April 16, 2013 Sea Day

April 16, 2013  Sea Day

On this morning, Captain Jonathan Mercer was the guest of the Good Morning, Amsterdam talk show. He is always a personable captain who will take time to stop and chat with the guests, and has a wonderful sense of humor.

Howard Walker lectured on the United States and how its economic strength is supported by its entrepreneurial innovation but hampered by growing debt, government gridlock, and weakening social cohesion. It was mostly things that we were aware of but he had some interesting new ways to think of things as well.

Next, David Smith lectured on Capturing Color and Charm of Local People and Culture with your Camera. David discussed ways to approach people from around the world in a non-threatening way to ask permission to take their photographs. He showed many slides from his own collection of people and discussed things he did prior to taking the photos.

The afternoon was a quiet low-key afternoon with no lectures and just a bit of free time to relax.  Kent walked the deck, then ate his favorite chocolate marble cheesecake; Mark blogged!

Later, Kent met with Alec (who is experiencing some dementia-like symptoms and is very concerned about his memory), Ingrid and Fran.  Ingrid is Alec’s travel companion and Fran is quite an interesting lady from Australia who house sits for a living.  Occasionally, she works in “mental health”…quite a comfort to Kent.  She has arranged a 3-month sitting assignment in Arkansas this summer as a result of her contacts on the ship.  Fran also has won the award for the fastest knitter on board and has made several blankets for the Linus project.

The evening’s entertainer was World Renowned Marionette Artist Phillip Huber. Phillip and his partner used to live in Pasadena, but now reside in Tennessee, where Phillip personally creates all of his puppets. The average puppet takes over 400 hours to create. He has joined us for our 7PM cocktail group and we have enjoyed hearing about his work.  When he travels he has six trunks, weighing 300 pounds, to transport a stage and his eighteen puppets. Tonight’s show featured nine of the puppets. He had puppets ranging from a shaggy white dog to Liza Minelli, all of which he operates with amazing life-like movements. They have eye brows, eyes, ears and joints that all operate independently helping them come to life before your eyes.

Napping on the deck—As we walk around the deck, usually in the afternoons, there are a large number of folks reading, talking, drinking, exercising or napping on the deck.  Some are very interesting to watch.  They do that “open mouth sleep/snore” thing.  Kent would love to take a picture of some of them, then sell it back to them….but that would be mean.  Some are quite old and unless they snore, you might think they are dead.  With the age of the passengers (average age is 76) on this ship, you must always be alert!