October 22, 2018 – Sea Day

This was the first of two sea days on our way to Tianjin, China, the gateway to Beijing. The weather was considerably cooler and the skies were gray once again. We were so lucky to have beautiful sunny days while we were in Japan.

Two new lecturers are onboard for another round of interesting and thought-provoking topics. The morning featured Ambassador Krishna Rajan who spoke on “How China sees itself and the world.” He outlined China’s plan for retaking control of the world through several means. The first is the construction of a new rail system along the route of the old silk road. They have also developed and paid for the construction of ports throughout Asia and Europe. They contribute billions of dollars to assist foreign countries with infrastructure to help them become self-sustaining and in turn need more products from China. China continues to build islands in the China Sea to expand their border lines. China wants to take back control of territories lost over the last century as a buffer zone against the rest of the world.

Ian gave a lecture on things to see and do in Tianjin and Beijing. He also gave a lecture on the word “Kamikaze,” its history and meanings today. Kamikaze in Chinese means Divine Wind and it once referred to soldiers willing to make suicide missions on behalf of the ruler. Young men would fly into harm’s way to drop bombs, risking their own lives to assist the country. Today Kamikaze is used to describe all things from drinks to rides at the local county fair.

In the afternoon a new lecturer, Navy Captain Thomas G. Anderson, spoke on “China and the Geopolitics of their Inland Waterways.” He discussed all of the waterways in China and how they play an important part in the success of the country. Waterways are vital to the success of any large country to expand inland and to transport goods.

During the cocktail party, a fellow passenger, Peggy, came up to us and suggested she had had her eye on us since embarkation and wanted to talk with us. (Think she thought Mark was a movie star or something.) She was very complimentary and hoped we could talk more with her during the cruise. We said we were happy to do so.

The evening entertainment was an Amsterdam Singers and Dancers Show called Rule Britannia! The show was a musical look back at the past fifty years of the UK’s pop history. The show included songs from the Beatles and the Rolling Stones to current artists like Coldplay and Adele.