Friday, August 7, 2009

Voyage of the Vikings, Day 14 - At Sea, Iceland to Scotland

This has started out as another lazy day. Up at 4, then again at 5, then finaly at 7:30 for a late (for us) breakfast. We don't know what has happened to our penchant for early rising. We suspect a combination of causes.

First, of course, is a mild form of jet lag. Our biological clocks are somewhere between Boston and Iceland, a 4 hour time difference. And they are going to steal another hour from us today, to put us on UK time, for our arrival tomorrow in Scotland.

The second factor is the touring of the last few days. Riding a narrow European bus on narrow, bumpy dirt roads is tiring, in and of itself. Worth the effort, no contest, but still tiring.

Third is the prospect of a day of liesurely dining and total relaxation in the Lido, by the pool, in the Library (AKA Explorers Lounge), in the computer lab, in the casino, etc., etc.

Part of our reason for doing this 35 day cruise is to see if we have the stamina for a really long, (60 to 120 day) cruise to the South Pacific, or around the world. At this point, two weeks in, Kathy says, enthusiastically, "no problem!". Keith says, with equal enthusiasm, "go Dow! Go Nasdaq!...


An Overcast Morning off the Faeroe Islands

Weather last night was moderate seas, wind 35 off the starboard bow, barometer steady at 29.6, temperature 50. It is much calmer this morning. We are beginning to be able to distinguish the different motions of the vessel. First, let me say that in no sense has anything been anything like what I have experienced in a 28 foot boat on Long Island Sound. I can clearly recall the day my crew mutinied near bell 8, off the mouth of the Connecticut River. My son-in-law rebelled when his head hit the ceiling coming off the top of a wave. It seemed just fine to me, up on the flybridge, but I turned around anyway, to keep peace in the family. I have since ridden down below, while a friend was on the bridge steering, and must admit that the ride was much more uncomfortable in the cabin.

Visibility has been mostly limited in haze and fog, with occasional clear patches. The barf bags are deployed in the corridors, but so far we haven’t needed them. Kathy came close the evening we departed Greenland in a 45 knot breeze directly on the bow. Last night was nothing like that ride.


Barf Bags Left Over from Last Night

We currently are passing just west of the Faeroe Islands, headed southeasterly toward Scotland. We aren't close enough to see anything, but we know they are there because there is a handy position map on display on the Upper Promenade deck. This map is duplicated in our cabin 24/7 on channel 40, so Keith can awake in the middle of the night (which he does regularly, for other reasons) and see where we are. Also displayed, 24/7, are ships speed and heading, wind speed and direction, and outside temperature.


Kathy Making Notes in the Explorers Lounge AKA Library

It's 1:45, and we are finishing lunch in the Lido. Keith wrote 12:45, but then Kathy reminded him that they stole another hour from us today. Today, in addition to the regular selections, there is a fish fry by the pool, with trimming’s. I hate to keep harping on this topic, but there's something almost hypnotic about sitting up 11 stories, gazing out the picture window at the sunlight reflected off the waves. The only fly in this ointment is the constant thumping. Keith was beginning to wonder if our propeller was falling off, until he recalled that we are directly below the Sports Deck. Must be a heck of a ball game going on up there.


Competing For a Table in the Lido


Mesmerizing Seas Photographed While Lunching in the Lido


Lunch Was Cod Bought Fresh off the Boat in Iceland

Back to the room for an unlaxing hour or two, then Keith went up to the Crow's Nest to compose and watch the world go by. Kathy showered, dressed, and went to the casino. She has asked Keith to cease reporting her losses, so no more, folks.

Seen on a sweatshirt in the Crows Nest:

"I'm traveling at 33RPM in an iPod world"

About 5 Keith descended and spent an hour or so in the computer lab, then extracted Kathy for a drink in the Piano Bar, where we spent more time watching the sun on the waves, while listening to live piano. At 6:30 we entered the Rembrandt Lounge for tonight's stage show.

A word about talent. The dancers and singers on this boat are head and shoulders above the crew we saw on our Alaska cruise. Keith doesn't care much for stage shows, but he can recognize talent when he sees it. Kathy, on the other hand, just loves the whole stchick. That's why Keith goes.

After a late supper we shall attempt sleep, in preparation for tomorrow's shore tour to Loch Ness. Kathy is just convinced she will see Nessie! But then, she also listens to Art Bell. Wish us luck on the sleeping thing. They stole another hour today, so that when we retire at 9, our circadian system will think it is 5 or 6. Just about the time our systems adjust to UK time, we will turn around and head back. I guess it is better than flying across 5 time zones.

8pm weather addendum: Pressure 29.9 steady, temperature 58, wind 6 knots, seas calm. We haven't seen it this nice since we left Boston. Hope it holds! Before retiring, Keith went on deck to catch a sunset shot.


Sunset on the North Atlantic

See ya tomorrow.

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