Day 3 – Sea Day 1 of 2

Oriana looks like I feel. Really, really tired. Her chair upholstery is fraying, the carpet is in holes in so many places, it constitutes a genuine trip hazard in some corridors, and the rust is definitely winning the war against the white paint of the window sills. She is due for a refit soon and, frankly, she needs it. By rather stark contrast, all the shower heads appear to be brand new. They are deluge-style, big, flat heads, but on handles, if that makes sense, so you can move them about. They also seem to have a raindrop effect, whereby the water flow is not constant, but comes out in big droplets, so you feel like you’re in a tropical rain shower. It really is rather lovely.

Today I found a Terry Pratchett book in the library that I don’t think I’ve read. I have borrowed it, but I haven’t started it yet.

Things I have learned today #1: On average, 13 people die every day on the Mumbai rail network. Feel free to read that again. 13 people each day. That’s over 4700 people a year.  You think your public transport is bad? However, crowded, smelly or late it may be, at least it isn’t actually killing you.

If you listen to the Shipping Forecast, you’ll probably be far more excited by the coming paragraph than my readers who do not.

Things I have learned today #2: The record for the longest period of habitation on Rockall is 45 consecutive days. Rockall is British territory, but it is, quite literally, just a large rock about 80 miles from the mainland. Whoever named it did not lack for imagination, just material. We passed it today at about 3pm ship’s time (4pm BST).  I tried to take a photo, but it was very misty, so i don’t know how well it will come out.  In view of my love of the Shipping Forecast, I was quite unbecomingly excited about seeing a place I had heard of for so many years. It was a magical moment, for me at least.

On the up side, the mist is holding down the water and we aren’t moving about as much as before. Although we do have the stabilisers out, so I’m not sure how much credit can really be given to the weather alone. In case you are imagining little wheels like you had on your first bike, and wondering what use those would be at sea, our stabilisers are triangular wings that extend out at the sides at sea level, which fill with water and prevent the ship from leaning over too far in either direction. Rather like the little wheels stopped your bike from tipping over too far and pitching you to the pavement.

On the downside, my next door cabin neighbour is a singer and she is performing for the second time later today. Last time, she did scales and warm-ups in her cabin for over three hours, and she has just started up again now.  So much for my afternoon nap plans! Although as I slept for ten hours last night, I don’t actually think I need one. I feel positively perky. Well, by my standards, anyway.

Having typed the above, I then slept for two hours straight. Well, to be fair, a little bit of ship movement just feels like you are being rocked like a baby, so everyone is sleeping a lot. It’s very soothing. Honest.

Things I have learned today #3: The herd immunity level of vaccination necessary to eradicate rabies in dogs is 70%. Now you know.

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