A daily diary of our cruise across the Atlantic, continued from last entry. Days 6 to 16
Day 6 – 15th May
Day 6 – 15th May
|Antigua harbour from the ship|
|A photo of a photo. English harbour & Nelsons Dockyard, Antigua|
We liked it, but it was hot, though there was a sea breeze making it just about bearable and the laid back Afro-Caribbean people were a delight, always friendly and we felt absolutely safe, with never a thought that we were going to be ripped off or have our pockets picked.
|Nelsons Dockyard from our vantage point. The narrow entrance is in the distance to the right|
|The old capstan yard where ships were tipped over for maintenance|
English harbour is an almost landlocked body of water with a single narrow entrance surrounded by high hills and is a natural hurricane shelter, recognised as such in 1671 when three vessels in the harbour survived a storm while ships in every other harbour sank. It was developed as dockyard and refit area in 1745 to allow the British Navy to keep a squadron of ships permanently in the Caribbean to protect the sugar trade and Admiral Nelson himself was stationed here from 1784 to 1787.
|Clarence House is on the hill. Apparently Prince Harry was there last year|
|On the old fortifications at English Harbour looking out to sea|
|Odd seeing these in the Caribbean|
|Old building typical of St Johns, Antigua|
Day 7 – 16th May
(position @ 09:50: 18° 27.199’ N 058° 29.630’W –2621 Nautical miles to Madeira. Speed: 31km/hr. Clocks forward 1 hour today – third time, first hour for Panama, second hour between Cartagena and St Maarten)
|Jackie with Carol|
|The pool area and hot tubs - very busy when the sun was out|
|The central area of the ship|
Day 8 – 17th May
(position @ 09:50: 20° 43.671’N 052° 07.271’W – 1872 Nautical miles to Madeira. Speed: 31km/hr)
Feeling much better today, was it sea sickness or a hangover? But sea much calmer today so I’m going for seasickness! Chats with a few people, Patrick, Victor, the young German, Phil on the cruise with his dad, gave him our ‘card’ with the blog and trusted housesitters code on for 20% discount as he was interested in our experiences and the Canadian couple who’ve just become grandparents for the fourth time whilst on the cruise. He suffers seasickness too and he offered me one of his pills after we exchanged stories last night whilst waiting to go in for dinner. I refused, but it was very nice of him to offer.
|Jackie and Jimmy saving seats in the theatre for the evening show|
|The long journey across the Atlantic with nothing in sight|
Day 9 – 18th May
(position @ 10:20: 22° 55.941N 045° 51.011W – 1497 Nautical Miles to Madeira. Clocks forward 1 hour today)
|Our fellow evening diners. Jimmy & Jean (L), Carol and Eric (R)|
Highlight of the day was the muster drill at 11:00 involving all crew and passengers but, as it was raining we didn’t have to go outside to the proper muster station by the lifeboats but instead to the restaurants (ships obviously don’t sink in bad weather). Came out of our cabin to find someone had already put a notice outside our door saying that we had already evacuated (a bit worrying that no-one had even knocked the door or looked inside, what would have happened in a real emergency?). Got our names ticked off in the restaurant and sat while chaos prevailed, many people arriving late and sitting down without getting their names ticked off, others forming a big queue behind flustered staff. Not sure what would happen in a real emergency with people in a panic, but let’s hope it doesn’t occur!
|Jean & Jimmy|
|Carol and Eric|
|Our Spanish diners, Andre and Natalie|
Day 10 – 19th May
(position @ 10:25: 25° 02.669’ N 039° 44.646’W – 1123 Nautical miles to Madeira)
|We did see some nice sunsets (usually watched with a cocktail!)|
|The climbing wall on board|
|Jackie getting ready to climb|
|Off she goes - with ease!|
Day 11 – 20th May
(position@ 11:00: 27° 06.424’ N 033° 40.677’ W – 748 Nautical miles to Madeira, clocks forward one hour)
Woke up feeling remarkably good, but very tired. Only just made breakfast, so very quiet, though I am tempted by the climbing wall, it may be gym today and wall tomorrow.
So it was, gym followed by 15 minutes each side in the sun, sometime after 17.00 so I felt I could get away without sunblock. On leaving dinner, last as usual, I had to stop Brian running to the assistance of a guy who had fallen down the stairs, something about it just didn’t look right, it was a joy when it turned into a flash mob, a lovely little treat. Early night with a movie, but by the time we’ve had dinner, and moved the clocks on an hour it’s midnight.
Day 12 – 21st May
(position @ 09:50: 29° 02.637’ N 027° 52.686’ W – 498 Nautical miles to Madeira, clocks forward one hour)
|Attaching an extra hold|
Up at a much more sensible time today, to find breakfast virtually empty. I passed by at 10.15 to see it rammed, half the ship trying to eat in the last 15 minutes. I’m almost not bothering, lunch food being much more interesting than breakfast food, so I’m always ready for lunch way before Brian, but we don’t have to go together….
OK, is today the day for the climbing wall? After watching a rubbish movie on the TV, I thought it was, but instead of getting quieter as time has gone on as the staff predicted, it’s got busier, oh well B was enjoying the OK Sandra Bullock movie set in Bolivia so he can watch the end of that.
The table group, less the Spaniards sat together to watch the show which is nice, and the show wasn’t bad.
Day 13 – 22nd May
(position@ 09:50: 30° 58.386’N 021° 59.461’W – 249 Nautical miles to Madeira, clocks forward one hour)
|The day of the incredibly calm ocean, only ripples from our ship|
|Land for the first time in a week. This is Funchal on Madeira. That's our ship in the distance on the left|
|Gardens in Funchal centre|
Day 14 – 23rd May
(position: Port of Funchal, Madeira)
|Not sure what happened to that tree|
First stop was the Fortaleza de Nossa Senhora da Conceicao at the head of the pier on which we had docked. It’s a 17th century fort that served as a checkpoint for all ships entering. We didn’t go in but went through the tunnel underneath which is the main access to the island.
|That building (or pile of rocks) is a separate country, Pontinha, the smallest country in the world and also the oldest building in Madeira, visited by Christopher Columbus and Captain Cook (not at the same time!)|
|Prince Renato II of the country Pontinha!|
|And the official recognition|
Had lunch at a nice restaurant, walked up to the Forte de Sao Joao Baptista at 111m above sea level to find it closed, but we still got the view of the city and our ship dwarfed by the huge cruise ship docked alongside – and I thought our ship was big!
|And plenty of cats for Jackie to stroke|
Day 15 – 24th May
(position @ 10:15: 35° 24.704’N, 013° 11.220’W – 264 Nautical miles to Lisbon)
|The fish market|
|More market photos|
|A street in old town Funchal|
|The historic Sao Tiago Fort in Funchal|
|And we thought our ship was big, but look at ours on the left compared with that monster on the right!|
|Classic cars in the courtyard of Sao Tiago Fort|
|Our ship from the battlements of the fort|
|Through one of the windows in the fort. Art?|
|More attempted art. Our ship through another window in the fort|
|Jackie on guard duty!|