Day 24 January 28 (Sea Day) Monday

As you can see, Sunday Jan 27th does not appear in my commentary. To be totally honest, I did see Sunday for about 15 minutes before closing my eyes and going to sleep. Somewhere during the night (I guess - I'm really at the Captain's or Navigator's mercy on this) we crossed the International Dateline. Then Sunday became Monday at the same clock time. Poof! 24 hours gone like that. What I didn't know is that the dateline is not at the same longitude from the north pole to the south pole. If you look at it on a map it zigs and zags east and west from north to south. This I am told is to avoid having any inhabited place bisected by the line. Thoughtful no? The other thing I didn't realize is that the dateline does not coincide with any of the time zones! Therefore we didn't have to deal with gaining an hour while losing a day. Dodged a bullet there!

I slept late, losing a day can be taxing I guess, and then went up to the Lido deck for breakfast. At 10 our Vantage group met for another historical lecture. This one was a bit out of context but our leader, Chris, said he needed a bit more time to prepare for the next of the series about the British Empire, etc. He has done this lecture so much (and it is usually well received according to his wife - hmmm maybe not the most unbiased opinion but we don't have to sit there and listen if we get bored) that he didn't need to do much prep for it. The topic, I know you're getting impatient, was Hans Christian Anderson.

It was pretty interesting. Seems that the Mermaid statue in a harbor in Denmark (Copenhagen I think...) has nothing to do with his Little Mermaid fairytale. For that matter, Disney's version of the Little Mermaid also doesn't have much to do with Anderson's version. Well actually it isn't too far off until you get near the end. Anderson was apparently rather unpleasant but a pretty good travel writer of his day. He also exchanged letters with Charles Dickens and when invited to be a house guest overstayed his welcome by many weeks. Dickens, realizing he had erred refused to return letters from Anderson after the visit. For a writer that must have been some sacrifice! Oh, one more thing, Chris wants us to know that Anderson was not anything like the Danny Kaye portrayal of him in the old move. Sorry young ones. That reference is for us old people unless you had too much time to watch very very old reruns of the movie on TV.

At 11 there was a lecture on digital photography. One of my tablemates, Anita, has a very new Sony digital camera with many bells and whistles. Unfortunately, she is pretty much a technophobe. She doesn't know how to use the telephoto lens yet. She brings the camera to dinner at times and I show her how to do something like how to view her photos and how to get the displays off the screen when they obscure the picture. I'm no expert myself, right Bunk?, but so far I've been able to figure out what she needs to do. She was afraid the lecture would be over her head but went anyway. Good for her. This was a good first lesson with enough extra thrown in to be of some use to us more experienced users. He did ask for a show of hands on how many had their instruction book with them, how many had read it, how many had taken their cameras off the automatic mode, etc. I think he is starting at the right level.

Not much of interest in the pm. Well I went to another Dave Abbott lecture. I left early. I was discussing this guy with Chris (Vantage) and he put his finger on the problem. The guy is pretty negative. Add to that that he sometimes doesn't know what he is talking about but doesn't seem to be interested in being confused with facts.... I won't be going to his talks anymore. Perhaps the next cruise will be spared if enough of us stay away. We do get the opportunity to provide feedback along the way and after the trip is over. I may spend a little ink on him. Trouble is that he isn't the only weak link on the lecture chain.

Watched the history of Apple/Microsoft 's battle on TV during the afternoon.

The Show at 8 was a piano player/music historian who took us through much of Scott Joplin's story (Ragtime composer who wrote The Entertainer - the theme for The Sting). Pretty good but I think the pianist is bothered a bit by arthritis. I guess cruise ships are one of the last rungs on the aging musician/entertainer ladder. Of course, it is also a rung on the way up.

After that I returned to my cabin to prepare for the tomorrow's SCUBA trip.

No comments: