Third Sea Day

Saturday, clouds 59
Hewitt and Linda are the dance instructors on board. They are from “The Palm Beaches.” Having lived there once, I know that if you say “Palm Beaches,” you are from West Palm Beach, but “The Palm Beaches” has more cachet.

Hewitt keeps trying to get me to come to dance class. It would be unfair of me to put that kind of pressure on such nice people. They must be doing a great job; I saw a woman waiting for the elevator practicing her dance steps. I walked up to her, took my hearing aid out of my ear and shook it. “I’ve got to get this repaired,” I said. “I can’t hear the music at all.”

Hewitt and Linda take to the floor in the Horizon Lounge each night to the music of Marty and Holly. Marty plays piano and sings; she plays no instrument, but sings up a storm. Tonight, after dinner, they will be with a five-piece band, and Holly will be freed from the strict rhythm of the mechanical drum machine. She reminds me of Diana Krall, but I think if she breaks out of the ships and gets a CD, she should change her last name, which is Shank. Maybe Holly Nife? (ho ho)

As chilly as it is with a stiff breeze dropping the wind chill factor, there were three people on deck blanketed to the chin and sound asleep. I chose to stay indoors and went to what was called Mid-Day Game Show in the daily schedule.

Crystal, the hostess, divided us into teams of 4 and 5. Our team was a team of five; a man who said nothing, his wife who kept complaining (legitimately I think), a nice woman in her 60’s, and a woman who I am sure was a grade school teacher in one of her lives.

The game was Scategories, which was new to our group, but the other teams were regulars, knew each other and all the rules. Unfortunately, we newbies were shuttled off to a table situated inconveniently at Crystal’s back. She mostly addressed the other teams (they were regulars, after all) and was very sketchy in explaining the rules to us.

During the first round, we only completed three of the 10 categories having no idea we had to speed through the process. It went this way: the first category was cars, and we were given the letter “J”. The next was awards or ceremonies, etc. Each team had to give a word beginning with “J” that fit each category. If two teams had the same word, you got fewer points; for an exclusive word, more points. For cars, the nice lady said “jalopy”, a sure big point word. Teacher said, “That’s not a car!” and wrote Jaguar. Of course, all the teams had Jaguar.

We sat while Crystal and the other teams interacted , having no idea what was going on. Every once in awhile there was a challenge to a word, and an up or down vote was taken. Crystal would always include us in the vote, but none of us could hear what was going on, and our pleas of “we can’t hear” went unanswered. Or, maybe they were answered and we didn’t hear. Complainer was getting upset. I decided to hang it up. As I left, “complainer” told me to be sure to attend the Trivia game later today. That, she said, is fun.

The Captain of Mariner offers a tour of the bridge to all passengers. Today, however, was the last shot at seeing how it all works. After we turn inland towards Punta Arenas (a city described as one which looks as if it’s about to be swept into the Strait of Magellan), and for our trip up the coast of Chile, we will be cruising the Chilean Fjords. The bridge officers will be busy navigating.

We are fortunate to have reception of both CNN and the Fox news channel, so, as far away as it seems here at the bottom of the world, we can keep up with what is happening. Is anyone else tired of hearing the name Anna Nicole Smith?

Dinner tonight will be with Richard Fenn, the Hotel Director, and the other three journalists aboard. One of the writers is from Brussels, his wife is French; one from Germany, and another and his wife live in Nantucket. It should be interesting conversation. Oops, got to go, shrimp and cocktail sauce await at the door.

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