The Banks - Half a World Away travel blog

Chefs' parade

At Sea

We are about 2/3rds of the way up France at bedtime; by the morning we should be rounding the corner to come into the Channel somewhere between Cornwall and Brittany.

Today was really very sunny, although “brisk”. At nearly 6pm, we watched a group of “crew” opening the swimming-pool roof about 2 feet, as passengers were gathering for the first of the Captain’s Farewell parties and I guess someone thought they needed some air before they all succumbed to chlorine poisoning. Anyway, they wrestled with the equipment and got it sorted; then one of them rushed back past us heading for the door to inside – “Isn’t it COLD” he said in passing – then he paused, looked at us and added “No, you’re English, right?” . I mean, there was a brisk wind, but we were sat up against the “wall” of Deck 11, which was acting as a wind break, and facing the sun, which at that time was still pretty warm. However, I think the crew person probably comes from a climate where 25o is considered a cool day, in which case a brisk 12o air temperature probably does feel differently than it does to us…..

So we attended the second Captain’s Farewell party, somewhat later and a bit scrubbed up. There was one noticeable difference from his Welcome party on our first Saturday – he was actually THERE ! Otherwise it was pretty much the same. It was understandable at the beginning that with so many new people aboard in Hong Kong, we/people would not know people; it appears from this “do” that most still don’t know many. We would probably recognise and possibly name half a dozen couples; out of about 800 people present, you don’t have much chance of finding them - we had more luck in the Bar later waiting for dinner ! Excellent opportunity for more sartorial observation though….

Tonight’s meal was enlivened again by the “Parade of Chefs” – see video not attached [or possibly not – due to the length of time it would take to upload it! – there will, however, be a still photo]. Given how many of them there are, I would really love to see the kitchens and preparation areas in which they work.

One of tonight’s waiters disclosed that he is counting down to Southampton; at which point he is flying “Home” to Goa – where he has 17 week’s leave before his next trip. The thing is, they work every day – so if you imagine not having Saturdays or Sundays for months on end, not to mention any holidays or days off, you would also be entitled to a nice long rest at the end…..this is probably his one trip home before NEXT spring……

Several mentions of the “p” word today (involves cases). We mentally award ourselves £5 for each mention we overhear – we accumulated quite a bit of fantasy pocket money by the end of the day. Yes, there are people who have already “done it” – presumably in the hopes that it gets them off quicker ?

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