March 19, 2016 Sea Day

The morning included a lecture by Bill Crews on the decline of the great Islamic Empire. The empire grew very quickly from northern Africa, through the Middle East, reaching China and most of Indonesia. These areas are still mostly Muslim countries but the power that religious leaders have today has been greatly reduced from its height.

The afternoon included a lecture by Martyn Green on the history of the Suez Canal including the construction, current expansion and its future. He had a great number of slides in his presentation from the region including some satellite shots taken from space. In a week or so we will be transiting north through the canal into the Mediterranean Sea.

Mark finished one of the community puzzles and attended the watercolor class where he painted a scene from Oman. Kent had afternoon tea with Thomas and Martin to share info about San Diego for their possible future visit. Then Kent went to the gym and the sauna.

The after dinner entertainment was another performance by the finalist of Britain’s The Voice, Toni Warne. She has a wonderful voice and put on anther excellent show. Mark headed to bed and Kent went to the Crow’s Next to meet up with some of the cast singers and dancers…..the HAL ban on hard liquor was lifted for the crew today, so there were lots of crew/staff drinkers enjoying themselves in the bars.

Each night when we return to our cabin we find an animal of some type waiting for us on the bed. When the cabin stewards come to turn down the bed, change the towels and tidy up for the night they leave chocolates and a towel animal of some type. We have had monkeys, dogs, bears, frogs, fish, butterflies dinosaurs as well as some others.

Our cabin stewards are Badru and Endra from Indonesia and they do an excellent job. They are always available to get you anything that you may need and they make up our cabin once in the morning and again in the evening. When we see them in the hallway they always ask how we are and if everything is ok, or if they can get us anything.