February 2nd: We've crossed the Pacific...
This is our last day at sea. We’ve crossed the Pacific Ocean, and tomorrow morning arrive in Valparaiso, the sea port for Santiago. Frankly, it can’t happen soon enough. I think certain of our fellow passengers have been getting stir-crazy. There have been silly mutterings and complaints, effortlessly dealt with by a crew who’ve seen it all before. Yesterday I witnessed a woman complaining that an iron in the laundry room had damaged her trousers. With great patience, the receptionist handed her an incident form to complete, and promised to get maintenance to check the offending iron. It was obvious the woman had caused the damage by having the iron set too high for the particularly fabric of her garment. But common sense is becoming a little fragile.
The oddest thing I’ve had to deal with is that the ship is never silent. There is constant white-noise from air-conditioning, or the stabiliser pumps. I like silence, and find this difficult, as there is an odd sensory dissonance between sounds and movement. The surge and rock of the boat should produce creaks, groans, or the slap of a waves on the hull. Instead, and unpredictably, the sound of a pump starting up, or a thermostat kicking in, overrides them creating a mildly hallucinatory state.
This is the last of our lazy, leisured, hedonistic days. From now on we’ll be at a different port every second night, and will be too busy being tourists to worry about trivial matters.
Our days have fallen into an easy, lazy pattern. We rise late and order coffee and tea in our cabin. Cavan may or may not go to breakfast, (I refuse to go, 3x3 course meals a day is turning me stout). Later we attend the trivia competition, followed thereafter by a brisk six circuits of the promenade deck. 3 rounds represents a mile, so we complete our two miles, before repairing for lunch. I often miss this meal as well, but obviously not often enough, as I’m becoming quite stout.
Later I write, and bar Cavan from the cabin. He usually takes off to the gym, which means both of us are being productive. Alternatively, during the speaking engagements, he helps me with my presentations, being my porter for the box of books, passing the clip-board round for names and generally being my PR person. Frankly I couldn’t manage without his support.
We attend the second trivia session, and then, at six meet friends for pre-dinner drinks and enjoy the music which can be found throughout the ship’s lounges. We dine at 7.45pm, and wrap the evening up with a show which usually starts at 9.45 and finishes about 11.
Whereupon we repeat the process the next day.
It’s going to be a cold hard brush with reality tomorrow morning when we have to be up and active at 7am.