Thursday, March 22, 2018

At Sea – March 22, 2018

I started my day with water aerobics.  We had 15 present including Shane and his grandmother.  He is about 10 and doing the entire world cruise with his grandparents.  He is a very polite young man.

There were about ten of us at Sit and Stitch.  I am binding off my sock (2nd pair) and having trouble making it very stretchy.

We tied for first place in morning trivia.  We had 14 and would have had 15 but we over-analyzed the question about where chopsticks originated and did not pick the obvious answer – China – which was also the correct one.
1)Yerevan, one of the oldest continuously inhabited city, is the capital of which country?
2)What is the first commercial product to have a bar code?
3)Who was the one-hit wonder who wrote and sang “Spirit in the Sky”?
4)Who was the Formula 1 driver nicknamed “The Flying Scot”?
5)What was Elvis’ first movie?

We had the shortest spring ever.  After only one full day of spring it is now fall.  At 1:06 pm we crossed the equator for the third time and are now in the southern hemisphere and autumn has begun.

Ate lunch with Cyndi and Ed and then made the Tiger Eye bracelet with them.

Sat by the pool and read and knitted after crafts.  While sitting by the pool I heard a rumor that all of the seating in the Queen’s Lounge on deck 4 was going to be replaced during the drydock.  Stadium-style seats will be installed which would definitely make it easier to see the stage.  The rumor did not include whether these seats would be movable or if the dance floor will be removed.

Our showing in afternoon trivia was not great.  We had 11 and three teams tied with 15 out of 17.
1)What fishing industry results in the death of thousands of dolphins?
2)What has four true varieties – black, white, green, and oolong?
3)What are the letters “e” and “o” worth in Scrabble?
4)What is the national animal of South Africa?
5)Which sign of the zodiac is represented by the bull?

After trivia I came back to my cabin to watch Barbara’s talk about the Seychelles and knit for a while.

It seems Herb has joined our dinner table permanently.  I had fried cheddar, pork tenderloin, and a caramel sundae for dessert.

The show tonight was the Jukebox Rogues and once again they were excellent.

We gain another hour tonight and have one more day at sea before getting to the Seychelles.

today's bracelet

Morning trivia…
2)package of gum
4)Jackie Stewart
5)Love Me Tender

Afternoon trivia…
3)1 point each

Smooth sailing until next time!

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

At Sea – March 21, 2018

I woke up too late to go to water aerobics so I spent the time before knitting getting my blog posted.  I was too tired last night to do so.

There were about 8 of us at Sit and Stitch but people were coming and going throughout.  There was a deck sale of HAL logo merchandise and some went to see what they had and then came back.

We only had 9 points in morning trivia while the winners had 11.
1)What is the national flower of Sri Lanka?
2)What is the largest underwater crab by size in the world?
3)What is a group of unicorns called?
4)Who is the longest reigning heavyweight boxing champion with 26 successful defenses?
5)Who was the lead guitarist of Queen?

After lunch I read and then knitted until about 2:15. Barbara, the EXC guide, was holding a sari tying demonstration at 2:30 when I normally go to arts and crafts.  I decided that I needed to make sure that I remembered how to do it (the lady who I bought the fabric from showed me yesterday).  The demo only lasted about 10 minutes so I went to arts and crafts a few minutes late.  When we are making jewelry you have to arrive early but for others crafts there is usually not a full house and that was true today.  The craft we made was a Sashiko embroidered pouch.  Since I came late I didn’t hear what “sashiko” is.

I read and knitted before heading to trivia.  For afternoon trivia we had 11 points and two teams tied with 14 (out of 17).
1)In which city was the third Disney theme park opened?
2)What was the price of tickets for the first Super Bowl?
3)What was the biggest Broadway musical during WWII?
4)What was Rembrandt’s last name?
5)What was the best selling car in the world during the 1950s and 60s?

Worked on my blog before attempting to put on my sari.  The piece that goes over the shoulder was not a great success.  Trying to do it myself was hard and I was never satisfied with it (it kept falling down my arm).  Note to self – if I ever wear it again baste the pleats together.

About 7:30 I went to the piano bar  to hear Jamm’s Andrew Lloyd Webber night. 

Dinner was Indian themed and there were lots of women and a few men in Indian clothing.  The crew in the dining room were all dressed for the evening as well.  I had fruit, Lamb Biryani, and a mango sundae for dessert.

The show was a violinist and I passed on it.
Barbara demonstrating sari wrapping

With Cyndi in our saris

the pouch from arts and crafts

Some of the new floral arrangements...

Morning trivia…
1)blue water lily
2)Japanese spider crab
4)Joe Louis
5)May (I believe the first name was Brian)

Afternoon trivia…
4)van Rijn
5)VW Beetle

Smooth sailing until next time!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Columbo, Sri Lanka – March 20, 2018

Today’s tour was a private one set up on Cruise Critic.  It was a visit to the Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage.  There were a few glitches along the way but the visit itself was wonderful. 

The orphanage was first set up in 1975 with five elephants.  Originally designed to attract tourists, it soon became more geared for conservation and education.  It started a breeding program with the first baby being born in 1984.

Our first problem came as we were looking for the van that was picking us up.  The operator was under the impression that there would be a shuttle between the ship and Gate #1 of the port.  There was no shuttle, so we had to figure out the way to the gate which was about a 10-minute walk.  Luckily, the van was early and waiting for us as we came through the gate.

We were all concerned about making it back to the ship in time because the orphanage was a 2.5-3 hour drive from the port.  We were supposed to take the van to the orphanage and the train back.  When the plans were originally made we were to have reserved seats.  As it turned out, we did not.  The prospect of possibly having to stand in the heat (no a/c on the train) for the two-hour train ride did not appeal to any of us so we opted to come back in the cool van.  I would have really liked to ride the train but knew I could not stand for that length of time and especially with the heat.

We arrived at 11 am and our guide bought the tickets and took us through to see the elephants.  He suggested the deck of a restaurant which had a perfect view of the elephants enjoying the water and a chance to sit and get a cold drink.  We could have had lunch there but none of us were real hungry with the heat.

At noon the elephants were hosed with water and marched up the main street, presumably for lunch.  A full-grown elephant eats about 250 kilos of food per day and drinks 150 kilos of water.  Before we left some of the elephants were taken back to the water. 

After my cold drink it was time for some shopping.  The street down to the water was lined with small shops.  I was taking a picture when a man from one of the shops told me to come in and find out how the poo paper is made.  Eating so much food there is plenty of waste and they have made it into very interesting paper.  He explained to me the entire process and I got to see some paper being made.

At 1:00 we started back to the ship.  Randy, our guide, offered to stop at one of the tea plantations but we were all ready to head back and not worry about the time. 

When we were almost back to Columbo, Randy announced that he had spoken to the management of the company and they were going to pay for a van to drive us back to the pier since his van could not go in the gates.  It is some kind of a labor union issue as to who can and cannot drive within the gates.

There were small stores on the dock by the ship so a little more shopping was in order.  I had said I was not going to do it but I fell in love with a fabric for a sari.  There are 6 meters of fabric and someday I may cut it up and make an evening wrap besides I only paid $10 for the fabric so no big loss if I never use it again.  We are having our Indian Night in the dining room tomorrow.  It was supposed to be last evening on the Gala Night but a number of people asked that it be moved to have the chance to buy the sari in Sri Lanka.

For afternoon trivia Rodney, Marilyn, and I played with 3 others who did not have a full team.  Of course, we came in second with 15 while the winning team had a perfect 19.

1)What color are cranberries before they turn red?

2)What is the animal symbol of Thailand?

3)Which creature’s name comes from the Aboriginal words for “no drink”?

4)What is the name for a group of cats?

5)Which martial art’s name means “way of the sword”?

After trivia I got a bowl of ice cream (I hadn’t had anything to eat all day) and watched sail-away.

John and Margaret did not join us tonight so there were only the four of us.  I had a salad, Chicken Tikka, and a chocolate sundae for dessert.

I skipped the show although it sounded good as I listened through the floor.

Three sea days coming up and we gain a half hour of sleep tonight.

P.S. As we were leaving the ship I got to meet John, aka Copper 10-8 from Cruise Critic.  For those who do not frequent the HAL forum, he is our go-to guy for any questions about the ships as he works security for HAL.  It was a pleasure to finally get to meet him in person.

From my deck…

the red roofed buildings are the shops

welcome dance

Street scenes…
tuk-tuks for hire

lots of shrines all over the area

vegetable delivery by tuk-tuk

need help with your cricket skills?

shrines for your home

kids get out of school around 1:30

tiny houses?

little boy getting home from school

I think this may be a country where you don't pay taxes until the structure is finished because there were many buildings where part was being used and part was unfinished

newspaper delivery

interesting wall

Elephant Orphanage…

the street down to the water

heading up to lunch

a little later I came out of the shop and there they were heading back to the water

my guide to poo paper

what elephants eat

dried dung

the process that removes smell and contaminants

making the pulp

drying and pressing

future paper on the street

Lotus Tower







Smooth sailing until next time!