7th and 8th March: on the Tasman Sea

On our way across this water two weeks ago, travelling from Sydney to the New Zealand Fjords, the water was a little rough. Indeed, The Seven Seas Voyager, which accompanied us on that journey, had a rough time of it according to some of its passengers we met in New Zealand. The crossing back has been much worse. Yesterday, the 7th, there were gales (force 8) and the highest seas we’ve seen on this journey. Last night there were a few absences from dinner. Jan, who used to be very susceptible to seasickness felt a little nauseous but took something and was soon better.

In truth, the movement on the ship was very slight and reduced as we accelerated through the night. And there was something magnificent about the sea, particularly when viewed from one of the lower decks:


It was fortunate that Jan was able to shake of her nausea (I doubt that would have been possible on many other ships) because along with our table companions we were invited to yet another cocktail party with the Captain and his senior staff. We’ve been to one of these almost every week. We get an invitation on every sector because we’re full World Cruisers, one because we have reached the Platinum loyalty level with Cunard (for 70 nights on board) and another which is held for all of us slumming it in the Britannia Dining Room. We tend to miss that one because it’s overcrowded while, meanwhile, the lovely bar in the Commodore Club is empty and we’re able to get a window table overlooking the bow. But the cocktail parties are very pleasant and we generally get a couple of glasses of champagne and some lovely appetisers including, for example, pan fried lobster. The Captain says a few warm words and his staff dutifully chat with (mostly the same) passengers who mob them like 60s teenagers at a Beatles concert.

When the seas were at their highest on the 7th, all decks were closed and, momentarily, I felt somewhat cooped. Thank goodness for the balcony. But there was lots to do in the ship. An old colleague was talking about prisons and I went to listen to him. We had another excellent pub lunch in the pub on one of the days and, impressively or fortuitously, Cunard showed on successive nights the winner of the Oscars Best Picture and the Winner of the Oscars Best Actress. The cinema is a great feature of this ship. I suspect that most passengers could live without the Planetarium, but the cinema would be badly missed, certainly by me. I generally attend the 10.30 showing of the daily film which is a nice way to round off the day.

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62 year old male on the edge of retirement and giving that a trial with a four month break. Not our first Cruise, but certainly our first and only World Cruise.

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