January 24, 2016 Sea Day

We continued transiting south in the Red Sea under warmer weather and clearer skies although it was very windy. The temperature was in the low 80’s with winds of about 45 miles per hour. The captain said that until we exited the narrow strait at the south end of the Red Sea, we would have high winds.

KK, our location guide, spoke this morning on things to see and do in our next port of call, Muscat, Oman. When the location guide gives these lectures they include practical information on things like the local currency, times that museums and shops are open, any dress requirements to enter places of worship, places you can walk to on your own and much more information.

At 11:30 the folks who are traveling on the entire 89 or 91-day journey were invited for a special Rijsttafel lunch in the dining room complete with complementary wine. This style of lunch is an Indonesian lunch that is very popular in the Netherlands because of the fact that Indonesia was once a Dutch colony. The lunch included a salad with peanut sauce dressing, a chicken consommé soup with coconut, fried rice, shrimp in a spicy sauce, pork in a sweet soy sauce, chicken skewers with peanut sauce, stewed beef Sumatra style, chili spiced green beans, banana fritters and Rice pudding with caramel sauce for dessert. With the exception of the salad, soup and dessert, everything was severed on one plate and was very delicious.

The afternoon included a lecture on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. These are ten nations located in south Asia who trade among themselves and work together for the common good of all involved. China is not a part of this alliance.

We did our walking on the deck to burn a few calories, Kent went to the gym and the sauna while Mark attended the watercolor painting class. The watercolor class created flowers using flat style white coffee filters cut into pedals. The petals were then attached to a wire using floral tape. Once assembled the flowers were painted with watercolor paint. Everyone was painting them very different colors so it was nice to see the variations of color and style of flowers even though everyone started with the same materials. Mark created a gorgeous pink and white rose.

It was another gala evening (read formal) this evening and the theme was black and white. We had dinner in the dining room with new friends Dennis and Alex from Berlin,Germany, Joakim from Sweden—living in Berlin– and our old friend Tom from London. After dinner a family of three performed a show titled “The Cruise Night of the Proms,” where they sang a variety of opera songs. Songs from singers like Andrea Bocelli and Josh Groban and composers like David Foster, Puccini and Verdi.

They also had a black and white ball in the crow’s nest where the ships officers were there to dance with the guests. Mark really enjoyed dancing with the officers!! Not!