Yesterday, we began to figure out our best “sea day” options. We like an early breakfast at Blu. I like to head to Café al Bacio where there’s a nice view, and assorted coffees & teas, and I can catch up with news and sports from home and work on the blog. I usually like to follow up with some table tennis till I get ready for a late lunch. Back in the room after lunch, I go to work figuring a way to post pictures with really slow internet. Eventually, a nap wins out.
Judy has been experimenting with the Reflections Lounge for her hangout to read and listen to podcasts. There was a little piece of excitement for her today. The captain had mentioned that we would be meeting someone this afternoon? Around 3:00pm, the ship began to rapidly slow down and turn. From Judy’s vantage point, she saw a small boat speed away, toward a larger ship. Several of the guests around Judy said they saw guns being loaded onto our ship? Guns?? I guess they’re serious about the pirates. I had also played table tennis with a guy in some type of military security uniform (before the maneuvers).
My conspiracy theory is that the captain was practicing some type of evasive maneuvers. Apparently we have a fast ship, so out-running the pirates is also in the playbook. I think the guns were loaded at sea, because it wasn’t allowed in Aqaba. I wonder if they’ll have to be taken off before we get to Oman? Oman and the UAE are not friendly with each other right now. Yemen is totally at war with Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Lots of geopolitical intrigue these days (mostly in my mind).
Tonight is the first of three “L.O.V.E. nights” (Lights Out Virtually Everywhere). It’s their creative way to deal with blackout procedures. The top decks are totally closed. Curtains are closed in all cabins, restaurants, lounges, etc. Lights are dimmed everywhere. The blackout runs from 6:00pm (dusk) to 6:00am. We are nearing the Gulf of Aden where most of the pirate activity has taken place in the past. Sudan and Somalia are to our west, and Yemen is to our east as we cruise this section of the Red Sea.
I’ve been able to keep up a little with the Cowboys and Mavericks. I guess all is well in DFW with recent big wins by both teams. Of course, since we’re 9 hours ahead, I don’t get the scores until around 6:00am.T