We woke at 7.30am to clear skies and a calm sea. Breakfast was taken in the Lido and conscious of the effort it took to tighten my belt I made the effort to reduce the portion size I placed on my plate, though I spoiled it later by returning to the buffet and pigging a bit more. We were joined partway through our meal by a gentleman from Stamford. He was keen to chat and we soon discovered that he was an antiques collector, who now mainly dealt on the internet. His wife was having breakfast in bed. His children were in the forces and he was in favour of the grammar school system and he had met is past headmaster only the other week. Well, it passes the time.
It was nice to have unfettered access along the outside decks, in the warm sunshine it was good to blow away the cobwebs with a full circumnavigation of the ship. We had half an hour or so in a lounge at the bow to do a spot more reading, before moving onto some more exercise along the deck. We passed couples playing deck quoits, bowls and even paddle tennis, and for once neither of us suggested we play. We did however exercise our minds in the Golden Lion Trivia Quiz. We were determined to beat our last score, but we should have stayed on deck and played something more physical as we ‘crashed and burned’. Despite prepping the nervous system with a pint of ‘Speckled Hen’ I think the increasing tightness of my belt is somehow restricting my cranial function. As for Sue, she says she is too relaxed to concentrate. Stupid Russians starting the October Revolution in November!!!!

During coffee we met our dining partners from the north-east and caught up with what they had been doing, before we excused ourselves and left to attend a lecture on ‘Central Park’. Our hotel in NY is just off the park so we were very keen to learn as much about the area as possible. It looks like we could easily spend a whole day just exploring the park and sadly with only 2 days in NY I fear we will not do the city justice.

During lunch I spotted a small pod of whales around 200m off the starboard side. This time Sue was sitting with me and we saw the largest one break surface and eject a huge spout of water. They were with us for just 5 minutes and then gone.

Afterwards Sue went to watch ‘Quartet’ in the theatre and I went to comfort Mr Pillow back in the cabin.

When Sue returned from what she said was a packed theatre and a wonderful film, we went to the Lido for coffee. Afterwards we took another turn around the deck, but the wind had got up and there was a chill in the air and it was pleasant to return to the warmth of the inner decks.
After reading a little more in our cabin we dressed informally for dinner and then joined a full table of fellow guests. We all seem to get on well and usually the conversation starts with what we have been up to during the day. Our description of Moby Dick, seen during lunch went down well.

As ‘Vanity Fair’ was on tonight, Sue took her book and I my tablet to read before the show as we thought it would be popular and seats would be at a premium. We were not wrong and getting there half an hour early ensured us good seats in the centre. The show was very entertaining with many costume changes, great dancing and good catchy songs.

We went for our usual drinks in the restaurant on Deck 2, but this time instead of retiring to our cabins we went top the Golden Lion for a very amusing game of ‘Liar’. It was a panel game where three of the crew gave their own definitions of strange words and we had to vote on which we think was the truth. Very, very funny. Sue and I managed to get 2 of the 4 definitions correct and were quite pleased with ourselves as no one else topped more than 2. After this mornings crash and burn it was nice to finish the day on a semi-high.

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