Freemantle to Colombo, Sri Lanka
Well, we are definitely past the mid-point of this lengthy sea passage from Fremantle to Colombo, Sri Lanka and everybody seems at ease with the repeated sea days. The wind has finally abated, but the lack of wind has brought additional clouds and frequent rain squalls in the vicinity of the ship. Today’s nautical trivia will discuss the benefits and drawbacks of “Following Seas”. So read on for our daily activities and some useless nautical trivia.
Temperature: High 29C/84F, Low 26C/78F
Wind/Weather: Light airs with a low/moderate swell. Partly cloudy. Very humid.
Clox: Z+6 (clox back 1 hour last evening)
Distance to Noon – 405 miles
Sea Princess maintained her NW’ly course across the Indian Ocean, at a speed of about 18 knots.
Due to heavy cloud cover at the horizon, I was unable to get a sunrise photo this morning.
Based on the above schedule, we planned on attending:
- 09:00 Zumba
- 10:00 Enrichment lecture (Andy)
- 10:00 AM Trivia (Judi)
- 11:00 Port Lecture
- 12:00 Lunch in the dinning room
- 14:00 World Cruise trivia
- 16:15 PM Trivia
- 19:00 Dinner at the Steakhouse
- 20:45 Production Show
As usual, my day started on the Promenade Deck about 05:30, but in deference to my still present blister I was walking rather gingerly, rather than the usual pounding around the deck. Just prior to 07:00 and a meagre 11 laps, I decided it was time to visit nurse Judi for some treatment. Best to quit early, get treatment and be right as rain for tomorrow, than carry-on and be out for a week. Judi searched in her magic medical kit and had me patched up in no time. Judi has sufficient supplies with us to complete all first aid and even some minor surgery. Walking around the deck I noted some terrible smells at the bow, which is a segue into today’s nautical trivia – following seas.
Ships at sea, have wind over the deck equivalent to the resultant vector of both ship’s course/speed and wind speed/direction. An example from my fast ferry days being when operating at 44 knots in calm airs, we had 44 knots of wind over the deck. With a 20 knot wind from right ahead, we had a rather brisk 64 knots of wind over the decks, whereas a 20 wind from astern (following) equated to 24 knots over the deck. Yesterday we had a situation where a following wind was almost the same as the ship’s speed, resulting in calm conditions over the deck. Terrific for those out worshiping the sun, but are there any negatives?
To determine the negatives, a ship can be compared to a RV, it’s just that everything is magnified many, many times. Looking back to our RV experiences, we occasionally experience sewage odours, cooking odours, etc. Well ships are no different; however, they have many more generators of odours. All tanks must be vented – sewage, fuel, etc and then you add things like galley odours, dry cleaning chemicals, paint fumes, exhaust gases, etc. With wind over the deck these vents and odours are normally dissipated quickly, but yesterday with the following wind we got an occasional whiff of sewage in the cabin. The worst I have previously experiences was working on a refrigerated cargo ship. A following wind would blow the exhaust gases back into the engine room, which frequently activated the fire alarm. After repeated alarms it became rather tiresome.
Zumba was at the usual 09:00 and Sarah stepped up the intensity a little, so a great workout was had by all. The new heat being pumped into the Vista Lounge also helped working up a fair sweat. The previous activity ran late, with Zumba also late, so by the time I completed stretching it was almost 10:00 and too late to make it to Princess Theatre for the enrichment lecture. So I sat down with Judi and the other ladies for trivia. Usual score of 14, which was 4 short of a cheap plastic prize.
Next on the agenda was the Colombo Port Lecture, which was in the Princess Theatre after the enrichment lecture. When we arrived at the theatre, Commander Trotter was still making his presentation, so we waited at the rear entrance to the theatre, along with a few others. Then a few passengers pushed their way though everybody, heading down the stairs into the theatre. When they reached a row with some empty seats in the middle, they disturbed those seated by pushing through. The stairs down into the theatre are only 1 person wide, so we figured it would be a serious traffic jam with people leaving the 10:00 presentation and others trying to get in for the 11:00. We decided we didn’t need to partake in the expected jostling, so headed back to the cabin.
At 19:00 we visited the Steakhouse, with all of our table mates. It is the Stbd side of the Horizon Court Buffet, which with various curtains they transform it from buffet into a reasonable restaurant. The service and company was exceptional, but most steaks were poorly cooked. Regardless of what you requested, the steak was either medium/well or well done. My fillet, which was ordered as medium rare was on the well done side of medium/well. Most unfortunate, as the quality of the meat is excellent. Having visited the steakhouse/bayou frequently, on many ships, this was probably the worst experience yet. Yes, they would have replaced the steaks that were overcooked, but then 1/2 the table is eating, then the other 1/2 receive their steaks about 10 minutes later.
Heading to the Princess Theatre, this is the first production show we have seen, since joining the ship. The Princess Production Shows used to be exceptional, but for about the past 2 –3 years we have noted a decline in the standards. The shows were curtailed to 30 minutes, while on some ships they increased the number of performances from 2 to 3 per night. Last year on Emerald, the new shows we watched were definitely not the same quality as previous shows. Tonight’s show is brand new, so we eagerly await to determine where Princess is going with the new production shows. Expecting a show with numerous costumes and extensive stage elements, to say the least we were disappointed. The stage was bare, except for the ship’s orchestra. The number of dancers has been almost cut in half, to only 5. The show basically included the 4 singers on stage singing, with the dancers prancing around. The singers aren’t the best, so they cranked the volume to cover the lack of quality. The low point being one of the male singers completely murdering “You’ll never walk alone”, which is the National Anthem of Liverpool Football Club.
As another day closes, we bid you farewell, till tomorrow and hope for fair skies and following seas.