day 2, sunday 1st august 99

I wake in complete darkness. Yet another weirdness. Being without a window to even give a hint as to whether the sun has come up or not is most disorienting. Did the getting dressed in the dark thing so as to not disturb the others. Alarming thought - I may be wearing Andy's socks. Yuk. I dismiss the alarming thought and go outside the cabin. A friendly crew-girlie tells me that it's 9:30 a.m. Alarm! Breakfast ends in 30 minutes. Tell marvin. He's decidedly unimpressed. I go for coffee in the bar and am eventually joined by the contents of the other cabin.

Two elderly Welshmen walk past and one says to the other "bit of whiskey then, Norm?" to which the other agrees. 10:30 a.m.?! Hardy types, these elderly Welsh. Fortunately for their constitutions, the bar won't serve them this early.

Eventually, all arrive and we sit round drinking average coffee until we go looking for comfy chairs in the pointy bit at the front end. As the clock (two hour hands to show Spanish and British times, marked with flags) shows past noon in either time zone, we all have a pint, except Jeremy, who has a coke 'cos he is a wuss. What follows is mainly boring with much map looking at and programming of the several GPS wossnames that are coming on the trip.


In the bar

Program those GPS machines!

More beer please!


Lunch is not in the expensive restaurant. A baguette and a lemon tart for me. Boring, to be frank, but at least it's not too expensive. After lunch we go up on deck for a stroll and can see some dolphins. They promptly fuck off into the distance, probably just to annoy us.

Andy the Pugh's nickname of "Herr Doktor" is revealed and unanimously accepted for future use, while back in the bar. It doesn't seem to annoy him and he later says that he's often called this. Damn! We discuss our options (limited) and agree we're going to go see 'The Matrix' in one of the ship's two cinemas tonight. Andy goes to the boat's shop and gets himself a watch to fit onto his handlebars. He gets the cheapest available a Barbie watch, which somehow suits his FJ.

I go back to the cabin for a snooze. Jeremy considers a swim in the (regrettably not outdoor) pool, but bottles it, as does marvin. Wise men. The floor is now moving in an alarming manner as though we are drunk, which is odd, as we're no way near plastered. When walking, it's often just a little bit further down than is expected. Seated, a definite side to side sway can be seen through the windows. Most odd, but as yet the sea-sickness tablets are working fine. I take another tablet, just in case.

The afternoon is spent, surprise surprise, in the bar. In the curiously named 'Galax' bar, we enter the crappiest quiz ever, only to find that it's scored on the return journey. Bollocks to that.


Bigger pic


Later, we see 'The Matrix' on the poxy little screen in the cinema. Jeremy thinks it's crap but stays - marvin can't bear more than 30 minutes of it & sneaks out to get drunk. I enjoy it again. More bar activities & then to bed. A hangover in the morning would, I think, be a totally un-cool idea.



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