Wednesday, December 07, 2011
Days 17 & 18 – At sea
Cruise ships are a study in contrasts. This morning as I walk through the casino where the bells are ringing and the smokers are puffing; I hear hymns being sung in the next room; people are quietly reading or playing board games in the library; and finally the jewelry store is having a 40% off sale and draw, so crowds are gathering for that event in the retail area. I see a single dolphin jumping in the ocean this morning as I walk the Lower Promenade Deck for exercise.
There is a beautiful sunset this evening, however sea fog obscures any possibility of seeing the green flash. It is Formal Night, so we have a late dinner in La Fontaine main dining room. Everyone enjoys some Robert Mondavi white wine, and I have a rack of lamb done to perfection. The service is impeccable. As we finish our desserts, the captain announces that we are diverting to Salaverry/Trujillo for a medical emergency for someone needing shore-based treatment. We will dock at 11PM, and then resume our course to Ecuador. He does not foresee any problems arriving in Guayaquil on time the day after tomorrow.
I go to breakfast in the main dining room and am seated with a couple from San Diego, who have taken many cruises with Holland America. Their last cruise was 65 days around the Pacific Rim on the Amsterdam, which is a ship they prefer over the other Holland America ships – “better run” is their comment. There are many people aboard who prefer the longer cruises.
After breakfast, I go for a walk around the Lower Promenade Deck, but the air temperature is cool so I duck back inside. There is a cold current off the coasts of Peru and Ecuador, which keeps the air temperatures cool, despite being so close to the Equator. I find a good seat in the Show Lounge, since there are two back-to-back presentations I want to listen to this morning highlighting Nicaragua and Manta, Ecuador, our next port of call.
I work on my photos in the Explorers Lounge, adding a caption and location to each photo. While I am working, the fire alarm sounds and the crew is dispatched to investigate. As it turns out, someone was doing some welding in a work area below decks, and the fumes got into the crew quarters, setting off multiple alarms. The captain comes on the PA system shortly after explaining what happened and assuring us it was a false alarm (thank goodness).
We go to the show lounge this evening to see Mark Donoghue, a performer who plays the violin, guitar, piano, harmonica, and also sings. He is very good, playing favorites from the 1950’s, 1960’s and 1970’s. My favorites are the TV themes he performs, especially Riverboat and Bonanza. They bring back childhood memories.