19th January

19th January  – don’t ask what day it is, I have no idea

It’s a sea day. I know that much. I think it’s sea day two of four. Probably. And we are now at GMT -2, which means that when I look at the clock it says 8.30am, but my brain is saying it’s 10.30am and that, really, even I should be vertical by now. Jet lag is rubbish in any direction and at any speed. Anyone who tells you that doing it one hour at a time makes it easier is a rotten fibber, and you should check their undergarments are not smouldering.

Having internet connection issues, which is very annoying. May have to go and have a word with someone. Can’t stand much more of this. It’s both irritating and expensive, and I don’t see why we should be stuck with it. Like paying 20p a minute isn’t extortionate enough already, that doesn’t even get you a decent enough signal to do anything useful! And, yes, that does equate to £12 an hour. Which is more than I pay per month at home. It’s eye-watering, and I think it most unkind that even that does not ensure we get a decent signal so we can do the things we are trying to. P&O are quite shameless on this. Other lines give their passengers free wifi, but P&O is quite happy to keep fleecing us. It makes me very sad, that I am just so obviously and blatantly a cash cow to them. Not content with making me pay twice for every morsel of food I eat (single person uplift is 75%), they then squeeze me again on the internet fees. I may have to severely restrict my usage, in which case, these posts may become significantly more sporadic. There are, of course, only 30-odd ports on this cruise, so if I have money problems, I will have to reduce my blog postings to when I am in port and can get cheap/free wifi to do the uploading. It doesn’t take long, even on board, but I am starting to resent every single second. If I had a decent signal, then it might seem reasonable, but right now, I’m afraid it does not.

1500 UPDATE: Have found a decent signal. Sadly, at, take a guess, yup, The Other End of the Ship. Typical.

It is 28 in the shade today, which is a bit of a jump from the 24 of yesterday, but it is the humidity that is knocking people sideways. The air is so moist that simply walking across deck entails a layer of moisture sticking to your skin. I feel like a Coke bottle straight out of the fridge. The moisture just coalesces out of the air because your skin is cooler than the air around you. It is really dreadfully stuffy, even outdoors. And I’m drenched – not all sweat, mostly humidity. I suppose I should sit out in it, in order to acclimatise, but after four hours in the shade already, the novelty has worn off, so I’ve come indoors for a bit. Might be time to dig out the cozzie and take the plunge. Literally. May even have to actually go out in the sun, but I’m not sure there’s enough sun cream in the world! Even if I swim, I will definitely need my sun hat. Now all I have to do is find it…

  1. I am quite sure that when I go on about how much more fierce the sunlight and burn risk is when you are at sea, you all just nod and say, ‘yeah, yeah, we believe you; it can’t be THAT much stronger’. So I will add here a photo of my sunburn, incurred today, in the SHADE. I did not, at any point, venture out into direct sunlight. This is what you get in the SHADE. And yes, it is quite sore, thanks for asking.

Film update: Went to the (now working) cinema and saw The Man From UNCLE. Not bad. Not sure about some of the handheld camerawork, Mr Ritchie, but other than that, very enjoyable.

A few ship facts I have learned:

Arcadia can produce/desalinate 250 tonnes of drinking water per day. We use 700 tonnes a day. So we top up in every port.

As we use up the fuel in our tanks, we have to let in sea water as ballast to stop us from popping up out of the water and being too light. When we change oceans, we have to change the ballast water. When we get to some ports, they will test our ballast water, to ensure it not from the wrong ocean. During the Cold War, both sides deliberately took the wrong water and dumped it in the other side’s water – Russia put the wrong water into the Great Lakes and the Americans put the wrong water into the Black Sea. The fungus and bacteria makeup is so different in different waters, that you can destroy entire fish stocks and eco systems in this way.

Our fuel consumption is nineteen feet per gallon.

It takes us about ten minutes to travel one minute of arc, so to speak. We are big circle sailing, because the shortest distance around a sphere (or an oblate spheroid, for that matter) is not in a straight line.

The captain said we would cross the Equator at 3.30am. He was wrong. By 20 seconds. See photo.

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