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A grey and bumpy day – At sea
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Mon 16 Dec ’13 – day 2   The Captains forecast about the weather was correct as I was awoken a couple of times during the night when a large wave hit the side of the ship and made everything judder.  One can only wonder how the sailors in Nelson’s Navy felt as they blockaded Brest in all weathers during the Napoleonic wars and their wooden ships were just a small fraction of the size of Oriana.

As you are always guaranteed lashing of hot water when on-board, a hot shower certainly got me going first thing in the morning.  It was then time to do some ironing, because no matter no matter how careful you are when you pack your suitcase the clothes will always get creased.  I also sent my suit and dinner jacket for pressing as tonight is the first ‘Black Tie’ night of the cruise.

Just as the Captain predicted the sea state increases and the ship becomes ‘lively’ in its motion and the continuing high winds means that all the open decks are closed and ‘motion sickness’ bags were placed around the ship.

 

I spent the majority of the day in the cyb@study catching up with work on my computer and when not there I was in bed ‘resting’.

 

I did some more ironing and then got dressed for dinner before heading off to the Crow’s Nest Bar for an aperitif.  I had already told Roma the stewardess what I have, so as soon as I arrived my G&T with ice and a slice appeared in front of me – good service.

Outside the Oriental Restaurant are the Christmas cake displays which are works of art by the on-board pastry chefs.

   

I had been allocated a place in the at a table for 8, but tonight there are only 5 people dining; as the newcomer I introduced myself and settled down for a pleasant evening.  There was haggis and turkey on the menu but as I would be eating these dishes later in the cruise I chose the beef.  Karen the wine waitress appeared and I order a bottle of the Piersporter; I have always like German wines since I lived and worked there for four years in the late 1980’s.

The talk around the dinner was quite predictably about the weather and how it compared with other cruises we had been on.

Once dinner was finished and as I go to depart I saw Jackie at an adjacent table and went across to have a chat; we were table companions on this ship last year when we went East of Suez.  We arranged to meet tomorrow night in the Crow’s Nest Bar before going to the Conservatory as it would be ‘Indian Night’, one of the themed dining nights that they have on-board.

As I made my way forward passed the bars on deck 7, I saw Gemma, the ship’s Business Manager, coming towards me.  I have cruised on the same ship on which she has been working on a number of occasions, so we stopped and had a chat to catch up with what we have been doing since we last met.  I then saw Natalie, the Cruise Director, greeting people at the entrance to the theatre and again she is also someone with whom I have sailed many times before, so another quick chat.  We can have a longer talk over a glass or two at sometime during the cruise.

Travelling with P&O is like becoming one of the family and the crew remember you amongst the many thousands of people that they have seen and served, even if it has been a number of years since you last met them.

Up to the Crow’s Nest again for a nightcap and then back to the cabin.

The sea state has moderated and the ships is no longer pitching and rolling to the extent it was earlier in the day, so hopefully a good night’s sleep is in order.