Day 21 continued
At noon half the passengers were glued to the railings at the rear decks to watch the two Saudi naby gun boats arrive at the ship. We stopped momentarily in the journey for a group of former British SAS commandos to transfer on board with their weapons. We have ships in front and behind us, several miles separates each one, so it feels like we’re in a convoy. At 3 pm, half the passengers were glued to the rear fantale decks to watch them practice. Unfortunately, the only view of what they were doing was from the crew quarters deck, and they reported that they were firing silenced sniper rifles. So much for the heavy armament.
It was a lazy day for me. Napping, lying out by the pool, swimming when the heat was too much, then eating….again! At dusk, they killed the running lights on the ship and blacked out all the windows. The party continued inside, but the outside upper and lower decks were closed. Only one deck was open, and I went out there, but the side windows really prevented looking out at the sea with any clarity. I sneaked out on my balcony. At first it was so dark I had to feel in front of me for the railing. After my eyes grew accustomed to the dark, I could see the Milky Way in it’s full glory. Venus was in the sky and the light from Venus lit up the ocean the way the moon does at night. I’ve never seen that before. It was really a sight to behold. I attended a show in the theater and got to bed about midnight.
Day 22 Friday May 11
We heard today that last night in the early morning hours a small boat approached us. We didn’t have to take evasive action. The small boat apparently realized it was making a mistake and changed course. It got pretty close. Best guess is it was a small fishing boat, but who fishes in the middle of the night? I’d be more inclined to believe it was a smuggler boat, but I guess we’ll never know.
Another lazy day for me. I’ve been told that we’re being shadowed by a US Carrier. On three separate occasions during the day, Blackhawk helicopters buzzed the ship. They hovered above us, and I had the distinct feeling they were assessing the ship and possible sites for putting men onboard should it become necessary. A very comforting feeling. We’re not really worried about pirates. Ship to large and too many people on board. Apparently, we’re the only large passenger boat to be cruising in these waters, so the threat, if there is one, is more likely from terrorists who might decide to suicide crash an small explosive boat into us. This risk is much more likely as we gain entry into the Straits of Hormuz off Iran/Pakistan. That won’t happen for another day or so. I know there are two US carriers in the Straits now, so my guess is we’ll get special attention if anyone tries to get close to us.
This cruising stuff is great. I just wish I had a few friends along. I’ve made a large number of friends from all over the world on this trip. Everyone is really friendly. But most of them are sailing on to Singapore, and I can see why. When people wait on you hand and foot, 24 hours a day, it gets really addictive. It would be a lot more fun if I was with a group of folks from home, but still, this is really the way to travel.
It was another day of workouts, swimming, massage, barbecue at lunch out by the pool, afternoon nap, reading in between, formal dinner, $3. Mai Tai’s from 5-9 pm, and an evening stage show. Life’s so difficult.
Day 23, Saturday, May 11
Wish I had something new to report, but it’s just more of the same. Nothing new on the high seas. Pizza for lunch… I’m trying to cut back on the calories. Pretty sad when two pieces of pizza is less than half the calories I’ve been eating at every meal. I went to bed right after dinner, about 9pm, in order to get up at two am to listen to the game 7 between the Rangers and the Washington Capitals. However, we had another time zone shift today, and I forgot to factor that in to my counting on my fingers. I got up an hour early….again. What a waste. I’m now downstairs in one of the lounges that serves food (sandwiches, pizza and deserts) all night. I’ve seen a procession of drunks come through here, all getting something to eat before they wander off to try and find their rooms. It’s starting to get a little quiter now, but I’m beginning to fade and I’m not really willing to stay up all night anymore for the game. Besides, in 24 hours, my Kings game will be on and I’m hoping I can watch it through the magic of one of my kids ipads. Think I’ll get a piece of pizza to help me sleep. Bad, bad boy……