April 2nd-4th
Cruising the North Pacific Ocean

Man, I slept sooooo good.  Being all the way aft, I could really feel the pitch & roll last night.  I wouldn’t give this cabin up even if somebody paid me!

I was still wallowing in bed when Capt. Glenn made his morning announcement. It’s 53* outside, we’re moving at a swift clip 22.7 knots (26 mph) with a strong tail wind.  He’s keeping a close eye on a low pressure system behind us; & sea conditions will remain choppy.  His thought for the day....”Bad habits are like a comfortable bed.  They are easy to get into, but hard to get out of.”

I went up to the Bistro at 9:30; & had my usual breakfast & a leisurely chat with Celeste, Bill, Pat & Che.  A little before 10, Capt. Glenn comes on again with some not so good news.  Because of this low pressure that they’ve been watching, he feels that the seas will be too rough to get into the port of Petropavlovsk, Russia.  Even if we could get in, there is a chance that we might get stuck there in a snowstorm.  Not that there is an abundance of things to see in ‘Petro’, but many were looking forward to the tour of the Siberian K9 Kennel & Lodge to see the sled dogs run. On the upside....those of us who love sea days will now have 7 in a row. He also reminded us that the seas will continue to be rough (possibly 35-40’).  If we can maintain our speed, we will arrive in Dutch Harbor 5 hours ahead of schedule on the 8th.

I think about a dozen of us managed to stay upright for the Cruise Critic Party in Palm Court at 11:15.  It was rocking up there; so everyone was sitting instead of milling around on foot.  Josef & Rick came by for a short visit.

I joined Celeste & Bill for lunch in the dining room at 1:15.  Had a fabulous meal; ate way too much.  I started with baked brie in phyllo with mustard-pear sauce, followed by an appetizer portion of spinach tagliatelle in alfredo sauce.

For an entree I had the ‘mixed grill’ (if you will); roast pork belly, baked ham, grilled sausage over braised sauerkraut & caraway gravy.  There was so much leftover; & it was so good, I wanted it again for dinner.  So, I asked the waiter to wrap up the leftovers.

I was giddy with excitement to see the caramel budino on the dessert menu again.

After lunch, I set up ‘office’ in the Bistro; Betty & Celeste joined me.  We gabbed, worked, swapped photos the rest of the afternoon.  I also took the opportunity to ask them for a medical consult about my ‘rash’ which is now heading toward my knees.  (They are mothers; mothers are supposed to know everything!)  They’re as clueless as I am.  I figure I’m unconsciously scratching them in my sleep, which is not helping.  It’s good that we are in a colder climate now since I HAVE to wear long pants to hide this hideous affliction.

Our session ended about 6; all the couples were gathering later for drinks & dinner.  I went back to the cabin & watched a replay of this morning’s lecture by husband & wife, Professor Blanche & Dr. Charles Iliff entitled ‘Two Americans Living in Russia’.  A topic which is no longer apropos.

About 9:30, I ate my leftovers for dinner (yes, I ate them cold; & they were wonderful).  I worked on the photos til about 12:30; & the rolling was like a sedative.  I couldn’t stay awake any longer.

Second morning in a row that I’ve overslept; & missed the morning show live. I woke when I heard the ‘ding’ before the Captain came on with his morning message.  It’s 54*, cloudy, & we’re bucking a 20 knot headwind today. We’re cruising  at 16.8 knots, on 4 of the 6 engines.  We have another 2,240 nautical miles (2,576 land miles) until we reach Dutch Harbor.  His thought for the day....”Even though we speak different languages, we all laugh in the same language.”

When I got to the Bistro at 10:10 it was busy; & someone was at MY table.  I had some salami, cheese, a tart & a little chocolate cake (on the breakfast bar?).  In a short while, the gang came straggling in.  Celeste, Bill, Kris, Betty, Pat & Che pulled up another table & proceeded to tell me about their rowdy evening.  They started with free drinks in the bar, dinner together in the dining room, then to the Avenue Saloon & finally closing down Pulse after karaoke.  They went ‘home’ at 1:30 am.  They may be old, but they still know how to party (said ever so lovingly)!

I went up to the Lido right at 1:30; craving a burger for lunch.  Also picked up a few things from the Mediterranean Sun buffet...paella, prawns, grilled mushroom polenta (awesome) & cold marinated grilled veggies.  It was very crowded up there; & I decided I’d rather take it back to my cabin.  Raymond insisted upon bringing my plate down for me.  He’s just the greatest; & I had an excellent & relaxing lunch!  

I watched a lecture from this morning on TV; Purdue Poli-Sci Professor Louis Rene Beres talking about “war, law & justice in world politics”.  He explained how complicated it can be to try & punish criminals of war & terrorism. Afterward I read & dozed off & on for a couple of hours.

I gave Liz my dinner order; & she brought it at 8:45.  Another outstanding meal that started with a salad of roasted eggplant with chive creme fraiche & toasted pine nuts.

Next came cream of tomato soup with basil foam; followed by pan fried sea scallops on fettuccine with veggies tossed in alfredo sauce with exotic mushrooms.

Refreshed by the nap, I settled down on the sofa to work on the computer. We turn the clock forward again tonight.  I had the navigation channel on & could see that the winds were gusting between 50-60 knots around midnight. The ship was rolling a good bit.  I was trying to upload photos for the blog; & would watch the upload status bar go up, then back down, back up.....I guess the antenna couldn’t stay locked in on the satellite.  I was wide awake anyway; so I persisted until nearly 5 am.

When I finally did go to sleep, I slept like the dead.  But my trained ear woke me up at the sound of the ‘ding’ when the Captain spoke at 9.  The seas are 12-15’, moving at 20 knots (no stabilizers to slow us down).  He advised to continue using the safety precautions he mentioned yesterday. For Passenger comfort they are moving trivia, musicians & dance lessons down to decks 5 & 6.  His thought for the day.....”Everything has beauty; but not everyone sees it.”

After a quick shower, I was in the Bistro at 10:15.  It was much more crowded than I expected; we must be a hearty group of sailors.  I had cappuccino while talking with Celeste & Bill.  Betty, Pat & Che came in & out at various times.  Everyone seemed to be a little more lethargic than they were yesterday (delayed hangovers from night before last perhaps?).

By noon everyone went on their way to their various classes, lunch or lectures, etc.  I went up to the Lido to check out the buffet at 12:45. Very few people up there.  Since I skipped breakfast, several things on the buffet tripped my trigger....fried calamari & shrimp, hot pastrami sandwich, tomato & green bean salad, red cabbage slaw with feta, crabmeat salad on a tomato petal, ham/cheese/onion salad & curried chicken salad on a cucumber slice. (You know I’m a sucker for cute little appetizer things.)

I also had a fabulous cup of cream of roasted garlic soup with pumpkin seeds & chives.  It was really bumpy up on 12 aft; & being stuffed to the gills, was making me very sleepy again.

So I went to lay down; & was awakened at 3:30 by someone from maintenance who had come to tighten a bedside lamp shade that had gone askew from all the rocking.  I read for several hours afterward.

I watched Ken Rees’ lecture on TV, “The weird, the wild, the wacky life on the road as an ITN TV correspondent”.  I had seen this talk before; but it is hilarious, & I enjoyed it again.   Liz came with dinner at 8:30; she stood & chatted for a little while.  Now that I’m on the other side of the ship, we don’t bump into each other like we used to.  But I do enjoy it when she’s not too busy to stay & talk.

Dinner was outstanding; starting with caesar salad, followed by an appetizer portion of my all time fave (spaghetti carbonara).

My entree was veal scaloppini topped with tomato & buffalo mozzarella. And double came with spaghetti on the side.  Can you say CARBS???

I got back to work on the blog for a couple more hours; all the while watching the drapes sway back & forth with the rolling.  About 1:30, I could tell the winds had died down a bit.  The navigation channel confirmed they were 40-45 knots now.  I’d had enough of the computer screen; so I grabbed the Kindle & climbed in bed.  Must have fallen asleep pretty soon because I don’t remember reading anything.

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