Day 27, Saturday, March 22, At Sea, Crystal Serenity

The Crystal Symphony is in Andaman Islands, India. The MS Amsterdam is at sea from Mahe, Seychelles to Port Louis, Mauritius.

In his Friday update Captain Vorland predicted strong winds and busy seas for today. I think the winds were quite brisk but they were coming from behind us and the relative winds were pretty calm. The seas were another matter. I was on deck by 5:15 expecting that conditions might deteriorate. I think they did some but never really got bad. When I first went on deck the ship was pitching quite noticeably but smoothly and the skies were pretty clear. The moon was more over the aft of the ship but it was still very bright. By the 1/3 point of the walk the clouds were building and the pitching got a bit more abrupt. In the last half of the walk we had a shower (still not bad staying under the verandas) and going around the bow started to feel like we were on a roller coaster. I did finish my walk by 7 and rarely went on the promenade deck afterwards (but it never got really bad).

Olympian Dain Blanton was the guest on the Morning Show with Rick Spath and Stacey Huston. I typically watch the Morning Show and then go for my first real course of breakfast, normally around the Promenade Deck and up the aft exterior stairs. With today’s conditions I stayed inside and went up the forward stairs, meeting Rick and Stacey as they were leaving the studio. We chatted a bit and I dared to mention my post-Serenity plans. Rick inquired who my Captain would be, and spoke very highly of his friend and former colleague.

While conditions outside were a bit rough, it was a very busy day inside the ship. Morris Hershman held Rap with the Rabbi at 9 in the Avenue Saloon and a discussion of how modern lifestyles make religious practice more difficult. Dain Blanton started off the Crystal Visions Enrichment program at 10 with “Go For The Gold”, an account of how he got into sports and his story of the 2000 Olympics. A key point was where a key referee’s call went against him and he and his partner knew that how they responded to the setback would define what happened to them and they turned it into a positive. Clem Sumter followed with “The Five Essential Steps to Thinking Like a Fox about the Future, reviewing some of the trends that will shape the 21th century. There were w World Cruise Olympics scheduled today, the Ladies Singles Paddle Tennis and final day of Lap Swimming, but the pool was closed all day due to sea conditions.

In his noon update Captain Vorland predicted better weather tomorrow. The final Crystal Visions presentation of the day was Crocodile Mick with additional examples of how Crocodiles are controlled. The rest of the afternoon was low key for me with just afternoon tea.

The evening entertainment was “Dancing with the Crystal Stars”, organized by dance team Beverly and Curtis, but also featuring unexpected dancers Colin Salter (Avenue Saloon), Jacqui Brown (Crystal Society Hostess), housekeeper Elena and hair stylist Darko, along with a number by World Cruise Hostess Stacey Huston. Judges were Dimitri from the Ensemble, iMovie instructor Dina Sterr, and Rabbi Hershman. At the end of Darko’s performance Dimitri conferred with his line Captain and presented Darko with a “contract”. In the end, the results were declared a 4-way tie.

Today’s parting shot comes from Dain Blanton’s presentation. He told how he was influenced by his older brothers, both accomplished athletes, but one of the influences was unintended. He watched his brothers miss out on college scholarships because of their grades and vowed to do better. He raised his high school GPA to 3.8 and had his pick of the best schools to attend. It is never too early to start preparing for the future.


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