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Travel Diary: Four Days at Sea

Friday February 8-11, 2019


our first of four days at sea between Hawaii and French Polynesia was most notable for me because I finally won the poker tournament after four second places.

Worked a couple of hours in the morning, then went to the gym. BGM joined me for lunch and then she went off to yoga and I went off to play poker. I went to happy hour to hear the piano player who is from the Ukraine, but has, at least on occasions, mastered the Great American Songbook. I thought I would be meeting a retired psychiatrist we started talking to at lunch, but he did not show up. I ended up talking to a woman from New York whom I had met before and who was on our culinary house tour in Hilo. She had gathered a whole lot more information about the three houses we visited.

The first house, owned by a woman who lives alone and was some kind of computer chip guru, has a market value of about $12 million because the house is 7000 squae feet and sits on about 40 acres of land. The second house, the bed and breakfast is for sale for $4 million. It is owned by the daughter of the owner of the third house we visited. The 8 rooms for guests, and all with a great ocean view, rent for $300 a night. The third home is worth $5 million. The owner is something of a “Republican Curmudgeon”, 81 years old, with a nice dalmation dog and a Wife who hideout the entire time our group was visiting. He is also looking to size down principally because the upkeep on the property had become too difficult.

I had arranged to join Garry and Nicki for dinner at the buffet because BGM had already eaten that day, but we had them to the cabin for a drink beforehand. BGM broke out some kind of chips from her adventure at Costco which she thinks are better than I do.

All in all, it was a peaceful uneventful day. I did get in over 12,000 steps and 17 floors.

Saturday February 9. Another peaceful and uneventful day at sea, most notable because I won the poker game again. Had to buy in three times rather than twice so netted $60 less than the day before. The way the tournament is set up, one has to buy in at least twice---invest a minimum of $120. Today I had to invest $180 so my net win was $205 rather than the $165 I won the day before. Still better than a kick in the ass.

Both meals with Amelia and Al who came to cabin before dinner.

Seems to be doing better in the gym. One could argue I have a routine on these sea days because on Friday I had 12,067 steps and on Saturday 12,056.

Sunday February 10. Could not make it three in a row and was out of the money in the poker tournament. We crossed the equator and they had a celebration on the pool deck which I found totally juvenile but lots of people seemed to enjoy it. I do subscribe to the theory that “it is never too late to have a happy childhood” but this was not something I enjoyed.

Did a lot of walking around the ship. Had 24 floors on my phone.

Getting to know a lot of nice people. Almost everyone has something interesting to say. Met a psychiatrist who was an emergency room doctor first. Also spent almost four years in the marines. His first Wife left him for another woman, and his second Wife died of ovarian cancer. The lady he is traveling around the world is does not appear to be any “box of chocolates” but I like him and he said to me that we would be friends for a long time.

Another man were have become friends with, is from the Ukraine, but now lives in Hollywood, Florida.. He celebrated his 70th birthday today. His Wife, also from the Ukraine is very nice and is an architect.

Saw the show after dinner and then listened to some piano music before retiring . We were up until close to midnight which is lae for us. Clock went ahead 30 minutes as we approach the Marquesas Islands on Tuesday.

Monday February 11. Last of four sea days before reaching several ports in French Polynesia. Made a huge comeback and came in second in poker tournament.

Did a lot of walking around the ship spreading joy. 55 floors and 13, 396 steps. The number of floors is a record. Did hear a good jazz concert. Ship showing movies nominated for Academy Awards, but did not go to see “Wife” even though I have not seen any of the movies nominated. Do not get to the movies very often, and when I do, it is almost always with a grandchild so I see a lot of animated movies. It is exciting just to see real people. If I can live long enough for the grandchildren to get older, maybe I can get to see movies with real people.

Spending a lot of time with a couple who used to live in Jupiter, Florida, but are building a house while they are on this cruise in Vero Beach or somewhere near there.

I enjoy the sea days, but am looking forward to some ports.

Spent way too long trying to run down the purser. Almost all the crew is unavailable between 2 and 5 which can be very frustrating. We were scheduled to leave the ship in Shanghai at 11 a.m. on April 11 to take a 2 p.m plane back to Beijing while the ship cruises to Hong Kong and stays for two days. We much prefer Beijing to either sea days or Hong Kong. Found out just by accident that, because of tides, the ship is now leaving Shanghai at 6 a.m. rather than at noon, so I need to change many plans, and first needed to know what time we had to leave the ship. Amazingly, only one person, the 2nd purser could give me the answer. That is counter—intuitive but true nevertheless. Ultimately determined that have to get off the ship by 5 a.m.

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