Day 61 – At Sea – July 21st, 2015

Reykjavik, Iceland to Halifax, Canada

Our third sea day between Reykjavik and Halifax, which started out clear, but with the almost constant moderate seas and 30 knot winds. We heard from the Captain this morning, shortly after 09:00, providing an update on the ice floes and a gestimated arrival time in Halifax, which definitely wasn’t good news. Otherwise, we experienced a standard sea day routine, although it was formal night and free drinks on the Captain before dinner.Smile

Temperature: High 15C/59F, Low 11C/52F

Wind/Weather: Initially clear with E’ly winds at 30 –35 kts and moderate seas. Late afternoon the fog closed in.

Sunrise/Sunset: 05:04/21:08

Clox: Z-2 (clox back an hour last evening)

 

Navigation

Throughout the day Sea Princess maintained SW’ly courses across the Atlantic Ocean, at a speed of 19 – 20 knots. These courses have left us about 400 miles off the Newfoundland and Labrador Coastline.

 

Activities

My morning started at 05:30 on the Promenade Deck, where I completed 18 laps or 6 miles. Since I plan to attend Zumba at 09:45, I cut the daily walk from 7 miles to 6 miles this morning. Returning to the cabin, I worked on the Reykjavik blog posts and photographs until 08:30, when I woke Judi from her beauty sleep. The first Zumba Gold session of the World Cruise starts at 09:15 and Judi want’s to give it a try, so we headed up to Horizon Court for a quick breakfast.

Zumba Gold is a workout for those with mobility challenges, as it is performed entirely sitting in a chair. This program has been eagerly awaited since departing Sydney, with the resultant being a completely full Vista Lounge. I believe most, if not all seats were taken. Kim completed the warm up and had just started into the exercise routine when her microphone went dead. This should be interesting, as this is most likely an announcement from the Bridge, which has priority over all PA and entertainment systems. I wasn’t disappointed, as we heard from the Captain providing an update on navigational progress. He went into a long winded explanation of why we detoured for the ice flows, the conversations with his head office and even explained that around North America they must use diesel fuel rather than heavy oil. The resultant would be a delayed arrival into Halifax, but initially he didn’t provide any times. Then he dropped the bombshell, the absolute earliest ETA in Halifax would be 16:00, but he would extend the scheduled departure of 16:30 as much as possible without impacting arrival New York. This news caused the room to go totally silent, while everyone digested the information.

On completion of the announcement, Kim re-started the exercise routine, but only got a couple of minutes before the Purser’s Office cut in with another announcement. They advised all Halifax tours were cancelled and have been credited back to our pax accounts, and they are working with the shore authorities, to provide options for 3 hour tours. He advised alternative tour booking forms would be sent to the cabins; however, they never arrived, which was our first clue that the call to Halifax was in jeopardy. After this announcement, Kim re-started and completed the Zumba Gold session without further interruption. Judi enjoyed the exercise and will try out any future classes.

At 09:45 I attended the regular Zumba class for the first time in a few weeks. It’s like riding a bike, as I fit straight back into the routine without any problems. On completion, I ran back to the cabin for a quick shower before heading to the Princess Theatre for today’s lecture titled, “Battle of the Atlantic, The U-Boat War”. Again, another excellent and informative presentation with some excellent slides and old photographs.

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As depicted by the above slide the Battle of the Atlantic raged for the entire WW II and was a result of the Germans being unable to match the strength of the Royal Navy, so they adapted their submarine tactics to try and starve Britain into submission, a tactic that almost succeeded.

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Starting a mere 10 hours after the commencement of hostilities, the German U-Boats sunk the first ship, a British passenger vessel.

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As anti-submarine warfare was in its infancy the Germans operated almost unopposed during the early stagesof the war.

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Britain did conduct extensive training programs and anti-submarine tactics, which started to pay dividends.

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The above slide highlight the cost to both sides of the Battle of the Atlantic.

 

After lunch we returned to the cabin, where I worked on blog posts and photographs the entire afternoon, getting almost caught up with the backlog. At 18:15 we headed to the Princess Theatre for the Production Show performed by the Sea Princess singers and dancers. This was another of their new shows, “Nations”. It was better than some of the previous shows, but again they perform on a bare stage with minimal costume changes. The dancers were excellent, but we find the singers poor compared to some of the guest entertainers that perform on the vessel. As soon as the show ended, we headed to the Atrium on Deck #5 for the Captain’s Cocktail Party, scoring a few drinks and chatting with Cynthia and the Hotel General Manager.

From the Cocktail Party it was off to dinner, which was the Captain’s Gala Menu – Lobster and Beef Wellington. Although the lobsters are tiny, they and the beef were well cooked and actually served reasonably warm. A very enjoyable evening and meal, but being rather tired we elected to forgo the Nat King Cole tribute show and head to the cabin for an early night.

  

As another day closes, we bid you farewell, till tomorrow and hope for fair skies and following seas.

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