October 13, 2018 – Sea Day

This sea day continued to be cloudy and overcast with small patches of blue sky. It was certainly an improvement over the dark gray and rain of yesterday.

We attended the morning show with cruise director Jorge who was interviewing the five-member Amsterdam band. The band director, Irving, is the same band director that we had on the 2013 World Cruise and he has been working for Holland America Line for 26 years. They do an incredible job accompanying all of the Amsterdam singers and dancer shows as well as all of the guest entertainers.

Ian Page the Explorations Central Guide shared his insights on our visit to Kushiro, Japan. Guest Chef Denise Vivaldo showed us how to prepare a pecan crusted Halibut filet with a Dijon cream sauce and prosciutto wrapped scallops with pesto in America’s Test Kitchen.  She didn’t seem too organized, but she was very entertaining with her chef stories.  Michael Hick lectured on Japan including the Pearls of Hokkaido, Kushiro and Hakodate, the island we would be visiting the next day. Michael discussed how Russia has two ports near Japan but that both of them freeze over in winter and that ships from these ports must transit by the northern or southern shores of Japan, making it difficult for them to get to sea.   During WWII, Russia took possession of several smaller islands to the north of Japans Hokkaido Island.

The evening’s entertainment was a new show by Tasmanian Comedian and Magician Bodane Hatten (now living in Australia). Mark was selected to participate in two different magic tricks. The first was an trick where Bodane pokes a knife through Mark’s sportscoat. The second was a card trick where Mark selected a card out of a deck of cards and signed his name on the card. Bodane then shuffled the cards and before you knew it, he pulled the card Mark had signed out of a sealed envelope in a billfold that was sitting on the table.

When we returned to our cabin for the night we found gifts on our bed. This day’s gift was a power bank used for giving your computer or tablet extended battery power when away from a power source.  We each got one, along with chocolates.