Wanderung 24

Spring Fling

From March to May 2011

Saturday April 9: At Sea


We spent the day recovering from our exploration of Malaga and coping with not only our pictures but also the sets of pictures that were generously shared by Bill and Sandy, on the one hand, and Tom and Debbie, on the other. Since they both gave digital flash drives with their pictures to me, I took it upon myself to store all of their pictures on Baby-Baby. Then I shared our pictures with them, which was only fair, but to do that we both had to review our thousands of pictures and pick "the best of" from each of our ports-of-call and our days at sea. That review and selection process was the real time burner, but it was good to get it all done and get those flash drives back to them at dinner.

In betwixt and between we paused for meal breaks and for the morning and afternoon arts and crafts sessions. In the morning we made another set of Carnival masks to go with the ones that we had made on our previous Costa cruise.


We needed the sea days to catch up on downloading pictures and writing the journal. But besides these mundane activities, of course, we also went to arts and crafts where we gave Jimena her 'lion' pictures. This morning we painted masks. Besides us four regulars (Debbie, Sandy, Bob and myself) Bill, Ari, and Truess joined us. So table 222 was almost complete. I decided to go for the cat look and started out in black and white, but later added some light green to give it some color. Bob wanted colorful and did use all the colors of the rainbow. But to make sure you recognized the mask as male, added a mustache and goatee.


I'm always interested in the technical details of the floating palaces that are cruise ships, so I attended the lecture showing operating details of the Costa Atlantica. The ship's maneuverability, for example is due to three bow thrusters and two main drive "Azipod" swiveling propeller pods in the rear. That all explained why we never once had to actually have a tug boat help nudge us when entering or leaving port, although most often a tug was standing by just in case we needed it, I would imagine.

Other things that intrigue me about these huge ships are navigation and even such mundane topics as waste management. The navigation, of course, was top-of-the-line GPS-based navigation equipment with flat-screen displays quite similar to what I had seen in the cockpit of airliners, but I was surprised that the primary navigation logging was still accomplished by traditional nautical charts (sea maps) with the GPS system as backup


After the arts and crafts was a lecture on the technical aspects of the Costa Atlantica. It went into great details and Bob enjoyed it thoroughly. After a well-done power point presentation, came a mathematical session on why the boat floats. This was a humorously slick movie on the Costa ships. Altogether a well done lecture.

For lunch they again had set up an enormous buffet pool side. I did enjoy taking pictures of all the beautiful fruit and ice carving and Bob clowning around.


In the afternoon we were going to make another earthenware pot, but Jimena ran out of those and instead gave us pretty little cream pitchers, which we liked far better! I painted mine on the idea of being a cruise ship ploughing through the briny deep, and Debbie was kind enough to letter in the "Atlantica" on the front of it. Debbie has real artistic (as well as vocal!) talent, you see, and she was very generous in sharing it with us.


After lunch we continued working with the pictures. In particular, we picked "the best of" each day to exchange with our tablemates, since we did not want to burden them with our hundreds and hundreds of pictures. We did get pictures from Bill and Sandy and Chris and Ruth. So we really should have a nice collection.

Afternoon arts and crafts was again ceramics painting. When we got there, Jimena had run out of the little boxes and so brought small cream pitchers. Bob said, the spout looked like the bow of the ship, and so proceeded to fill in the ship. Debbie helped, by painting 'ATLANTICA' in beautiful letters. I decided to go for the abstract art of wavy lines and dots. Some are artistically gifted, but I am not one of them, but I had a lot of fun!

For dinner we all brought our masks along and had to guess who was who.


The evening performance was a tenor singing Italian opera songs (well, mostly). He was quite good in a technical sense but did not convey emotion well at all (it was all kind of sugary sweet sounding), and also did not put in any dynamic range differences. The latter surprised me because classical music relies on the contrast of quiet and loud parts to achieve some of its impact. I suspected at first the sound man had flattened the sound levels, but Monika said she was watching him and he did not touch controls during each song, so the lack of dynamic range would have to be laid squarely at the tenor's feet in this case. Still, it was pleasant to have an evening of relatively well-sung arias before going to bed.


The evening concert was a supposedly very good operatic tenor, who was going to sing Italian songs. His voice was very good, but he was over-amplified. Bob and Debbie went for ear plugs. I decided to regulate by holding my ears partially shut. When you shut out the rather annoying high and shrill overtones, his voice was actually very pleasant. But since it was all in Italian and sung with just a little dynamic range it soon became boring. I was amused, when the only song that was familiar was the German operatic song "Dein ist mein ganzes Herz" sung, however, in Italian....oh well.


Copyright 2011 by R. W. Holt and E. M. Holt
Prolog Map of Transatlantic Cruise Map of Drive in Ireland Epilog

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