January 30, 2016

World Cruise 2016 Day 25

Day 25 – At Sea. The skies are cloudy, the following seas are less than 3 feet, and the temperatures in the mid 70's. There is a very slight roll and pitch to the ship.

I think later today I will construct my device to measure pitch and roll. I am not positive of the specific nautical term for such device, but I believe it is called an inclinometer. It will have to be such that Agung, my room steward, doesn't remove it. Room stewards are most particular about where everything in a room is placed, much more so than the passenger. Everything has to be just so.

I listen to a Q&A session with author Paul Theroux. He has traveled his entire life, starting with the peace corps in the 1950's. He publishes about a book per year, and still has not embraced the cell phone, internet, or computer. He reminds me of many politicians. When asked a specific question he rambles on about something unrelated for 10 minutes until everyone forgets what was asked. Not that his response isn't interesting, just not on topic. He is not here by accident, he was invited by HAL. He resides on the North Shore in Hawaii for 6 months, and the other 6 months each year his home is on Cape Cod. That is, unless he is traveling.

After a 10 minute break I listen to Neil Cooch, Jeweler from the worlds largest Opal distributor, talk about the history and different types of Opals. One of the luxuries of ship travel, you can entertain yourself gathering information you really don't care much about, and probably will never use again. He will be showing, and selling Opals for the rest of the day. Prices of the opals he will be showing range from the thousands to over $1,000,000 just for the stone. I think I'll buy a dozen.

I return to my room and construct my device for measuring pitch and roll. With no ruler, I use a folded 8 ½ x 11 sheet of paper for measuring. After some very precise measurements I determine that the grids in the carpet pattern will precisely indicate 1 degree of pitch or roll, I can easily measure to an accuracy of ¼ of a degree. (For the non nautical readers, pitch is fore and aft movement, roll is side to side)

Constructed of very high tech sophisticated materials including pink thread, a color from my travel sewing kit I am unlikely to use, a safety pin, a magnet, and scotch tape, I am ready to go.

I can suspend it anywhere from the ceiling where I have clear carpet underneath. When not in use, I will just move it to a wall of the cabin, or drop it in a drawer. My first measurements: 1 degree of pitch and 2 degrees of roll. I am pleased with my design. I doubt if any other passenger has such a device is their cabin. Probably no other passenger would want one either.

Today I can get a better look at the bottom of the hull on the ill fated lifeboat # 9. There are several holes in the outer skin, but they do not go all the way thru the hull. Will it float for a long time? Yes. Does it need major repair? Yes. Do the passengers need to be concerned? No. As is the lifeboat can be used, well it can as soon as the propellers are replaced. The capacity of the remaining lifeboats exceeds the combined passenger and crew headcount, and there are a number of additional inflatable life boats as well.

While on the subject of the "reef excursion", Captain Jonathan has been quoted as saying he never wants to come to Raratongo again. I also have heard the story and pictures made the Florida newspapers.

In the afternoon I listen to a presentation by Alan Wright about the constellations of the southern hemisphere and a number of tips for those entering the hobby of astronomy. We are planning for a night of stargazing as soon as the weather cooperates. Since he boarded in Papeete it has been too cloudy every night. I will think of Robert and Jane if the skies do clear.

A few days ago I met Pocahontas, the daughter of the woman that concerned us on departure day when she needed a wheelchair to leave the Lido deck. Mom is fine, but spends most of her time in the cabin. Her daughter Pocahontas and a number of other relatives are traveling with her. They cruise often, and will be spending about 200 days on the Amsterdam this year.

The main show in the Queen's Lounge tonight is just described as "Bobby Brooks, back with an all new show." I don't remember his previous show, I must have been very impressed, or there is a possibility it has just slipped my mind. I will attend to see what I have forgotten.

Having attended, I now know it must have been a night that I skipped the show. It is reassuring to say the least that it has been confirmed that my memory is still intact and that I never forget anything. He is a vocalist, singing songs from the 50's and 60's. OK, but not a big favorite for me.

When I return to my cabin, I find it has been invaded by an elephant. Every night some sort of critter is on my bed or hanging from the ceiling. Monkeys, lobsters, turtles, shrimp, dogs, swans, peacocks, you name it, there is something every night. The one I have not seen yet is a dead chicken, a creation my son learned many years ago. With all the chickens on the islands here, you would think that would be appropriate, but it isn't.

I told you four days ago about 3 people admitting they were sick at dinner. I just learned that one of them has been quarantined to her room until today. I doubt it was her choice, I will guess she went to the medical facility and was given no option.

Previously I checked out the on board shop. The only medical related items available are Tylenol and cough drops, none of the OTC cold medicines that available at home. Band aids and Q-Tips are not available either. Again, I'm glad I brought my own supplies and hope I carry them all back home.

We are currently have sailed about 7900 miles from Florida, and have 500 miles to go until our next port. Time for a check of the pitch and roll instrument: 1 degree pitch and 3 degrees roll.