John Edward Cooper’s Notes

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Saturday 11 June 2016

[Friday 10 June 2016]

09:15–09:45 Circumnavigate Surtsey[i]
Iceland, Faroes and Northern Isles Cruise
[i] Originally scheduled to be a call to Heimaey, Iceland

“Your daily programme”

Despite a warning from “Captain Death” on the public address system yesterday evening about stormy weather ahead, which raised seas somewhat rougher than “moderate” in the “night” (there was, of course, no “night” as such), we were both OK this morning. It was Janet’s day off from dieting today (“pig-out day”), so she’d set her alarm clock to 6.15am, and we went to Marco’s Restaurant for breakfast at 7.15am. I’d had all I wanted by 8 o’clock, but then an island came into view ahead on the port side. Its identity wasn’t initially announced, but I went down to the cabin, got my camera, and went out on the deck aft of the cabin. So we’d almost passed it before I photographed it, and the captain came on the public address system, saying it was Surtsey. I was quite annoyed because we’d been told that the schedule had been changed from a call at Heimaey, Iceland, to “circumnavigate Surtsey” not just pass it by! “Your daily programme”, though, said, “Marco Polo will journey nearby the island between 08:00hrs and 08:20hrs today.”

Saturday 11 June 2016 — 08:11:28

Saturday 11 June 2016 — 08:11:28 (detail 1)

Saturday 11 June 2016 — 08:11:28 (detail 2)

Saturday 11 June 2016 — 08:11:28 (detail 3)

The captain gave the names of some of the multitude of islands that we passed next; one of them was Heimaey, but I can’t remember the others.

Saturday 11 June 2016 — 08:14:30
Islands beyond Surtsey

Saturday 11 June 2016 — 08:15:12
Islands beyond Surtsey

Saturday 11 June 2016 — 08:15:50
Islands beyond Surtsey

Saturday 11 June 2016 — 08:19:12
Islands beyond Surtsey

Saturday 11 June 2016 — 08:22:38
Islands beyond Surtsey

Saturday 11 June 2016 — 08:24:26
Islands beyond Surtsey

Saturday 11 June 2016 — 08:24:40
Islands beyond Surtsey

Saturday 11 June 2016 — 08:25:30
Islands beyond Surtsey

Janet and I went to the Captain’s Club and I had a couple of “American” coffees and she a couple of hot chocolates (09:04, 09:28); then we went back to the cabin. We went to this event, advertised in Your daily programme:

11:00      Marco Polo Show Lounge
Guest Lecturer: Keith Hadley
An introduction to DNA; First DNA case; An
unusual case of DNA, two murders but no
bodies; Death of a diamond salesman;
Abduction and murder solved by damaged
wood planning machine; Identification of a
body from one head hair.

Then we went for lunch to Marco’s Restaurant. The “New Mr. Poor Man” was there.[ii] We sat ourselves on the plush seating on one side of a table for four. (The tables for two had less comfortable movable chairs.) We were thirsty but couldn’t see a waiter, so Janet went off in search of one. “When I returned,” she wrote, “I discovered to my dismay that we had been invaded (again![iii] [I] should have selected a table for two; [I] will at dinner!) by ‘President Snow’[iv] and his wife.… Then, to top it off, a man came [with a chair] and sat to my right, blocking the exit I’d made for myself by moving the table.… I swapped places with [John] because I felt boxed in. I wasn’t in the mood for ‘other people’. I wanted us to be alone, so was pleased when they finally buggered off.” I had a couple of 40cl glasses of draught Bitburger lager and Janet had a Sprite fizzy soft drink with a dash of lime cordial (12:10, 12:44). Then we went to the Captain’s Club where I had a couple of “American” coffees and Janet a Sprite with a dash of blackcurrant and later a hot chocolate (13:08, 13:38). We returned to the cabin ca.2.15pm and lay on our beds. We’d intended to attend this event:

15:00      Marco Polo Show Lounge
Guest Lecturer: Paul Twose

“Orkney and Shetland” — an illustrated look at
what can be seen in the capitals and on tours
around these beautiful islands, each
archipelago unique in its own way, with a brief
explanation of their ancient and more recent

But I only woke up perhaps when Janet did at 3.45pm. At some point we ate the Icelandic chocolate bought on Monday 6 June 2016. I found it a bit weak-tasting, not very “choclatey”. We went to the Captain’s Club. I decided to have a few turns round the deck on Deck 10, but Janet didn’t join me because it was very windy indeed, particularly when rounding the bow end. I rejoined Janet in the Captain’s Club and availed myself of “Happy Hour” prices to have a 40cl of draught Bitburger lager. Janet had a Sprite with blackcurrant (16:59). Still at “Happy Hour” prices, I had a Grappa Moscato as “aperativo” and a glass of house red wine to take through to Marco’s Restaurant, while Janet had a Colibri “mocktail” (17:48). We went to Marco’s Restaurant for dinner. Then we went back to the Captain’s Club. “I was so tired,” Janet wrote, “that I didn’t even want a drink.” I had an “American” coffee, though (19:08). Janet returned to the cabin, but I braved the wind and had more turns round Deck 10 before doing so. Transferred nine photos from the camera to the WD Elements HDD (20:06–20:07).

Reset the computer clock to BST. We put our watches forward, and went to bed ca.8.30pm (now treated by us as 9.30pm).

[ii] The original “Mr. Poor Man” was someone who came to our attention on the Norway cruise (see “Friday 4 May 2012”) because he looked a bit like actor Nick Nolte, who had played the “poor man” character in the 1976 TV miniseries Rich Man, Poor Man. We frequently saw him pass us when we were seated in one or other of the lounges, on his way out to the open deck for a smoke, or on his way back. The “New Mr. Poor Man” didn’t really look like this man, nor like Nick Nolte, but the name stuck. He had thick, long, wavy blond hair, and we were convinced (almost!) that it wasn’t really his. A variant on the name “New Mr. Poor Man” was “Wiggy Poor Man”.
[iii] I don’t have a record of the first instance of this.
[iv] President Snow—another example of our nicknaming. He was the spit and image of Coriolanus Snow, the ruthless and tyrannical president of Panem, as played by Donald Sutherland in The Hunger Games movies.

[Sunday 12 June 2016]

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