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Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Day 13 - Friday 3rd Jan - VERY Big Waves

You can't sleep easy on board ship when the sea's a bit choppy, mostly because the bed is playing chuck-the-person-on-the-floor games. It tries tip you out and if at first it didn't succeed, it tried, tried and tried again. The flaming thing didn't give up, tipping you one way, then another. Yep! The prediction of rough seas from midnight was accurate,

In the morning, Peter and I were up late and with the floor lifting this way and that, we decided we couldn't be bothered to race upstairs for breakfast.  So at about 10 am, we were sat on our beds, supping a fresh cuppa when the captain's voice came over the tannoy system. The captain's voice is always Bad News, it's like he only comes on when everyone else is too scared to tell us the news.  So we listened intently

Basically he warned that the sea was getting too rough and unpredictable. The lunges and lurches it was making in all directions were too severe.  People were being toppled over like skittles and moving around the ship was not safe.  People in cabins were told to stay put, people in lounges on deck 8 were told to sit and stay sat!

That there Captain wasn't wrong!  Every so often, the ships made a massive lurch and everything moved in that direction. In our cabin in the bowels of the ship, Peter's had to tape the drawers shut again, as we hung on to the beds.  We worked out it must be a lot worse on the upper decks. Without portholes, we couldn't see out, but weirdly despite the room rocking back and forth, I didn't feel nauseous, so I must have found me sea-legs.

There were several announcements as the morning wore on, constantly telling people to stay put. Peter (setting a poor example!), went upstairs to find out whether or not his classes would go ahead. He was told that the foul weather was expected to continue for another five hour and that some waves had been big enough to crash against the windows on deck 8.  Think about that........  deck 8 is 5 decks above the (calm) waterline of the ship, which means those waves were somewhere around 40-50 ft mebbe?  That's both awesome and scary!

At about 12 pm, we were told that staff would bring a cold lunch to the cabin. We had to wait of course, cos we were in the cheap seats at the bottom of the ship. Luckily, we had a tin of peanuts, a bar of chocolate, and 10 litres of mineral water to keep us going.

The warnings about not moving continued until about 5pm when the first bit of good news arrived, an evening meal could be served in the Waldorf Restaurant on deck 6, and the bar in the Captains club on deck 8 would also be open later.

Even as we went for our meal at 8.15pm,  the ship was still lurching this way and that.  Sitting at our table, I could see the waves rising to the level of our windows  (still about 30ft then).  We've never eaten in the Waldorf before, and I have to say, it was a very pleasant experience.  The food was good, the waitress who looked after us was incredibly efficient and the atmosphere of the place was really nice.  I told Peter we might just have to do it again, on formal nights perhaps.  

And as for the weather?  Well, it did finally start to ease.  We actually managed to sit in the Captains club for an hour or so later and no-one got tipped out of a chair once!  And when we went to bed, we slept very soundly as the beds seemed to have given up their games for now.

Tomorrow we'll be in Le Havre.  Everyone is very relieved at the thought of Terra Firma.  It's the firm bit their all interested in.  

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