Wednesday 17th February
Three days at sea before our next port of call at another of one of the Cape Verde islands.
A letter was delivered to our cabin today regarding the excursion in Salvador a few day ago. It seemed that quite a few people had complained about missing out the Fortress and the 'unsatisfactory' lunch. The letter, from the Deputy Shore Excursion Manager, informed us that we would be given a 25% partial refund off the excursion price. That was nice to hear, even though we weren't one of those that complained, but the letter was poorly written with several spelling mistakes in one paragraph!
We crossed back over the Equator at 16.30 today and there were Marco Polo style Olympic Games on the Pool Deck to celebrate. A team of 4 passengers (the usual suspects) against a team from the ET. Lots of water, ballon popping and t-shirts on and off!
The evening's entertainment was non-stop starting with the Generation Game - passengers teamed up with a member of the ET (who are all 'young' compared to the passengers!). Most of the ET had never seen the programme because they were too young and one was from Romania so he had not seen it either! But it was very entertaining as they tried their hand at fruit carving, toilet paper mummies, and stick the Latin named body part sticker in the right place on your partner. The passenger in the final won all the items on the conveyor belt which included things like a Marco Polo Calendar, keyring, and bookmark, a cocktail of the day, a Marco Polo tote bag, drawstring bag, the 50th Anniversary Marco Polo hardback book and of course...a cuddly toy!
Then it was up to Scott's Bar to watch an hour of Karaoke before Pauline Daniels' Late Night Stand up Comedy Show 'not for the easily offended'. Very funny lady!
Increasing swells overnight hat rocked us to sleep not so gently. Sea Bands on!
Thursday 18th February
Lovely sunny day, 27 degC at midday. Sea depth 3098 metres below us (that's 3 kilometres!), swells up to 3 metres & strong winds. Captain makes his standard announcement about using the handrails when moving around the ship and not to use the bar stools if you feel unsteady. He tells us again that the stabilisers have been fully extended for our comfort.
Did you know? Facts from the daily programme - Marco Polo is still powered by her original 1965 engines, which are still running faultlessly (thank goodness!). A modern 1990 addition of 4 diesel generators provide electrical power for the whole ship, including the bow thrusters, the fin stabilisers (in full use today), the handling equipment, refrigeration, air conditioning, lighting and domestic power sockets. The ship is also fitted with an osmosis fresh water plant producing 17 tons of freshwater from sea water per hour to meet the ship's average consumption of up to 300 tons per day!
Took sea sickness tablets today so that at 2pm I could watch Pauline Daniels reciting two of Alan Bennet's Talking Heads - 'A Lady of Letters' and 'The Cracker under the Settee'. The lady sitting next to me thought both were hilarious and laughed out loud at every slightly funny line. They weren't that funny! It was also a Formal night tonight and the evening show was 'Love is in the Air - a set of romantic tunes to melt your heart' very nice, but I was hanging on to my seat near the end as the ship went up and down.
Clocks forward an hour tonight.