We slogged across the Atlantic for five days, often at 20 knots and occasionally with the odd patch of sun. Mainly it was gray with at least a 2 metre swell.

We didn’t care much as we both had, and still have, shocking colds. If ever there was good time to be sick and grumpy an Atlantic crossing is perfect.  Half the passengers are barking away (not mad) just sick.  We had dinner with a woman one night who said everyone who gets on this ship gets a cold or worse. They seriously need to look at their air conditioning system if that is true.

Never saw any other ships, no birds and very few flying fish. They really do fly for quite long distances. Finally the day before Bermuda, blue skies and some warmth. One other surprise as we got nearer to Bermuda, the blueness of the Atlantic rivalled that of the Pacific.

Bermuda was lovely, hot and sunny and very pretty with its colourful low level houses all with white stepped roofs to catch whatever rain that falls. We were docked at Ireland Island, the original port. There are lots of old ruined block port buildings left dating back to the 1700’s when a ship was wrecked here.

The descendants of some of the survivors did very well but a lot went onto America in a ship made from the wreckage and local cedar. The local cedar is of course now very scarce: 10k fine if you are caught cutting it down or dealing in it.

Commodities are very expensive here but cough medicine seemed to cost the same as Ireland!

We are now half a day from Ft Lauderdale and American customs. We arrive at 7am but will be lucky to be let loose until about 10am and then we have to be back on board by 4.30pm. Not long in paradise.

Getting ashore in Bermuda was a bit of a scrum; Aussies and Kiwis don’t take much notice of embarkation notices on the loudspeakers, all we hear is the deck number and we all rush there and huff and puff until we are let off , much like getting on a bus for a garden club outing…the battle of the elbows. They are trying to organise it so a bit of order prevails tomorrow at Ft Lauderdale but water cannons are probably the only thing which would hold us back.

T reckons that a good alternative to rest homes would be liners parked up in our harbours…

The food is great, can still fit my clothes but getting to the outer edges of the tighter ones…we are going to bridge lessons but not much else as we feel pretty incapacitated with our bronchial type colds.

A typical day is; coffee and a roll delivered about 7.15 am, this we have with fruit delivered the night before.  Then, a bit of a slow start, a bit of yoga for me and a few times round the deck for T.   I went with him this am, it is dangerous out there!   All these fiercely determined walkers ripping around the deck, they practice their elbow technique getting past you. We then go to our bridge lesson, have lunch, sometimes quite formally in the dining room, other times in the buffet restaurant, bit like a large workplace cafeteria with slightly better than average food.

After lunch we may go to a lecture. An American professor who is an expert on foreign affairs(aren’t they all) covers such topics as the ‘Importance of the Panama Canal’- quite important, American Imperialism-quite a lot, Who will be the World Power in 2100, America of course and ‘The Palestinian Israeli conflict-will go on forever.  As the good professor is Jewish he stirs up some of the American passengers but strikes a chord with his antipodean audience.

After that we may have a little nana nap, then a read of our books, or vice versa. Bad weather we watch movies on our TV.  When we regain our health and fitness there are all sorts of activites available, bingo, boules, shuffleboard, quizzes, swimming in one of three pools and endless deck walking…..

Then it is time for a gin from the drink bottle, time to get ready for dinner. If it a formal night, we have had 3 so far, out comes the bling and the dinner suit, otherwise just a bit of a scrub up.  We have dinner with two other couples and we have all decided that the wine is far too overpriced to drink every night, $31  Aus for a Wolf Blass Cab Sav, have bought it at home for $10!

So weekend nights only now – see how abstemious you become when it is expensive.  All the NZ government has to do is whack up the price and binge drinking will disappear quite fast.

After dinner we go to a show, last night was a marionette show, no, not Punch and Judy, but a very skilled puppeteer. T is off to a lecture by Phillip Huber who is the presenter/maker /narrator of the show. It was very sophisticated with various characters being manipulated by Phillip Huber. One was Liza Minelli, one was an alpine violin player(brilliant) one was a soul singer. The puppets, called marionettes these days , were about 60 cm tall and beautifully made and manipulated.

Sometimes we have singers, sometimes dancers but usually all of a good standard.  We drift back to our cabin about 10.30 pm, watch the late BBC news and next thing it is coffee time again!

Shore days , delete everything from the coffee to the scrub up…..