Day 10, Wednesday, Feb 9, At Sea, Informal

Trip Start Jan 26, 2011
Trip End Feb 13, 2011

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Flag of Fiji  , Viti Levu,
Wednesday, February 9, 2011

While my walk started off at the usual time the morning weather was not very cooperative.  There was initially a light drizzle which was no problem with the shelter of the verandas hanging over the promenade deck, but after about a mile the rain got heaver and became somewhat wind driven.  I walked a little at a time and by the time the organized activities began I had completed just under 5 of my intended 6 miles and passed on the leki poles as the bow was wet and pitching a bit.  The weather became much nicer in the course of the day and I completed the final mile in mid-afternoon. 
There was a very full day of activities on the ship.  Things started off with "Protestant Perspectives" led by Pastor Ed Voosen talking about the Sermon on the Mount.  David Drewry spoke on "Losing Paradise" on the threatened status of our coral reefs.  David Davenport spoke on "The Tug of War over the US Constitution", commenting on current hot button issues (gay marriage, immigration, and health care reform) in the context of the Constitutional tug of war between the Federal Government and the states.  I missed the first part of that lecture for New Zealand Immigration Checks but caught it later on TV.  After lunch Joel Zuckerman spoke on "If we couldn't laugh, we'd probably cry -- The Humorous side of Golf".  It was interesting that by a show of hands, probably less than a third of the audience appeared to be regular golfers.  Dr. David Sholiton presented an afternoon lecture on "Common Eye Complaints" while there was a concurrent galley tour.  I had planned on attending Dr. Sholiton's lecture but completely forgot it and spent some time at the pool enjoying a spectacular afternoon instead.

Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda had another reasonably good but not winning session getting 12 of 22 points while other teams had scores of 7 up to 13.  People left Palm Court quite promptly after team trivia as a wonderful Jazz Brunch was underway in the Crystal Plaza.

Six of the eight at our table enjoyed a wonderful dinner (2 had special plans with other groups).  I enjoyed a wonderful duck, followed by a superb Peach Flambe prepared by our headwaiter.  A bit of a funk is developing at our table as 3 of us will have to say goodbye to the group in Auckland.  Our travel consortium held a second cocktail party this evening followed immediately by a performance in the Stardust Club by Pianist Naki Ataman.  Mr. Ataman performs on a theme "Around the World" with a very lively program combining music from many countries in rapid succession.  I cannot remember exactly when, but this is the second time I have enjoyed Mr. Ataman's music.  Over about an hour of nonstop playing Mr. Ataman presented music and beautiful photographs from countries representing all the major continents. I felt fortunate to have been to or have current plans for all but 2 (Cuba and Brazil) and to have visited 10 of them with Crystal Cruises.  Another unfortunate message was waiting when I returned from the performance, my disembarkation instructions, but still relatively civilized.  I am due to leave the ship at 9:50 Saturday morning, spend some time at Auckland's Crown Plaza Hotel, and arrive at Auckland airport 3 hours before my 7:30pm flight.

As today's parting shot, I started the day's activities with music in Pastor Voosen's sessions discussing hymns and how they inspire us.  In midday, I was entertained by Jazz at our brunch.  In the evening we were transported around the world in music.  It is incredible the number of ways music can enrich our lives.

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