Saturday, February 11, 2017

Guam to Saipan to Osaka

Well. Everyone was pretty pleased with our day in Guam, and as a result, we were also very much looking forward to a second day on land and in particular, Saipan. 

However, that was not to be. I awoke quite early and crawled out of bed, got into my walking clothes, tied my shoes, and with a big yawn I headed downstairs and out onto the Promenade deck to begin my daily walk. The weather was windy and rainy and the sea swells looked a bit ominous. As I neared completion of my laps I noticed the deck spotlights had been turned on    in anticipation of the arrival of the pilot boat. The trouble was, the pilot boat wasn't coming nearer. I later found out the captain had requested it to hold off. When I saw that, coupled with the lousy weather, I knew Saipan was going to be a bust. Bummer!

Sure enough, about the time we were due to dock, the captain announced that we were going to have to cancel our call to Saipan. 

Naturally everyone was disappointed but one look outside made it quite clear that the captain had made the correct decision. That night at dinner everyone was treated to a glass of champagne as a small token of consolation. I didn't mind that at all!

So now we've had another 4 days at sea. It's been a lot, even for sea day loving me. I'm ready for some

land under my feet. 

During the last 4 days I've read another two books and completed an untold amount of sudoku puzzles and The NY Times crossword puzzles. I'm actually getting good at the crossword again. I used to do them years ago but stopped after I quit taking the daily newspaper. 

I also attended another cooking class. We made Asian food. The class is always followed by a nice lunch in the Pinnacle Grill eating the chef's preparation what we just made in class. 

Our photo contest was over. One of my photos came in second place. No prize for that. I was proud of both of my entries, winners or not. 

We will have another two contests from what the photography department told me. The next one will be from our ports in Asia. I guess I better get snapping!

Yesterday we sailed right into some nasty weather, which continued all night and continued well into today.  No one got much sleep last night. The captain said today that we had upwards of 60 mph winds - I think he said 10 on the Beaufort scale. I think I spelled that wrong but a 20 is a big number. We also had 20

foot swells overnight. It was one of those nights where the ship shuddered when it pitched forward and sat down aft. It shook mightily when we listed side to side. Drawers flew open and shut about every ten minutes. This went on all night long. There was no way I could get up and walk today so I used it as my day off. They even closed the gym for the day. 

This afternoon, while I was up in the thermal suite lounging on the heated ceramic beds, it began to hail outside. Only for a few minutes but it was quite a sight. A first for me on a ship.  And yesterday I saw a pretty rainbow at one point in the afternoon so I snapped a pic. 

So tomorrow we arrive in Osaka and will spend two days here. I'm excited. I've got two busy days planned. Day 1 seven of us are taking the train to the old city of Kyoto to visit the many UNESCO sites of temples and shrines. On day 2 I'm doing a ship tour to southern Kyoto, and another old city called Nara. 

After Osaka we move on to the cities of Kagoshima and Nagasaki, then two ports in South Korea and then down into China. Lots of awesome port days coming up!

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