This second sea day on our way to Cairns was very busy with lots of special events and workshops available for guests to participate in. Kent and I attended Jorge’s Morning Show where he interviewed Brian and Jon the Australian Opal Experts onboard from the UK. Brian’s family raised 21 of the Dalmatian puppies used in the filming of the movie 101 Dalmatians.
While we are traveling along the great barrier reef the Australian government requires us to have a reef pilot onboard to make sure that the ship stays on the prescribed route. This helps to keep ships from damaging the precious and delicate reef. The pilot we have onboard is a Captain Gerrit-Jan Hulsebos originally from the Netherlands. He gave a lecture about his job protecting the great barrier reef and how it is not always as glamourous as being on a cruise ship. Sometimes the weather is poor when trying to access vessels at sea and sometimes the food on a tanker ship might not be so appetizing. He also says that language can be an issue when you have ships from all over the world.
For lunch we met with a gentleman by the name of Jeffrey traveling with his daughter Madeline. Jeffrey’s husband passed away about three years ago and was an employee of Holland America for many years. Jeffrey is a grade school teacher and was interested in hearing about the tutor mentor program that Kent has been volunteering for in San Diego for the last 14 years.
In the afternoon we were invited to a private event in America’s Test Kitchen for Holland America five-star mariner members. Spencer in the test kitchen gave us a demonstration of how to make the perfect pie crust and how to make fried peach pies. We were each given a red America’s Test Kitchen apron to take home with us.
In the late afternoon we were invited to a private cocktail party for the group we are traveling with from Cruise Specialists Travel Agency. The event was held in the Explorer’s Lounge where they served all types of drinks and appetizers for an hour.
It was a gala evening where folks dressed for dinner. The theme of the night was called Bowlers and Bumper Shoots and so the dining room was decorated with black and white umbrellas printed with scenes from London. They also had silver and gold bowler hats on the tables for guest to wear or take with them as souvenirs. As you may have figured out or may have already known, a bumper shoot is an umbrella.
The evening’s entertainment was by a group called Graffiti Classics. They are usually a group of four strings instrument players who play the violin, viola and cello however one of their members was not able to board the plane from London due to her passport papers. The three of them gave a very humorous, funny performance including a lot of comedy with their music. They have another upcoming show and hope that the fourth member of the group will be able to join them.