After a month away, settling back to a ‘normal’ routine of life just isn’t easy. I resent having to get up and go to bed to suit someone else’s schedule. I resent my standard healthy omelette breakfast – my salad at lunchtime, my wonderfully balanced and wholesome dinner lovingly prepared by my spouse. I resent the lawn and the trees and the whole bloody lot – would trade it all in a minute for a life at sea. Okay, it’s not that bad. I don’t even have a lawn.
But there is something about life at sea that is dreamlike. Time becomes plastic, fluid – stretching and twisting, so you lose track of what day it is – never mind the time. You are nowhere – you are at sea.
And this trip was all about being at sea. With only nine ports in 25 days, there was a never-ending expanse of blue. Rarely sighting land. (Though I do wish I’d have got a glimpse of Iran as we sailed past, just eleven miles away.) And since we were in the tropics the entire time, every day was about 12 hours light and dark.
Unfortunately though, as we were sailing east, every 15 degrees, we lost an hour. The time difference between Dubai and Sydney is six hours and around India Malaysia and Thailand, they are fond of half hour time changes, making things even more confusing. Fortunately food is served 24/7 so no matter how often one may miss a meal, there is another going on somewhere. And if in doubt, complimentary room service is always perfect. We had it every morning, before going to the gym and pool. Just something light before a workout.
This cruise was on the Dawn Princess, a fairly old (by cruise ship standards) ship and not as dazzling as the Crown or Diamond Proncess ships which we sailed on last year. But like every cruise ship I have been on, it had more bars than I could keep track of as well as half a dozen restaurants and of course the legendery buffet. I try to stay away from the buffet. 3000 calorie meals just arent’ good for you.
On the other hand, the dessert tables are irresistable and the ice sculptures always kitschily divine! I am a fiend for dessert – but after a couple of weeks, rich cakes and puddings really do lose their appeal. There is always an abundance of fresh fruit available if you want something sweet.
Incredibly, I gained less than five pounds – a tribute to daily gym workouts. I was building muscle!
Ever since childhood I have been a water-baby. I can stay in the pool all day and never get bored or cold. However, I am also extremely fair, which means I cannot stay out in the sun without getting burnt. I was horrified at the Aussies who lay out all day in the direct sun, getting browner and browner. All I could think of was skin cancer – several times I saw people with black patches that looked distinctly unhealthy. Mind you, the hole in the ozone is right over New Zealand, so sun-worshipping here is a form of slow suicide. The Aussies have a different attitude. Here’s one ready to leap into the pool. Don’t get in his way!
I was on my way to the Dawn Princess ‘back pool’ at the rear of the ship – it is covered for us delicate flowers. It was there I wiled away those sweltering days. Nothing like sitting in the pool or spa whilst staring at the ocean.
We had near perfect weather the entire trip, with the exception of a few rough days in the middle. While I’ve been in really rough seas with ten metre swells, this time around it was a relatively tame 3-4 metres. Enough to rock the boat a bit and to make the terribly squeamish sea sick.
The most exciting thing is what this rocking does to the water in the pools. My husband took this incredible shot:
I know I mentioned the sunsets, but check these shots out. (Click for a larger view)
The ship is itself is simply gorgeous – yeah, a bit glitzy and a wee bit gaudy… but for me – it could be my second home. And being home on terra firma – oh, I don’t know – I still feel all at sea.