Day 10 (Jan 13)

Breakfast on Lido AGAIN!! Tai Chi, Vantage Group, Astronomy lecture, lunch with Jane and Daphne. Nap in cabin after lunch. Tried to upload pics to website unsuccessfully again. Need to go talk to the IT guy and see if we can expect any improvement. Most things on the cruise are really wonderfully done but the internet thing is pretty sad. I had trouble before the cruise with their website too so they need to invest some money in better stuff or better people to run the stuff. Not sure which but it isn't my place to do anything other than let them know that they should do better I suppose. Dinner: I have been really adventurous with my food choices and tonight I was well rewarded. As a rule I don't like mushrooms but the item I tried was so unusual I decided I had to try it to see if the cook was crazy or a genius. The item was billed as a Mushroom Chorizo Streudel!!! It was said to contain goat cheese too. It was amazing. Totally delicious. Who would have thought. The chef is a genius!

Neat thing after dinner. I went to 6 Forward to see if the stars were visible and there were only two other people there. One of them was the astronomer, Eric Dunn! He was very nice and said he will be out there around 7 and again around 10:30 PM each evening while he is onboard. He has this cool laser pointer which is very visible when he points out stars, planets, etc for those of us who bother to show up. He didn't announce his intention to be there in the lectures but I'm spreading the word. I went back after the show and couldn't see anything but clouds until he showed up. Slowly a few "sucker wholes" appeared. These are small breaks in the clouds which tease you into hoping for more visibility. Cute! Well, we were lucky and after some time we got to see quite a bit. Jane, one of my SCUBA buddies showed up. I had run into her after meeting the astronomer at 7 and she was excited to come out and have him help us observe. I had a lot of time to chat with him before she and the stars showed up. He's very nice and down to earth in the way he talks about the sky. He spent 15 years running the Van Couver, BC planetarium. Unfortunately he will be leaving the ship in Tahiti. Until then I think I will be stargazing as much as possible.

Between the stargazing episodes there was a show. It was some old opera singer named Renata. I wasn't sure about this guy at first. Some people left after his first song. Their loss! He turned out to be a lot of fun. I don't remember ever being involved in an opera sing-a-long before or even hearing about one but that was part of his act. He has a pretty good voice but it is clear he is a little over the hill. But he was great with the audience and had us singing along to familiar opera melodies with "la-la-la" instead of lyrics. He also got the Captain's wife to volunteer to come up from the audience and "sing" with him onstage. He sang some well known popular songs and even did a Louie Armstrong impression that was surprisingly good on one song. What a hoot! We gave him a standing ovation.

Well, that's about it from the middle of the Pacific. We passed about 200 miles north of the Galapagos yesterday. (No, we couldn't see them. For all I know they just put them on the map to make us feel less isolated. How many people really know where they are anyway?) Come to think of it, they have a map with the entire cruise route on it in lights. The lights (little LED's I'm sure) are supposed to turn from red to green as we progress. An hour or so ago I checked it and it says we're still in Panama! I wonder if this is all a fake trip, kinda like the astronauts not really landing on the moon. Hmmm.

I'll check into it. Bye for now.

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