Friday 12th – Sea Day 4 of 9
It has finally dawned on me why we have little or no internet or television signal here. We are officially in the middle of nowhere. Easter Island (tomorrow) is the most isolated inhabited place on Earth, and we are nearly there. So the satellites don’t bother sending their footprint down here, because there is virtually no one to receive the signal. We rarely see another ship. This does make me feel a little vulnerable. We probably have GPS and radar, but with no satellite communications whatsoever, we are, to put it bluntly, on our own. This is probably the most isolated we can ever be – as a ship and as human beings. None of our tech will help us here. We might as well be a 1930s cruise liner – once you sail, that’s it til you get to the next bit of land. No one will help you on the inbetween bit. No one can. There’s no point in having an accurate GPS signal if you can’t communicate it to anyone else. It’s a surprisingly vertiginous feeling to know that you are pretty much cut off and on your own. This is where the quality of the Bridge team and Engineering really matter. This is the bit where they earn their money, by keeping us safe and keeping us moving. This is not somewhere you want to break down. You’re thousands of miles from the nearest tow.
You are also stuffed as regards the weather forecast. They don’t think there is anyone here either. The forecast, on Sky or BBC or whatever, jumps from South America round to New Zealand and stuff you if you live in between. Or are sailing from one to the other. I don’t know where the Bridge gets their info from, but it’s all we have, as regards the weather for now. Luckily, it is warm, humid and windless, so there isn’t much to be informed about. Which is handy, considering.
MEMORY: I don’t know if I mentioned it earlier but we had a posh lunch a while ago and we met one of the Third Officers. He is from a small village called Kingsdown in Kent. Only a small number of my readers will have the faintest idea what that means, but he was as chuffed to meet me, as I was to meet him! We chatted for ages.
Laurie has degenerative disc disease in her back and osteoarthritis. She has had surgery three times on her back, on both knees and her left foot. She also has fibromyalgia, so when I said I had CFS (which is what Americans call M.E.), she understood. It’s nice to meet someone who ‘gets it’.
My brain fog may not have cleared up as much as I thought. I forgot to go to two separate things I had committed to, earlier today. Oops. Michael is taking me to the Ocean Grill tomorrow for dinner. I must try and remember to go to that!
The P&O lies and misinformation continues. People booked this cruise because it said we would be at Easter Island all day. Then they found out it was only a sail-past, without landing. Today they announced it would only be for three hours and we would be gone by lunchtime. The whole thing is a farce. We spend a whole day going around the Horn three times and yet when we get somewhere we actually WANT to be, we are there for less than four hours. Absolute farce. No one gives the passenger the slightest thought or consideration.
OBSERVATION: all over allergy itching and sunburned skin are NOT a good mix.