Sat., Jan. 23rd, at sea

This morning we all had to fill out some paperwork & meet with some Australian immigration officials.  I guess if you didn’t fill it out correctly, or if you didn’t look like your passport photo, you wouldn’t be allowed to get off the ship when it lands.  I’m not sure what the consequences would be, but I do know that there were at least 6 individuals who didn’t meet with immigration when they were supposed to.  An official from Passenger Services had to get on the loudspeaker 3 times to tell these people (he named them each time, though by the 3rd time only 2 were remaining) to go to Deck #5 to turn in their paperwork, etc.  I don’t know whether those 2 people ever showed up or not.  Maybe they hadn’t boarded the ship at the last port, or maybe they had fallen overboard in the meantime.

Falling overboard isn’t such an outlandish idea, either, especially on a day like today.  The boat has been rocking & rolling all day with the 50 mph winds and 17 ft. swells.  I feel like a drunken sailor every time I try to walk around.  We ventured outside (the captain has actually closed all outdoor decks except for #14 in the very back, where it’s slightly less windy) for a few minutes & I was almost afraid I’d be blown off.  Also, I’ve given up riding in the elevators until things calm down a little.  They bang & bump around, creaking and lurching.  Occasionally, it feels like we’re having an earthquake.

One thing that’s really weird–I had been feeling a little bit sick (like carsickness, though it was the same queasy feeling whether we were driving or not) ever since we stepped foot in NZ, but today I feel just great!  I see other people walking around with those seasickness patches behind their ears, though.  Bill says he feels good except that his back hurts, for some reason.

Besides being windy, it’s only about 58 degrees outside.  So, needless to say, everyone is congregating in the same places again.  Luckily, I’ve discovered a little hideaway spot where I can do my beading at a desk with a lamp.  So far, not too many others have found it.

I’m going to try to upload some photos on a portable USB drive, which I’ll try to borrow from the dragon lady in the Internet Cafe.  (By the way, she’s not from Russia–she’s from Serbia.)  Then I’ll try to transfer them to one of the ship’s computers before I put them on the blog.  That might work a little better.  We’ll soon find out.

Last night we picked up a couple of plates of food from the Lido Deck & brought them down to our room.  We ate while we watched the Australian Open.  The TV signal kept blinking on & off with the wind problem, but it wasn’t too bad.  First, Andy Roddick won his match, then John Isner (a 6’ 9” kid from Georgia) won his, and then Rafa Nadal (my favorite) began playing against a German guy.  I had been waiting to see that one all day, but of course, I fell asleep after the first set.  I found out this a.m., thankfully, that Rafa beat him in 4 sets.  I am really hoping that, by the time we get to Melbourne in a few days, we’ll get to watch him in person.  We have tickets to see a Quarterfinal match.

Tomorrow we land in Hobart, Tasmania.  I can’t wait to see those little Tasmanian Devils!