Day 96

This is our second sea day out from Namibia. For the world cruisers, the Captain announced at his noontime update that we have traveled more than 27,000 NM and have 11,500 NM remaining on our journey. Time seems to be flying by.

Terry’s topic today was “Napoleon in Exile – The Final Days at St. Helena.” He described his background and rise to power in the military. French politicians feared his notoriety with the people, so they sent him on impossible missions in Italy and then Egypt. His success in the wars brought him adoration of the people. In 1802, he was made First Counsel for Life and in 1804 crowned himself Emperor. He fought wars with Germany in 1807 and Russia in 1812; but after his retreat from Russia and the loss of 250,000 men, he was forced to abdicate in favor of his son in 1814 and was sent to exile in Elba. He got bored there and returned to France for 100 days of glory, which ended at Waterloo. He hid and fled toward the French coast, but British ships were there and took him to England, only to change ships and send him to St. Helena. His arrival was not expected by the locals, so his accommodations were temporary in a tent, a resident’s home, and finally a converted barn. There was a huge retinue and entourage accompanying him, far more than the island could handle. They serviced all his personal needs as if he were still Emperor. He maintained a daily routine of walking, lunch, writing and dictating, gardening, afternoon walk or carriage ride, dinner, and evening games and readings before bed. The British kept thousands of soldiers and naval ships around the island to prevent any escape. He died there on May 5, 1821. Nineteen years later, Napoleon III brought his remains back to Paris.

Don Walsh followed with a sobering presentation – “The Plastic Ocean.” The plastic era began about 50 years ago. Every second 20,000 plastic bottles are made. Ocean trash tends to congregate in the doldrums of each ocean gyre. He spoke about plastic bags and the affect on the sea life and the economics of recycling. Ocean plastic just does not go away, it just gets smaller, even microscopically small. Then it gets into the food chain. Some possible solutions are increasing public awareness and will-power, vigorous regulations, and technological investments.

The noontime game was Ship Feud, where you try to guess the top two answers that a sample of people gave to selected questions. Our team came in first for valuable Regent points. After lunch, I went off to a deck game and Pat went to card making (today we made a 3-dimensional ship card. It went quickly because there was no detailed cutting) and met again at another deck game. We each won some more points. Then, there was the usual mensa and trivia time.

We received some disappointing news at noontime. Because of a storm system near Tristan da Cunha and more than 15-foot swells and 40 mph winds, we would not be able to safely tender in and the captain decided to cancel the port and head directly to Montevideo. We were all looking forward to going to the “most remote island on Earth,” inhabited by only 260 people. I’m sure these folks were just as disappointed that we would not be coming.

There was a 6PM cocktail party tonight for upper tier Regent members. We are gold members because Regent gives credit for your cruise while you are still on it. We are credited with the 137 days of this cruise. Other higher levels are platinum, diamond, and titanium with many more days sailed. Our friends, Joanie and Art, were recognized tonight as new platinum members. I think that’s over 500 nights sailed. We had a lovely dinner with them at Compass Rose.

Headliner Showtime was vocalist Nick Page, who showed his versatility by singing a medley from Frankie Valli and the 4 Seasons, several songs from Les Mis, the Circle of Life, Time to Say Goodbye (an Andrea Bocelli favorite) and a few tunes sung by Luciano Pavarotti. He not only had a wonderful voice, he also played the piano and drums (Caravan by Duke Ellington). He received a standing ovation.

Earlier today I had my hair cut at the spa onboard. It had been six weeks since the last time and was necessary. This should last until I can get back to my regular stylist.

Yours in travel,

Pat & Mac