The Banks - Half a World Away travel blog

First day back at sea after leaving Hawai’i behind, as we sail towards San Francisco, in a north-easterly direction.

This means straight into the oncoming North East trade winds.

Today the wind speed reached Force 8, which in plain English means Pretty Blowy, or, for those who know the area, “Southwold on a medium day”.

Our balcony caught what sun was going until about midday (* see below), but as we are now heading north east, what sun there was went off after that so we had to find a spot in the only open deck area.

Most of the outside deck areas and walkways are closed “for your safety”, (we are way past small passengers being swept overboard – we are now worried about lifeboats being blown adrift….) except for the area round the pool at the back of deck 9, which in consequence is/was pretty crowded. However, many people seem not to have been brought up in Southwold or anywhere near, as they seem to regard a bit of a passing draught as “too windy”, and consequently don’t occupy the chairs for long at a time. If they are not sat in again straight away, even the large wicker armchairs could easily take off….The temperature remains around 23 degrees, so sitting out is quite warm enough, just “a bit fresh”, and not all that sunny (plenty of cloud).

The other side-effect of this wind is that the sea is a bit choppy (it was officially described on the ship’s own information channel as “rough”) which basically means the ship is going up and down like a fairground ride only less predictable. It makes a simple walk along a corridor into a kind of gamble – which side wall will I hit first ? – and a table at dinner can be joined any minute by a passing passenger staggering into your soup on the way past.

* Time

We are becoming quite disorientated by the constant tiddling with the ship’s time. You will recall how it felt to lose the hour when your clocks went forward ten days ago ? Over the last 12 days, we have had 7 days when we have lost the hour between midday and 1pm. As he got older, my Dad was constantly complaining that “God doesn’t make afternoons any more”, conveniently shifting the blame for the fact that he had an afternoon nap every day. I am beginning to know how he felt. One minute it is a quarter to twelve and just about coffee time, (since breakfast didn’t finish till gone 10am), by the time the kettle has boiled and the coffee made, it is a quarter past 1pm. It is like having jet-lag in instalments ! I think we have one more hour to lose before San Francisco on Monday, but then we should remain on the same time zone for a week or so as we move down the coast, which will be nice.

By the end of today we are 10 hours out from you, with 28 days to catch up in, so I guess this is going to keep happening. I feel like making a lot of midday lunch dates when we get back, just for the pleasure of enjoying that missing hour !

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