More From The Placid Pacific

Aboard the Norwegian Star

sunset through and inversionThe Sun has just set. I am sitting on our balcony, but the door to the cabin is open. It is comfortably mild (76&#176)with low humidity. There is not a cloud in the sky – OK one, but that’s it.

Our photographers at work refer to this time of day as ‘golden light.’ I know what they mean, and it’s even more obvious at sea. The setting sun created a brilliant cross between copper and gold on the water’s surface. This glistening area moved as the swells moved.

golden light on the Pacific OceanThere is an inversion – an area above us where temperatures rise with height instead of fall. I can tell because I was able to track the smoke trail from the few other ships I have seen over very long distances. Instead of continuing to rise and mix out, they hold steady at one level – a long tail of smoke.

A ship produces a lot of smoke and it’s 24/7. Of course, you can’t judge this smoke against a single car, bus or truck. Our ship is carrying around 3,000 passengers and crew. The ships passing by are carry enough containers to fill hundreds, if not thousands, of trucks.

On my TV, the readout shows 26&#176 38.47″ N 114&#176 37.58″ W. We are somewhere near the southern end of Baja California, holding a course of 140&#176 at 21.4 knots (24.6 mph).

Or cabin is on the starboard side, so we’re facing west as we head toward Manzanillo. No land is visible.

I do hear some conversations from the deck below from time-to-time and, a few minutes ago, a conversation with raised voices in some Scandinavian language, from the folks next door.

I wanted to play Hold’em and did participate in a tournament this afternoon. I was quickly gone. Unfortunately, the way these tournaments are structured, the blinds (forced bets) are so large as to award luck over skill.

I’ll play again later, with reduced expectations.

Norwegian Star pool areaI explored the ship earlier today. Parts of it represent the modern concept of cruising, like the restaurants, casino, theater and pools.

You’re never far from food, even at the pool. I guess that’s old school.

pool bandThough there are other areas as well, the pool is the main location for getting a tan. Through the day, there is a prototypical cruise band. They haven’t played “Red, Red Wine” yet… but they will. I did hear Gene Chandler’s “Groovy Situation,” played Reggae style. Very strange.

One of my favorite spots is the promenade on Deck 7. On this deck you’re walking below the massive lifeboats. Along the side, all manner of lifesaving equipment.

Emergency escape instructionsI have been reading the instructions for some of the evacuation devices. It’s gonna be pretty awful before I slide down a chute or lower myself in a rope harness with a winch!

Deck 7 reminds me of what sea travel must have been like 50-75 years ago. Even the areas of teak deck seem out of time when contrasted with the rest of the ship.

I’ve spent more time than I’d like uploading blog entries and photos. We’ve got Internet access – but barely.

Email is nearly impossible to get going. My mail server isn’t responding at The ship’s mail server isn’t much better.

Unless it’s really important, it will just have to wait a week. How 20th Century!

Helaine and Stef have decided we’ll have dinner at Versailles tonight. It is the largest of the dining rooms and has huge windows looking directly at where we’ve been.

This really is the good life.

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