7th Jan 2014
This is the second attempt at writing the inaugural Missive of 2014. Unfortunately our initial version, which I may add was quite a brilliant piece of entertaining prose from Mr M, somehow disappeared into cyber space. We were under the assumption that all documents are automatically saved using the IPad, but t'is not so.....a hard lesson learned, but one which so incensed Mal that he has refused to rewrite.....!
As some will recall, last year in April the Gilbeys sailed on the Cunard ship Queen Mary from Fremantle to Southampton. It took us via South Africa, the Canary Islands and
Spain. However, by the time we reached the UK some 31 days later we had enjoyed the experience so much that we weren't ready to disembark. Therefore, when Cunard made us an offer of a 60 day cruise to return to Oz on the Queen Victoria, via South America and the Pacific, we could hardly refuse. So it was that on 2nd January we said good bye to our good friends Mitch and Richard who had suffered our comings and goings since May to made our way back to Southampton, on rather a lovely sunny winter's day.
The boarding procedures were very efficient and we were soon in our cabin, with all our "dress up" clothes neatly hung. As we slipped away from the docks the Imperial Military Band played rousing sea shanties and a huge firework display celebrated our departure. Out of the Sound, onto the high seas, across the Bay of Biscay and (to what we thought would be our our first port of call) six days later, Punta Del Garda in the Azores.
Inclement weather in the Northern Hemisphere has been the first item on the daily news, as a huge Polar Vortex stretching southwards from the arctic towards the tropics and across the
Atlantic, has caused freezing temps in North
America; and in the UK, high winds, torrential rain, storm surges and flooding. The good ship QV is of course caught in the middle, in some of the roughest sea conditions this ship and it's crew have ever experienced. The ship has creaked and groaned as she's ascended large 7+ metre swells and shuddered when dropping into the void. Cups, glasses, and trays have slid off tables; passengers and crew have succumbed to the scourge of the oceans "seasickness", and the open decks have been out of bounds. Mal and I have been lucky, and have not been affected by the rocking and rolling, except for a rather odd walking gait in order to remain upright. We are amongst some of the younger passengers and even for us
trying to maintain an elegant poise whist getting from A to B is quite entertaining, as we career from one wall to another or to anything solid, taking frequent sidesteps. For the older, less able passengers it is a hazardous occupation even leaving their cabins, so many haven't. The best analogy is to visualise a pin ball machine with the guests as the ball, bouncing off solid objects and anything in their path. Numbers of guests are now to be spotted wearing slings as the odd arm and wrist has sadly been used in futile attempts to keep bodies off walls, it hasn't worked. Despite the raging storm, life goes on; we were invited to the Captains cocktail party, so dressed in our finery we attended, as did many others, sensibly I wore low heeled shoes, some did not. The first serious lurch of the ship sent a number of…