May 26th

Last night I was not feeling hungry, too much sitting and not enough moving around. I am not burning any calories. When I am at home, I have so many things to do around the property that I am always on the move. Our property keeps me in shape, it keeps me active and feeling good. I must admit that I do think about who is setting and clearing the mouse traps, checking for intruders that may have visited the night before and generally doing what my morning walk achieves. I miss my morning walk and the crisp air on the mountain.

So not being hungry I just enjoyed a melon and cured ham salad bathed in olive oil and light lemon. I also had cheese, bread and some green grapes. Those must have come from Japan when the boat stopped in Yokohama. I say that because almost every grape I have seen in China is red, most of the time the jumbo jobs full of big seeds.

I went back to the cabin and did some email and then just read in bed until I fell asleep. I am reading “An Idiot Abroad”. I watched all the episodes on TV with delight and the book is written in a diary format from Karl’s point of view. Very funny yet sad in a weird way. I think being in foreign places is fantastic and the more you can just experience without passing judgement the better. I find that people who try to compare new places to their life and their home never see what is really there. Karl is this way in that he is too busy trying to get it over with that he never embraces what is in front of him. I will read the whole book and then reflect but it certainly appears to have been written for pure comic relief.

This morning it is still. The wind is gone and the water is flat without any swell. I cannot see any land even though we are due in Ningbo at around 1600. Current time is 0525. I awoke to see the sunrise but it was nothing to talk about and I was disappointed. Broken clouds and sneak appearance of the sun.

Today my fellow passenger, a young Canadian artist from Vancouver, will depart and fly back home. I will be the sole passenger for the remainder of the voyage as far as I know. This is fine with me. The young artist is rather odd and our conversation is limited to sharing a table for meals. I don’t even see him otherwise.

I have internet to keep me in touch even though it is very slow and somewhat spendy. I don’t mind, just knowing I can communicate with home is worth everything. I don’t like leaving Dianna for this long and she is the love of my life, supporting me through all these years and all our movements. She will be taking our big cat Neko in for a leg amputation tomorrow. Neko has a cancerous tumor on his hind leg and we are taking his leg so the cancer does not migrate. Neko was a feral cat our daughter trapped 7 years ago and is a family member. The thought of him losing a leg at this point in his life really hit me hard. I am not squeamish at all, nor do I have issue with the actual removal of the leg. I just seem to really have a problem with the recovery, the adjustment and the fact that animals are so innocent. So, Dianna in her beautiful way, decided that the procedure would be better performed while I was away. This is how she cares for me and shields me from things that she knows will be hard on me. I love her.

Neko will need some intensive care and nursing after his surgery and I am not emotionally prepared for that. Between Dianna and our son Carson, I know they will give him love and care that I could not. That does not make it any easier and I am sure there will be tears.

 

Simple breakfast of coffee, corn flakes and bread with cherry preserves. We have been delayed into Ningbo until 2300, a seven-hour pushback. The result is that we have slowed to about 8-9 knots. That is slow. Less than 10 MPH. Slow boat travel is nice in that it creates no wind, slow boat travel is a pain in that you feel like it takes forever to get somewhere. Even if you do see something on the horizon or in the ocean it can take forever to get close enough and usually by that time it is gone. So, traveling slow is not something I am necessarily fond of.

I will sit on the deck today; the weather is just fair but being outside feels good.

Lunch was a salad of cabbage and pineapple, chicken in a caper mushroom sauce, broccoli and carrots with a peach rice pudding for dessert. The food was a question mark before I departed with many people asking me what the food would be like. It is like a good restaurant. I am very pleased with the food and the quality of the accommodation. It is actually just like being in a small and private restaurant.

My eyeglass screw is coming loose. I hate that, mainly because when I take my glasses off my face I have an impossible time to see the teeny screw. I will ask for assistance tonight and with any luck at all, someone will have one of those mini screwdrivers and assist me.

We have been forced to drift. 1400 hours and we have stopped the screws and are drifting. When you have a ship of this size you only want to drop the anchor when you absolutely must so we are drifting to kill time. They have pushed us back to 0145 tomorrow morning to berth. The load out in Ningbo is to unload 600 containers and load 400 containers. I am told this is a 12-13 hour process. That would mean with paperwork and buffer time, we will not be departing until 1700-1800 tomorrow night. If the harbor is convenient and accessible easily I may get off and go buy a coke. Man, I would like that.

I went up to the bridge this afternoon, a tidy and everything in its place kind of area. It is the largest space on the ship. There are winglets that jut out from the bridge on either side so you can walk all the way to the ship’s edge, really there is a vantage point somewhere on the bridge to see every perimeter of the ship. I can imagine in fog or heavy rain they get used. This thing is a beast. The bridge is all very proper and immaculate, the Captain fully in control. I am welcome up there as long as I keep my mouth shut and observe. One perk is they have an espresso machine up there. I don’t like to be one of those people who just hangs around so the only reason I plan to visit the bridge is when I really want a good vantage point or I want to see what it is like when a harbor pilot takes the controls.

I am relaxing a bit and spending my time working on spreadsheets and computer work that I have neglected back home. This is not rewarding but it needed time and that is something I have plenty of now.

The grey never left us. It is now 1900 hours, dinner time and the grey has been stuck to us like a cloud all day. Since we will be loading from about 0200 until 1400 tomorrow I won’t get much sleep tonight. When they load, it is noisy with lots of banging and clunking and reverse warning alarms. I did remember to bring a pair of ear plugs so those will be put to use tonight.

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