February 25, 2022. 69°F/21°C
We’re back at sea for 3 days, and still feeling the effects of the strong storms happening around Iceland; the ocean transmits those storm surges as deep swells being felt even this far south, where we’re off the coast of Mauritania in northwest Africa. Today was another 2 Gravol day, with my “day” not actually beginning until almost noon. I’m feeling really grateful for Viking’s ultra comfortable king size beds!
I had a ton of notes from our excursions in Cabo Verde, so spent most of the day downsizing photos and prepping Episode 208. This might have been the longest I’ve ever spent on a single blog post, factoring in the wifi “wait times”.
Having successfully blogged, and with a settled stomach, it was time to enjoy AMAZING fajitas from tonight’s World Café Tex-Mex night, followed by cocktails and dancing to the Viking Band (with vocal numbers by each member of our entertainment team) on the pool deck. Aaron, our Cruise Director, leaves us in just 3 days, so he fittingly gave us his rendition of “My Way” and garnered a standing ovation. That was followed by the entire team with “I Had The Time Of My Life” from Dirty Dancing. They understand that this is a ship full of old people, so the show was over by 9:30, and tonight we chose (wisely) not to close down the bar.
Tonight we jump ahead an hour again, into Madeira’s timezone.
February 26, 2022. 67°F/19°C
Today we’re sailing north off the coast of Morocco.
I got a call this morning for a last-minute cooking class opening, but with the time change and continuing less-then-smooth seas I wasn’t ready to prep and eat a 4 course meal with wine at 10:00 a.m. I’ll stay on the waiting list for a future sea day class.
We have undiminishing 34-40 knot/39-46 mph/62-74 kph winds, which are causing the continued ocean swells. Pictures don’t really show swells well, but I tried. Walking on deck 2 today on the port side was more like running, as the wind pushed me along; on the starboard it was a lesson in wind resistance, as I held onto the railing to keep from blowing backward.
Our new assistant room steward, Charina, advised me that one way to mitigate sea sickness is not to drink so much… and she didn’t mean alcohol! Her theory is that a lot of liquid in one’s stomach “moves” with the ship (slosh, slosh, like the swimming pool) and triggers the nauseous feeling. She suggested eating a stodgier breakfast, like oatmeal, that would stay put. Hmm. Anything’s worth a try.
Things that work so far: Gravol, Scopolamine patches, staying prone in bed.
Things with a limited effect of easing symptoms: Granny Smith apples, candied ginger, strong ginger tea.
Things that don’t work even a little bit (for me) so far: sea bands (the pressure point wrist bands), ginger ale (maybe because most of it no longer contains real ginger).
The entire crew remain unfailingly considerate to those of us feeling a bit green. Lena, one of our bar waitresses, suggested a morning Bloody Mary. “If it makes you feel better, it’s not seasickness, it’s a hangover. If it doesn’t make you feel better, you’re seasick.” Gee, thanks.
Just pre-dinner Dr. Bradley gave one last fashion lecture, with interesting insight into how Paul Gauguin’s time in Polynesia influenced his painting. We’re going to miss Linda and Mike’s company when they leave the ship in 10 days. Hopefully we can stay in touch, or maybe even meet again on a future cruise.
As usual, I felt much better – and hungry – by dinner time, even though the ship’s motion was unchanged. We met new friends Judy (my dance partner!) and Bill for dinner and conversation in the main restaurant, to take advantage of the leisurely pacing. As always seems to be the case when we’re together, the time flew by.
Chris Wishneusky returned as the evening’s entertainment with a solo show of light classical piano music, the highlight of which was his wonderful rendition of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. That said, my favourite number was Grieg’s Norwegian Dance for Four Hands, where Chris was joined by our Viking band’s pianist Enrico, who is a total rock star.
February 27, 2022. 65°F/18°C
Today’s priority is finishing my library book, Donna Leon’s Beastly Things, since after today we’ll be visiting a lot of ports in succession, leaving not much free time beyond what I need to keep my blog/diary up to date. Donna’s series, set in Venice, is certainly influencing what I want to see during our 2 day stop in that city on March 16th & 17th. We’ll be choosing those excursions tonight.
We don’t reach Malta until March 10th, but Viking is already ensuring that we can all disembark there. Malta requires all visitors to have received their Covid booster shot AFTER November 1, 2021. Fortunately, we have our Canadian QR code documentation verifying our boosters from December, and it looks like that will convert seamlessly to the EU’s QR code. Our booster timing also means we don’t need to take advantage of one the boosters that Viking is able to offer passengers (what a bonus travelling with such a well-prepared cruise line!). All we had to do was submit our vaccine certificates. (Thank you, Canada.)
I took a break from reading at 2:00 p.m. to listen to the Port Talk for Funchal, Madeira, which we’ll be exploring tomorrow. We have two exciting excursions booked there.
Tonight Ted and I enjoyed another Chef’s Table dinner, this time with a Great Britain theme.
Early to bed, since tomorrow is a busy day, but just a note to those at home that our hearts are breaking for the 10 Ukrainian crew members on board who have children, parents, and spouses suddenly plunged into a war zone – and yet they continue to smile and do their jobs on board. They are the face of bravery.
We are so privileged to be travelling the world. The more we see of it, the more we are awed by the beauty of the people and the landscapes of the countries we visit. That this wonderful world should continue to be shattered by greed and war is unfathomable to me.