Tuesday, August 2, 2011
story can catch up later
Dateline - at sea
A day of sunshine, and pools to play in, changing vistas when we near shore, blackjack and internet on demand (either for a price or sometimes making money on it – my last session with Laura got me a quick four hand streak or twenty up for the session).
Up one flight of stairs and forward to the spa, and a man with the age and physique of Bert K (Katmai) and his equally elderly bride were ensconced on the only two exercise bikes in the gym and showed no signs of flagging. I took a glance at his time the second time I went by and he was up to a half hour. No matter, I went up one more floor (deck) to the sun deck (I think) and there I found the usual collection of speed power walkers and joined in for two quick laps, or about a fifth of a mile, before descending one more level to see if the ex bikes were free or not (not).
Descending by foot again, I found to my delight, a chart on the doorway leading to the pool deck (Lido) where nautical map of Los Angeles was placed (the ‘other’ island by Santa Catalina is called San Clemente) and better still, a map of the entire route of the voyage with lat long lines thereon, so from now on I shall be better able to locate our position after taking a reading with the gps. In the main, I am content and perhaps happy.
Movie of the day is Charlie Chan in Panama. There is a movie scheduled for 11am regarding the canal, which I shall endeavor to attend. Meanwhile, let the record show I skipped breakfast(s) and had only a banana so far. .
I have now collated all the lat/longs for the journey and am going up to take another reading and plot our course on the wall map. Have also been walking down all stairs for awhile.
My next foray into the gym was a much more satisfying one than up till now, because I got onto the right hand exercise bike (aft) and rode it for a 101 calorie burn in 4.25 miles in twenty minutes or a little over an average of 12.5mph. this is much more in tune with my belief in my own abilities to date and the only drawback was that looking at the clock it said quarter past eleven am which it should have been quarter past ten, and so sometime during the night without my permission or even knowledge, they have switched ship time to Central time. There came an elaborate announcement from the captain at noon (well noon plus a minute according to my gps set clock) giving our lat, temp, dist from Long Beach, dist to Acapulco, swells (five feet from the west) sky cover (scattered tho he didn’t use that expression, air temp (didn’t hear it) and a sea temp of 88 degrees f.
Finished with the ex bike, I then made my way to the tail end of the movie on the Panama canal which I would dearly like to have seen, it being about the only interesting on board ship in the past two days other than the blackjack dealers from around the world. I caught about ten minutes of it and left before it ended to avoid what looked like a mass of a thousand people inside watching it.
I took my 101 calorie lighter body aft for a hamburger (w/o bun this time) but they were not quite ready – so I am now even – too early for lunch and too late to see the movie, and so I had a light breakfast instead of a tiny bit of scrambled eggs, pancake and two pieces of ham and a hash brown. I ate it out on the deck on a bench which is probably a no-no but took my plate back inside almost at once and handed it one of the over thousand crew members. I chatted a few minutes with the security guard who is basically having a paid holiday with all the senior citizens aboard as opposed to the usual drunken fight filled trips to Catalina and back overnight. He was happy. I am content. I took my gps reading N 19 15 W 105 15 and noted our position on the map which I have found on the lido deck at the exit to the pool and slide. Nearest airport is MMZO and Acapulco lies 400 miles ahead on a course of 115.
While walking by the pool, I marveled at how people can BAKE in the BROILING sun with no breeze anywhere in a sun that must be approaching 90 degrees or more. Even on the top deck with the most sun, it is a very warm wind that is blowing, but hell, we are approaching the equator and the cliff divers that have been in my consciousness since forever. Will quite apparently need to set my alarm to see this all happen.
The local time now is quarter to one in the afternoon, and there is a gentle rocking to the ship. I am in a leather chair with large table in front and bench under a five foot window, and it has turned out to be one of the better places to input stuff. I can hear the constant racket from the casino, but the people here are quiet, reading or just staring out the window or even dozing. It is not a bad way to live.
// Coming up on 1600 local now. Have walked length of ship several times, and swum in the top rear pool where the water was very warm and I was youngest person in pool and only male. Felt delightful. Followed by drying in sun on rearmost deckchair port, taking second picture of bare feet framing wake. Quick hello to A*** in internet room who said it was a good day for me to break the internet habit, cuz the isp was down most of the morning. I did about two tenths of a mile on the exercise bike (second time today) . Moved some more pix into the computer from the camera, but they are all still in the camera as well.
L*** is at a 25 cent roulette wheel and super busy. Don’t know how long it will go on, but it is a real crowd drawer. Am looking for a cabin steward because I just discovered that my bottle of water in the room is $3.25 and I want to make sure that they know I have only used the one. Discovered this just before thinking about having a coke in the room, which is probably free on deck and several bucks here in room R11. Also have questions about luggage and laundry.
Whilst seated looking out the starboard side, writing on the computer and enjoying the view, I was stunned and surprised to see a very small rowboat with a single occupant drifting past our window at I suppose 18 knots. Did another ten min on the ex bike, but it was the forward one and not the one I prefer. Spent a few min on the sun deck temp 95 degrees, taking another gps reading: N 18 18 w 103 54 with sunset at 2053. We are now about 275 miles from Acapulco and I shall need to set an alarm to awaken me from whatever dreams befall me tonight.
Supper was a rather chewy stringy piece of filet mignon. I skipped appetizer and salad and desert as I have most nights, and elected instead to have ice cream later. Lost a quick twenty (theirs not mine) as I passed the blackjack table, and spoke briefly with the South African. now to walk the decks and look for a sunset shot. Days and nights are almost the same length here now, and the sun sets almost exactly in the west, either due to the location or the date or both. Wandered back and this time got a dish for the ice cream which dripped out of the last cone. I sat on the back deck and took shots of the sun as it dropped into the sea precisely as foretold by my gps and directly due west, whether due to the latitude or the time of year I dunno. The equinox is upon is almost and the days and nights are each twelve hours long now.
Ran into m** who eats at our table (except last night when he wouldn’t get dressed up) and he won eight thousand nickels in a slot machine today, and further won another thousand on another slot. He came down to the cabin to see the photos taken on the trip so far, now more than hundred including the ones of the sunset hitting the ocean tonight.
Having found out that my tour begins at 0730 tomorrow morning (I did NOT sign up for any specific time) I asked for a wakeup call, and after accompanying Mike back to the casino, and having only Kiwi to talk to, and him then being moved to a roulette table which takes a good deal more concentration, I returned to the room, took a chocolate from the steward and commenced to turn in for the night to see what dreams I get tonight and to get everything as ready as can be for the cliff divers of Acapulco tomorrow. As of now, I have caught up on all the little notes for this trip so far.