Unexpected Call into Dakar


WIN_20180117_22_48_26_ProBob was a little better when we woke up, somewhere off the coast of Mauretania.  He came up for breakfast although he didn’t feel up to art and went back to the cabin.  The weather was even warmer today but still with a stiff wind – Force 6.  The ship is utterly stable.  Seriously, you wouldn’t even know you were at sea.


We are heading pretty much due south today, about 150 miles off the coast.  No ships to be seen.


Art was very enjoyable today.  I finished a painting I had started yesterday which is of Mount Teide, on Tenerife with the lava beds and floral tundra in the foreground.  Am really quite pleased with it.  There were a few missing persons today apart from Bob and as she wasn’t demonstrating, she came round and gave personal coaching.  She seemed quite pleased with me today!!  Wants me to take a sketch pad when we drive across the Garden Route.  I suppose it would be a step forward to start to make my own sketches and paint from them rather than copying other people’s work.  Bit scary though…..


After art, I went back to the cabin to dump the stuff and find Bob.  He had walked around the deck a bit and sat out but he said the sun was too much and the wind in the shady parts was also making him uncomfortable.  We went up and had sushi lunch together anyway.  There were timetable clashes for me today.  There was a lecture this morning on Roman architecture and also the theatre director/historian on William Shakespeare.  I shall have to catch them both on repeat on tv tomorrow.


After lunch, Bob went back to the cabin and I went out to the aft deck and lay by the pool with my Kindle.  The sun was very hot and strong but the wind was really stiff.  Some people went into the pool but the wind put me off.  I managed to angle my chair to act as a wind break and it must have worked because I fell asleep!  The next thing I knew was that the wind was catching me again and it woke me up.  I thought it must have gone about, but then there was a ding on the tannoy and the Captain came on and said that the ship had turned east as there was a seriously ill passenger and we were heading for Dakar to put them ashore.  Bob later told me he’d had the channel with the ship’s track on the tv in the cabin and had seen the turn before the announcement was made. 


I tried moving up to a higher deck and got in between the funnel towers and that was better.  Came back to the cabin at about 4 by which time we were nearly in Dakar.  It is quite hazy here because of sand blowing off the Sahara.  Lots of tankers anchored up.  I can’t say it’s a place I would care to be hospitalised but perhaps I totally misjudge.  They took her off by boat at about 5pm and the doctor went with her.  I have heard it was a perforated bowel.  We sailed again at 8pm, the doctor having rejoined the ship.


Tonight we were invited to the cocktail party for repeat Cunard cruisers.  There must have been nearly 1000 people crammed into the Queen’s Ballroom.  I managed 3 glasses of champagne and a glass of red wine to take into dinner 😊  Bob had a cocktail and a gin and tonic.  They awarded bouquets to the people on board who had cruised the most with Cunard.  Two ladies had each completed over 1800 nights.  To put it in perspective, that’s nearly 6 years!!!!!!  One of them had only started cruising in 2009.


Our dinner table were pleased to see us back.  They are such a nice group.  Poor Bob got through the soup course and then started to feel hot again and decamped back to the cabin.  I finished dinner and took him the two puddings he wanted: lemon meringue tart and the ice cream bowl.  He was better for being in bed and ate both desserts washed down with another Lemsip.  Fingers crossed he is better again tomorrow. 


The sun is really strong.  I put sunscreen on everything today except my legs, feeling they were brown enough and that the sun wasn’t that strong.  Very, very wrong.  I can see a definite red line where I lay on my back and the front of my legs were in the sun.  Not really burnt, they are too brown for that, but definitely reddish.  Thank heavens everything else was well shielded.  The wind was very deceptive.  We cross the equator on Friday so must bear that in mind.