Day 45, Wednesday, April 9, At Sea, MS Amsterdam

The Crystal Symphony is in Hong Kong. The Crystal Serenity is at sea from Takoradi, Ghana to Dakar, Senegal.

Several factors conspired to extend my walk this morning until nearly 7:30. In my state of exhaustion last night, I had left undone things normally completed in the evening. While I was walking pretty much normally, my legs were still not up to par after yesterday’s visit to Jacob’s Ladder, and finally the rising sun was one of the best I’ve seen this trip. For most of this voyage we are sailing pretty much West and the sun is coming up behind us, but until Cape Verde we’re headed more or less Northwest and it’s to our aft starboard quarter. The sun announced it’s presence with a beautiful red glow about 40 minutes before sunrise and came up very crisply, then shining down from the rear corner was over my shoulders as I walked forward.

After morning devotions with Pastor Don and “Good Morning Amsterdam” with Andy Bunger there was an addition to the program with Barbara’s port talk on Ascension Island at 10 in the Queens Room. It sounds like this is a very iffy tender port with unpredictable swells at a rather crude tendering dock, but at least we’re trying.

The day’s presentations were Dan Benedict with “Invasion from Earth: Part 2”, 1984 to the future at 11 and John Palmisano with “Killer Whales and Humpbacks” at 2. There was an extra lunch option with a Mongolian Cookout by the Lido Pool. Tour descriptions were sent out for our 3 new port days, and I found something of interest for each of the ports. I had a rather quiet afternoon I started to feel pain in my thighs with my continuing walking and stair climbing.

The entertainment in the show lounge was the comedy and humor of Jeff Peterson, another act that is new to me. One of his gimmicks is an Aladdin’s lamp on stage that has a candle sized flame at the spout that becomes a 3-foot flame when he tells a lie. I’ve been cheating on Debby Bacon. The piano bar is a pretty good wifi hot spot and I go on line there at the end of the day sitting off to the side while I post, and then moving to the center when I’m through and shutting down. Good wifi and a great atmosphere; unfortunately, Windows is a bit noisy shutting down. I’ve been using an earphone to kill the noise, but tend to put it in the wrong jack. Last night I got it right. I think Debby is the best piano bar enter I’ve seen on HAL.

It wasn’t an official stargazing night, but it was clear and Dan Benedict was up on deck 10. Too dark for a photo, but I saw Mars and the Southern cross.

As today’s parting shot, this is a voyage of continuing surprises, and certainly not one that gets boring. With 2 itinerary changes in the last week, the question that comes to mind is “where are we going next”. I think HAL dropped the ball a bit by dropping Ascension in the first place with neither an explanation or a clear reason why it was appropriate, and I think that created widespread unhappiness. The latest itinerary is I think the best solution with both a couple of additional ports and a call at a destination many of us wanted to see.


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