2-13-2013 Day 39 At Sea

Today felt like a school day – I went to 4 different “classes!”  Started early with Good Morning Amsterdam.  Our Techspert, Tom, was the guest and it was interesting to hear his views about what’s new and good in today’s technology.  Best for your buck – a tablet of some kind!

I had read about a project some passengers on this ship were involved in – the Linus Project – where people are knitting blankets, little hats, etc. for children.  I brought some yarn and needles from home and today was my opportunity to get started in this.  I had met some of the ladies who have been doing this and they are all so nice.  And this morning they helped me get started on a craft I have not done for many, many years.  P1040968

On my way up to the lounge, they had a crew fire drill – and here is a picture of the crew getting ready for it.  They really do go through it as if it were real.  It is very reassuring.

Just as that ended, our number was called by the Immigration officers on board the ship to get us cleared early.  It’s a great thing the ship is doing so that we all aren’t standing in line the morning we arrive in Sydney waiting to get cleared.  So every passenger had to show his passport, etc. and get it stamped for entering Australia.

Made it just in time for my bridge class.  I’m looking forward to sharing what I learned today with my Sarasota bridge groups.  I had never heard of this convention which is an alternative to Gerber and Blackwood.  It’s called Roman Key Card Blackwood.  I was a bit skeptical about it, but after seeing how it works, it really is a great convention.  Any of my bridge friends ever hear of it before??  It was brand new to me . . and not in any of my bridge books I brought with me.  So, that was a good class and I learned something new.

Headed straight to the cooking demo which featured the famous Australia meat pies.  Ended up with two recipes – the American version and the true Australian one.  It is a staple on lunch menus in Australia and a quick food to grab and take to a park bench to enjoy (especially with a good Aussie beer!)

Quick lunch with Doug and then off to another food demo – the Australian dessert – lamingtons.  It is basically a sponge cake, dipped in chocolate and then rolled in coconut.  But the sponge cake is home made and then chilled in individual pieces before coated in a warm chocolate thin frosting.  It was really good so I’ll be serving these as snacks at the bridge table or for book club!

And my final learning experience of the day was attending an Exploration Speaker Series lecture about the Aborigines and how they came to Australia, how they lived and interacted with the Europeans who colonized this country and the issues resulting from this.  It was fairly interesting.  However, I have to say, I’ve been disappointed with the speakers Holland America has had so far on this cruise.  The topics have been very similar and limited in scope.  Doug agrees and has not been keen about going to any of them either – and he went to almost all of them on our last cruise.

Worked on my Blog before dinner.  Unfortunately, Charlie is really sick and was not able to come to dinner.  So it was just Doug and me plus Lynn and Terry.  It was nice to catch up with them after many days of not dining together. 

Went to the show tonight.  It was our first time to go see the Amsterdam singers.  They did a special pre-Valentine “Look of Love” singing program.  They were the old, old songs we grew up on. 

Before heading back to the cabin, we took a stroll around the 3rd floorP1040970 deck.  And I’m so glad we did.  This picture shows the dark clouds over the last of the sunset with a crescent moon at the top right.  It almost looked like a ring of fire on top of the ocean.  It was really cool to see.

All in all, a great and very busy day at sea.

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