Here we are on the water in the floating old folks home. The sea is flat and we can no longer see the horizon. This morning we awoke to a thunder storm as we emerged from the Malacca Straits. The air is heavy, hot and humid. It is strange to be unable to see the sun on this cloudy morning.
A morning which has been busy. We breakfasted in a restaurant where food, from every region on the globe was available. We could have consumed anything but sense prevailed and we ate simply. A brief review of the daily news and we raced off to yet another lesson in Bridge.
The lesson was a primer of common sense. It is a pity that such a simple game comes with so many rituals and rules as to make even the intelligent baulk at its complexity. Our table was a five due to the late arrival of an errant husband but we are off to a renewed understanding of its practices.
I am writing these notes in a very busy club where people are engaged in a multitude of activities. A couple are working on a complicated jigsaw. Dozens of people are reading newspapers, books, magazines, or nothing with text. Others are chattering to each other. Yet others are discussing with the crew their next land excursion.
All previous plans are out the window now our visit to Colombo has been cancelled. The terrorists have decided it is too risky for us to visit Sri Lanka instead we are visiting Phuket. Thoughts are with the Sri Lankans that have lost their lives in yet another atrocity.
The guests are multicultural. The biggest group must be American but unlike our last trip with this carrier we do not have a list of who the guests are. The ship carries 600 passengers it offers anonymity unknown on smaller vessels yet it is still considered a small ship by international standards.
The fact that Americans rule is not unusual. The home port of the ship is America. The down side is found in such simple pleasures as coffee. Many want to take their coffee and walk off somewhere else so many hundreds expect their coffee in paper cups. The ship has the most up to date automatic coffee machines a barista might want but the woman before us wanted a take away coffee in a bucket of milk steamed as hot as they could make it. As a result my first world problem was my coffee was ruined with her left over milk poured over my cafe latte.
This surprised me as the ship has the finest of China but it must also finish with large containers of used paper cups what cannot be recycled. I must bring this to the attention of one of the guest speakers who plans an address on global warming.
We are enjoying a leisurely afternoon. However this section of the sea is littered with bits of anything that floats. From the comfort of our balcony not a minute goes by without something floating by as we sail along at 12 nautical miles per hour. A cigarette lighter was the last thing I saw when I started this sentence. However it was not the only thing to catch my attention. (I don’t know how close land is but if I was a fish I’d be swimming away from here.
This ship the Seabourn Encore was launched in 2017. It has had time for the operators to get over any initial difficulties it may have had but this morning, after Bridge, we listened to a speaker, that despite winning awards for multimedia presentations, was restricted to his voice alone. The audio visual presentation refused to work. He was speaking on the relevance of spice to the area in days gone. His best effort was destroyed by his reliance on visual prompts to make his talk flow. Such are the woes of the visiting lecturer.
If I had been more attentive my next startling fact would be more accurate. But centuries ago ? (That chap) calculated the circumference of the world within 69 miles of precise and the evidence was ignored for some centuries at the sailors peril. I am sitting here looking at the ocean about 10 meters above the waterline. Someone can tell me, but I reckon I can see about 15 miles out to sea. And the horizon looks flat. You have to wonder at the smarties who can figure these things out and be astonished at those smart enough to be the first to calculate such things.
Hypernicus discovered the best way to investigate something was to revisit the place yourself.
Tomorrow, Wednesday, we investigate Phuket.