[EXECUTIVE SUMMARY---another longish entry and we did NOT get to Acapulco today, merely passed Cabo San Lucas, so it is also skippable, and quite similar to the one before it. One ate, internetted, interacted, gambled and walked.]
Dateline N 24 06 W 111 53 97 miles due west of MMLP LaPaz 768 miles from Long Beach
Today I woke and took the gps and camera only and went outside to see the remnants of hurricane Ivan. Sky black and lowering, sea really not rough at all, but obviously heavy rains had been at work. I grabbed one cuppa from the inside part of the restaurant behind the pool and went topside on the second highest rear fantail and was taking a reading when, just in the manner of the Katmandu Holiday Inn caper with the Royal Nepal Airlines airline captain, a man came over to ask what I was doing.
He is Bob D, retired from 31 years in the *** State troopers and now working for FEMA. Needless to say, we found a GREAT deal to talk about, and only quit when he went to find his wife who is a self employed insurance adjuster.
It is now 11am local. I am hungry. I used my own computer and a wireless card to get onto the internet awhile, browsing thru some of the ttbrapsoit thread, back comics, emails to s** and to L** tho neither of them were very literate, quick look at drudge and a few others.
Stopped at the blackjack table on my way to the lecture, and I was sure I put down twenty bucks, but I got quite a stack of chips back, which I promptly doubled down twenty bucks on an eleven, and the guy before me got my ten. So I took my remaining chips to the cashier and got back twenty, so I either gave him thirty or he made a mistake. We are singing happy birthday to Cheryl, who just called the bingo. I stopped off at the information desk (purser) and they will call Bob’s cabin for me so I can give him one of the *** cop patches.
/// didn’t stay long at the talk, because they told me all I wanted to know about the sub ride (very popular, sells out quick, goes down 100 feet) and I don’t care a fig about Jamaica. Found a soft seat with back and table directly facing the ocean and am going to do a bit more catching up before going in search of another hamburger. . Still grey and overcast but not raining and forecast for canal is excellent.
Now it is quarter three in the afternoon on Sunday in ny, but I am not in NY, I am out in the Pacific ocean and it is 1313 Mountain time. I just came back from the gym where I did another five minutes on the ex bike and Bob D was exercising beside me. Met my table mate coming out of the casino, quite dejected saying the blackjack tourney is postponed till the 25th and he has apparently lost some more money at poker. Came back to the room to get gps and hat and do the deck walk thing which I am hoping is a few miles, although not fast. Later still I need to go turn in the wireless card for the puter and work a few more sites, as I have no idea how many of my 250 minutes I have used up.
1400 or so – land ho. Off the port side, mountains. . I walked around the track with him, and people a decade older than I were passing by me like bullets, including the third iteration of Bob D who had his bride with him. Find self thinking it is really time to exercise a little more often and a little more vigorously at home. Ate nothing while I sat and looked over the pool deck. Everywhere you look, people are doing things they enjoy. Some sit in the sun and read, or write letters, or play cards or just sleep. Some sit in the shade and do the same. Some dance, many drink, many many eat constantly. Some swim, splash, play video games, play slot machines, take a sauna, shop, saunter, jog, play bingo. Some are surfing the net, some on their own computers, including me later on, because I am going to give back the card at ten PM.
Stopped by the blackjack table and watched a guy drop a quick hundred bucks in about five minutes to the pretty (well cute) little dealer from Romania who reminds me somewhat of a sweet M** if such a thing is possible. Just when I was wondering whether I could chat up the girl, he pulled out a second hundred and I walked away to come back and get my binocs.
Cabo San Lucas N 23 09 W 110 23 [or thereabouts]
This is some place I have for some always wanted to go but never have. It is at the tip of the Baja Peninsula, a long drive in a four wheel drive vehicle, popular spot for cruise ships stopping and sort of tricky to fly to because of the federales and the banditos who strip a plane in the time it takes to write this.
I found my way to the port railing amongst quite a crowd of people and with my computer, binoculars, camera and gps I was quite loaded down. A nice grandmotherly type babysat the dell while I took a gps fix in cabo san lucas,, shot up quite a string of pictures of the shore as it slowly rolled by and stared at the multiple new lovely dwellings and wondered (out loud) how many were earned honestly. But it was fun, it was a destination to cross off my to do list, another gps fix with happy memories, and I wandered around to the other side to watch the sun on the water, watch the mountains slipping astern and contemplate the beauties of life, even single on a cruise which is largely not.
Followed that up by sitting in with the piano player about whom I wrote earlier, a Scot named B who is friendly and he let me play a few numbers (I it took a painful five or more minutes to remember the name of ‘For you’ which I played, and then we played some four handed stuff which was really much better than it should have been.
This was followed by dinner with prime ribs and the little Bali waitress putting her arms around me etc. So I am developing a warm friendly relationship with some of the crew with whom I shall be in contact for the next almost two weeks. The dinner was the best of the three so far…prime ribs. I still have the internet flash card and so I feel OBLIGATED to get back onto the net and use it up…I have two and a half hours of time left for my hundred bucks. And sadly the little girl who runs the internet is not quite warm, but efficient and polite.
And who can forget going thru the line and getting my pic taken with the captain and chatting with him a few minutes as well. Pic taken with d***s camera, not theirs. So all in all a very pleasant evening, and I am looking forward to a sunset deck stroll and some more computering later on.
The rhythms of the ship./// following dinner I walked to the top deck where the jogging track is and there was not a single soul on the entire deck. Not one. The wind was very warm but blowing so hard I had to hold onto my hat again. Down one or two decks for a walk around the stern and same thing – not a soul in sight. Then down a deck or two to the promenade deck and it was so packed you could hardly get thru the corridors…many of the women in long dresses and more than a few men in tuxes. One looked just like the monopoly man.
So it is perfectly possible to have solitude and quiet any time you want to go against the flow. Most of the people were in seeing a show which had a rauchy comedian and was introducing all the staff members of the ship when I went by the door to the theatre. It will probably be on the tv tonight anyhow.
Walking back to the cabin, I got a compliment on my piano playing which was a rush and makes me smile to think about it because we were doing ‘what a wonderful world’ and we did a neato job of it and then I found I had left my key inside, which is stunning considering the lengths I go NOT to do this..
And for the end of the day, I won twenty bucks from the little Romanian and finally got the computer girl to warm up to me when she looked over and saw the fishers island pix running by in a slide show.
The computer worked pretty well on their internet but then it got real slow, and I couldn’t get to my usual msn screen to send email or pix, so I gave her back the wireless card, and then showed her basically almost every foto in the whole computer and she seemed genuinely interested.