Day 119

Woke up to a little rock and rolling as we slowed down on the leeward side of the islands. We took our time at breakfast, not caring to be on the first tender since we had all day on the little island to self-explore. An announcement said they were checking the tender conditions at the gangway. Oops, we thought, that sounds ominous. And then it happened. The captain announced that unfortunately the sea conditions would not permit safe loading and unloading from the tender with the high swells and forecast for increasing winds. We raised the anchor and slowly cruised by the islands, only getting a distant glimpse.

The cruise director announced that a new daily program would be delivered to our suites. There was a 11am lecture from Terry. He entitled it, “May 7th in History: Pain and Boats and Planes,” how appropriate. He set the stage by introducing the 100 years war between Britain and France with Joan d’Arc liberating Orleans from the British on May 7, 1422. There were several famous birthdays on this date- in 1837, Johannes Brahms, in 1840, Tchaikovsky, in 1892, Tito of Yugoslavia, in 1901, Eva Peron. On this date in 1915 the Lusitania was sunk. He mentioned the history of the ship, launched in 1906 and several times winner of the Blue Riband, a trophy among TransAtlantic passenger ships for the fastest west to east transit. Germany declared an exclusionary zone around the British Isles (this was WWI) and posted a notice in the NY Times next to the Lusitania sailing announcement stating any ships in this area would be considered hostile. The ship left NYC on May 1 an appeared off the SE Irish coast, unescorted. The submarine,U-20, happened upon it, shot its last torpedo and left toward a friendly German port. The ship sunk in 18 minutes with time only to deploy 6 of 48 lifeboats, resulting in 1,198 deaths, including 128 Americans. There was an unexplained second explosion that did it in. A few years ago, divers found 4 million rounds of .303 ammunition, contradicting official claims at that time that the ship was an innocent passenger liner. May 7, 1937 saw the German introduction of carpet bombing during the Spanish Civil War and May 71945 was V-E Day in Europe, marking the official end of the war in Europe.

Noontime games had us playing the card game, 31. We had a good time playing in our group and Pat earned a point coming in third. We ate with one of our female world travelers, Jamie (not the Cruise Director), and shared good conversation. I left for the slots tournament where I was successful today. Afterwards, the plan was for me to meet Pat at the Boutique to buy sunglasses for us. I made it upstairs to watch Art and Harris start our ping pong match. We played almost an hour, enough time for me to work up a good sweat. I had a quick shower and a couple of minutes rest before Pat and I went to Mensa and Trivia time. We scored in both today, actually getting second place in Trivia, to our surprise, despite only scoring a 7 out of 15. The questions were really off the wall.

Tonight was a special third magic show with Jon Armstrong at 5:45pm. We changed for dinner because we had plans with other couples to meet in the lounge before dinner. Jon called Mac up on stage to be one of four volunteers, so I attempted to take some photos of him choosing cards, etc. The desired cards kept appearing from nowhere. All four volunteers had signed the king of clubs, so it was unique. At the end, it appeared in a box that was untouched and hanging on the stage. He did some pretty amazing tricks and gave each volunteer one of his instructional videos and signed it at the conclusion of the show.

We met Art and Joanie, and Jimbo and Maryann for drinks and dinner at Compass Rose. It was a delicious meal with equally good company and conversation. We finished just in time for the 9:30 show, featuring Terry Bishop. He sang Irish melodies and had lots of audience participation in singing with him. We followed along with the words on the screen. He also told lots of jokes.

We turn our clocks back an hour tonight so we will be on east coast time like our children. This is also the time for most of the Caribbean islands. We are heading for Trinidad and Tobago. Tomorrow is a sea day.

Yours in travel,

Pat & Mac