Smooth sailing

Trip Start Mar 17, 2012
Trip End Jun 26, 2012

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Princess Emerald

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Friday, April 27, 2012

At last! After 2 hours we are finally aboard. The line has dissipated into the enormous void in front of us and we spend the next 30 minutes trying to orientate ourselves with 16 stories of ship amenities before heading off to the statutory muster (emergency drill) which is being held in the 2 level theatre.

With formalities over we are now free for the next 27 days of what we hope will be a well-earned rest and lots more fun and excitement. We make our way out on deck for the Sail Away Party after which we will ponder our activity time whilst the ship sails trans-Atlantic for 6 days to our first port of call Ponta Delgada in the Azores, Portugal. Needless to say, our pondering will be assisted with an exhaustive list of activities, dining venues, pools and hot tubs, sporting venues, theatres (live and movie), health and spa facilities, shopping venues (not more!), lectures, games, etc. etc. etc.

How will I find any time to write this blog!!

April 27, 2012

We are sailing a Great Circle Route towards Ponta Delgada. A Great Circle is the shortest route between 2 points on the Earth’s surface due to it being a sphere. The weather is fine, the seas are calm and the sky is blue. (So far, so good).

April 28, 2012

We enter the waters of the Bermuda Triangle. It is a 1 million square mile body of water between the Bermuda Islands, Puerto Rico and Key West in Florida. If this is the last entry you will know what has happened!

April 29, 2012

We steam ahead, 30 nautical miles to the north of Bermuda. One knot is one nautical mile per hour. One nautical mile being equal to one minute of latitude at that point. The name originated in the early days when a log chip, a triangular piece of wood, was streamed astern, thus remaining stationary in the water, whilst the attached line was fed out of the stern as the vessel moved forward. The line was knotted every 17 yards and the number of knots over the stern in one half minute intervals (measured with a sand glass) determined the speed of the ship.

April 30, 2012

We maintain an easterly course on our way to Ponta Delgada.  From both starboard and port sides of the ship it is a sea of blue for as far as the eye can see (except for the occasional pod of dolphins jumping out of the water as they frolic alongside the ship). The origins of the terms ‘port’ and ‘starboard’ derive from the days before ships were fitted with rudders as a means of steering. In these days the ship was steered by means of a long, large bladed oar known as the ‘steer board’. As most sailors were right handed they would stand on the right hand side of the vessel, when facing forward, to steer the ship, and therefore this side became known as the steerboard side – corrupted over the years to starboard side. Due to the location of the steering oar on the right hand side of the vessel, to avoid damage to the steering oar, ships would always come alongside a berth with the left hand side to the quay. Therefore this was referred to as the ‘port’ side of the vessel.

1 May, 2012

This is the last day of the 6 day stretch at sea. Today and the last 3 days have been 23 hour days as the time clocks have been moved forward 1 hour each day as we travel east. The seas have been calm and the skies blue with intermittent clouds. The temperature has been slowly dropping about 1⁰C each day as our movement east also rises in a northerly direction.
The ship’s activity schedule has offered a plethora of choice – so much so that there is not enough time to participate in all those that one could select as being of interest. It really becomes a choice of priorities and how much sleep deprivation you are able to tolerate.

Tomorrow is our first port of call, Ponta Delgada. We have a private tour arranged with two other couples and look forward to becoming land-lubbers for a day.  
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Leonie on

Looks like you are doing it tough!!! Enjoy!!!

Jeff Morris on

Can't believe you guys are only half way through the trip. Phil, I haven't seen the boat you were going in to buy in Fort Lauderdale. Remember I was going to help look after it. I'll organise the birth just let me know whether it's 45ft or 50 OR BIGGER.
P.S. Dollar just fell below parity, a little better for us back here, a little dearer for you.

Jeff Morris on

I've never read so much. Have almost taught myself how to spell

christina on

Such a hard life!!!!...............enjoy enjoy

Louise on

No golf for us today Gail. Sounds like you guys having so much fun,,,
Enjoy ur beautiful weather not so good here.

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