29th April

Dear readers, I write as we about to enter the north-east Providence channel, as we start to weave our way through the Bahamian islands, eventually crossing the Straits of Florida and Port Everglades beckons tomorrow morning, after almost 32,000 miles and all sorts of sights and adventures.

Since leaving Funchal we have crossed the North Atlantic, unfortunately not in a straight line.  This was due to 2 weather depressions, which definitely needed to be avoided, they had 5 metre seas in their centres and accompanying high winds.  Both involved a dodge to the south-west, deftly avoiding the worst of the weather although, had we kept going on my courses to avoid the 2nd one, we would have ended up in Venezuela 🙄  

I have had a myriad of dinners, events and social functions, I’ve eaten my way across the Atlantic! Nevertheless it has been a reasonable crossing and I have gained the nickname “storm dodger” .  

Thank you for my birthday wishes, (I hit 65 yesterday). Karen and I were trying to keep it reasonably quiet, however we were stymied by an entry in the daily programme, stating this fact, it’s not often that one is ‘wished’ Happy Birthday 800 times.  

I was caught completely by surprise in the evening, not often that happens, I can tell you.  Believing that K1 and I were having a quiet dinner together, we ambled down to our Pinnacle Restaurant.  It was not very busy and Tina, the manager, asked me which table I would like; I pointed one out and i progressed towards it.  I had noticed that the doors to the large table, (where I hold my formal dinners), had its doors slightly ajar, the glow of the low lighting could be seen through the gap.  It was then that Tina started to slide the doors open and there, in the semi-darkness, were the entire ‘mob’ and also officers and their wives, I was dumbfounded and must have looked it too.  What transpired was a wonderful Indian dinner, (one of my favourites), curry and spicy food, prepared by some of our Indian chefs, what a treat and a lovely way to end the day.  

I disembark tomorrow of course, then I have a day in Florida before flying to Amsterdam, Netherlands.  Here is the 3rd and last Captain’s conference.  A ‘heads-together’ with captains from the Group and senior executives.  I am then going to see my ‘babies’, (the big ones and the small) before heading back to Florida.  I started posting on Instagram during the World voyage and neglected to tell you.  If you are familiar with the programme, I go under ‘djmercer51’, so you can catch up if you like.  All being well, I will post while off the ship, obviously not as frequently and you might not want to read about life ashore anyway  😀   I rejoin the Amsterdam in Seattle, ready to go to the Great Land, Alaska once more and this will be at the end of July.

I wish you all well and I’ll ‘see’ you again soon.