February 13, 2016

World Cruise 2016 Day 39

Day 39 – Not Mooloolaba as scheduled, but a day at sea. I awaken to rainy skies, visibility some times as low as ½ mile, temperatures in the mid 70's, winds gusting out of the East at up to 35 Mph, and choppy seas with a 10 foot swell. Despite the weather conditions the ship stabilizers are doing a good job and the ship is quite stable. Actually if we had to miss a port, this was a fine day to do it.

Melvin Foster is the guest lecturer this morning. He joined us in Sydney and I expect he remains on board until Hong Kong. His talk today was about some of the early explorers of Australia and other lands in this part of the world. He is a good speaker, and his presentation interesting.

As is the usual process, yesterday he was the guest on Good Morning Amsterdam morning show. A total surprise to everyone, he proposed to his girlfriend on the show. She said yes, but did not receive a ring. He was advised it would be much less expensive if he waited to return home to purchase it instead of on the ship. Melvin is probably in his 70's.

At noon the Captain tells us that the weather will gradually be improving over the rest of today and tonight. HAL has secured an extra port of call on day 41, Townsville, Australia. Our ship just fits, so we will be docking, not tendering. I will learn more later.

In the afternoon I listen to a presentation by Andrew Johnson on how the same word, phrase or gesture has different meanings in different cultures around the world. Often a phrase that is very positive in one culture is very derogatory or offensive in another. He also touched on tipping in different cultures and how such a practice is very offensive to some. All information very appropriate for his audience on the Amsterdam as we travel the world. The 100 passengers that attended came away better educated, the 900 that didn't probably don't care anyway.

Dinner will be in the dining room tonight. Several hundred guests have left and have been replaced with new passengers to meet. After dinner tonight's entertainment is comedian Patrick Murray with his "dummy" Matilda. I have seen him at least once previously, and my memory is that he does a good show. I will be there.

After dinner and an hour with Debby I return to my cabin just before the show. Patrick and I meet in the hall as his cabin is across the hall from mine. As often is the case with comedians, as he starts some jokes you suddenly remember exactly what he is going to say. Fortunately much of his material was new based specifically on his long flight to Sydney and life on the Amsterdam the last few days. Of course it would be impossible for me to have forgotten any of it, especially considering I don't remember when or on what ship I had seen him.

The ship has now turned to the North West, and as the captain predicted, the winds have dropped and the seas have come down from earlier in the day. Our stop in Townsville will be for about 8 ½ hours. Though it is close to the Great Barrier Reef, there is no information yet about any available tours. I'm thinking I will just visit the town. There is no time for Barbara to give a presentation before we arrive, so I will just stop and have a quick chat with her at her desk. I can almost guarantee she has been here before.