February 12, 2013 Sea Day
It was a quiet sea day, which was a welcome treat after five busy days in ports. We had a leisurely breakfast in the dining room before the “Good Morning Amsterdam” show, followed by Barbara’s lecture on things to see and do in Sydney.
A new lecturer by the name of Bill Crews is onboard and presented a lecture today on Sealers and Whalers of Australasia. He discussed how the Europeans Sealers were the first settlers in New Zealand. He discussed the history of sealing and whaling in the region, the largest number being Americans. Most every part of the seals and whales were sold for a specific purpose including parts of the brain that were considered an aphrodisiac.
Prior to dinner we had the pleasure of being invited to our friend Joan’s veranda suite for cocktails, champagne, cheese and crackers prior to dinner. Her friend Judy, whom she met several years ago on another cruise, was there too. They have remained good friends over many cruises. Joan is from New York and Judy is from Oregon. When asked about why they like the lifestyle of world cruising, Joan said: “I don’t have to cook or clean. After a lovely dinner, I can see a show every night and can meet lots of new people and visit new places. I just move into my “apartment” and I’m good for 4 months!” That pretty much sums it up.
We shared dinner with our friends Alain and Matthias from Germany as they are disembarking in Sydney to continue on their yearlong journey of the world. We have enjoyed spending time with them and getting to know them better. The theme for dinner was a Mardi Gras theme and the dining room was extensively decorated in gold, green and purple napkins, metallic streamers, party favors and fabrics. The crew in the dining room did a great job of making it a festive atmosphere. Mardi Gras came to the United States through its French heritage in 1699. Mardi Gras means, “Fat Tuesday” and is celebrated on the Tuesday 47 days prior to Easter Sunday. This falls somewhere between February 3rd and March 9th depending on the lunar calendar, used to determine the date of Easter. The official colors of Mardi Gras are purple, green and gold. The King of Carnival, Rex, chose these colors in 1872. The color purple represents justice, green stands for faith and gold stands for power.
The quartet group called Black Tie put on another show in the Queen’s lounge this evening. The show was followed by a Mardi Gras party of dancing and drinking in the Crow’s nest bar….not really many live wires there…not much going on. We also gained another hour tonight as we continue traveling west.