Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Cruise the coast of Australia 1/29/2013

What a difference a day can make. We are still at sea, but today we could be in the Caribbean. The skies are clear, the sun is shining, the temperature is warm and a slight rocking motion this morning turned into calm seas. Storms are behind us and we continue our journey.

Mother nature provided sights to begin and end our day. This morning we were told that the brown substance floating in the water was an algae, the same as one mentioned in the journals of Captain Cook. It is a substance that absorbs carbon monoxide and is thus a useful substance in the seas. 

Tonight we had the most amazing sunset. On the horizon the sun appeared to be an orange pancake, and when it set the sky lit up as if on fire. Storms, algae, amazing sunsets…we are continually reminded of the power and the beauty of nature.

Onboard there is great disappointment among the passengers that both stops that would have allowed us to see the Great Barrier Reef were canceled. There is speculation as how this could have been avoided if we had stayed longer in Moreton Bay or if we had canceled the next stop of Cooktown. It seems everyone has an opinion, but on a ship, the captain has the responsibility for the passenger’s safety and comfort and it is only his opinion that matters.

The pool deck was busier today than any other day we have been onboard. This was one of the nicest days we have had in a while and people were happy to be able to leave their cabins and enclosed areas to be outside.
Today we played bingo. It has certainly changed since the last time we were on a ship. All of the numbers used to be placed into a drum that was spun, before one number at a time fell out and was announced. Now everything is done electronically. There is a large screen on which all the bingo numbers are displayed. In the lower left corner is a picture of the number just called and on the bottom right hand corner is a picture of how a winning card would look for the particular game being played. The caller pushes a button on a laptop computer. The number is called as it appears on the screen and lights up in its proper place among all of the numbers. When a bingo is called, the dealer enters the number of the card into the computer and a picture of the card appears on the screen so that everyone is able to see if the card has been marked properly for the bingo. 

During the game, no one asks if a certain number has been called, for they have only to check the screen. No numbers ever fall out of a drum anymore. No one has to explain how an “X” or a “4 corners” card would look because they can find the displayed picture and no one has to call out the numbers on their card to make sure that they do indeed have a bingo.

The world is quickly changing, but we never thought that this would include the world of bingo.

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