Greenland 9

(7th July) Sea Day
There were no icebergs, whales, or dolphins seen today. We have left the Arctic Circle way behind us, with just a few birds using the airflow from the Ambience to aid their passage to somewhere. The sea is choppy with white horses plenty to confuse the dedicated naturalists on board who stand resolutely on deck14, gazing religiously out to sea. We have had a heavy mist and frequent drizzle showers all day.
Today Boris resigned as Prime Minister and it went unnoticed on board. There was no announcement to the mainly UK passengers informing them of this significant event and though BBC and SKY news is readily available in the cabins, we have heard no passengers discussing the event and its implications. The daily round of entertainment, lectures, activities, food and drink intake has continued unabated. Our floating steel cocoon is shielded from any outside influence other than the weather and sea conditions. We don’t even have a ship’s daily newspaper, just one double-sided sheet of paper listing the ’round the clock’ activities, restaurants and bar opening times and the dress code for the evening delivered nightly to our cabin for the following day. The rest of the world is irrelevant.
A thought: In democracies, when leaders and politicians mislead and lie they are eventually held to account by their populations, when they are not, it is called Russia.
Yesterday, there was another case of Covid-19 in our corridor, evidenced by the red sterile bag containing uneaten food and utensils appearing outside the room. You would think isolation inside your cabin would be a major deterrent, especially to those passengers without windows or balconies and just one film and two news channels on the TV for entertainment. However, complacency seems to have set in, and considerably less than half are now wearing masks around the ship. If they are unfortunate and catch the virus, like Boris, they will have done it to themselves and can’t complain.

(8th July) Sea Day
Last night the clocks again went forward one hour, which seemed to set the mood for the day. Outside, the sea conditions were the calmest for several days and on a few occasions, the sun even managed to peep through the clouds. This morning I sleepily dragged my tired body into breakfast for 9 am, Sue joined me fifteen minutes later. Cruising isn’t for everyone, at times it can be very hard on the body and soul! We managed a couple of lethargic games of table tennis before settling into two back-to-back lectures, returning to our cabin at noon, and instead of going for lunch, chose to nap for an hour (and a bit).
Over the past weeks, our guest Polar explorers have explained in great detail the dangers and hardships they have faced; frostbite, polar bears, loss of body weight, etc. I am sure they will have a better understanding and appreciation of the similarities with their fellow travellers; Covid-19, seagulls, uncontrolled body weight, etc.
We eventually ate at 1.30 pm, following it up with several guilty circuits of the ship with Dave and Sue, a couple whom we have shared a dining table with a few times and whose names for some reason we have found easy to remember. Exercise over and conscience eased, Sue found a spot by a window to curl up with her book and I enjoyed a Greenlandic beer in the cabin, successfully fighting the urge to sleep by watching Sky Sport.
We had our evening meal with a couple of ladies that we had met previously on our trip to the Amazon in 2019. Like the majority on the Ambience, they have cruised for many years and seem hardly to spend any time back in the Uk, unless you count the time-hopping between one ship and the next in Tilbury, Southampton, or Liverpool. As usual, we chose to take in a show before retiring exhausted for the night. It was a take on the musical ‘My Fair Lady’. Sue related a memory as an eight-year-old, of being bored to tears one evening at a dinner party, a friend of her parents insisted on playing the entire score from this musical. As a sixty-plus, she appeared to appreciate tonight’s performance much more.

(9th July) Sea Day
The day began with a late breakfast and a stroll around the deck before immersing ourselves in the ship’s entertainment regime. The sea and wind conditions were very calm, what swell there was came from the starboard side inducing an occasional rocking motion that could catch you out on the stairs.
Another thought: Concerning the assassination of the ex-president of Japan, why is it that those leaders of a nation who strive to improve the lot of their countrymen and its economy and are generally acknowledged as being good humanitarians are often murdered by one of their own citizens? Yet, the despots of this world rarely are?

Catching SkySport in the cabin, I was pleased to see that England, Ireland, and Wales had levelled their three-match series in the tests against southern hemisphere opposition, setting up a great weekend of rugby watching at home next Saturday.
By late afternoon, a chilly light drizzle and thick mist had set in with visibility down to less than 100m, on a brief foray onto the aft sundeck located next to our cabin, I was surprised to see a lone, large and elderly lady reading a book in one of the two hot tubs, apparently oblivious to the conditions. A riveting story or in need of a good psychiatrist? I chose not to engage her in pleasantries and scuttled back into the sanity of the ship.
It was a formal dress (DJs) for the evening gala meal, and as is usual towards the end of a longish voyage, it was followed by an ‘International Crew Show’. Those staff members willing and courageous enough to show off any talent they possess are given an opportunity in the Theatre with the passengers as an audience. It was a very enjoyable evening with the majority of acts being from India, no doubt reflecting the makeup of the ship’s company. It was after midnight by the time we returned to our cabin and for the first time in 18 days our little foray onto the aft deck was in the dark. Where has that midnight sun gone?

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