaching too rapidly.