Temperatures are noticeably increasing as we continue to head West across the North Atlantic Ocean. So much so that the heat fair hit us as we emerged onto the top deck after breakfast.

Today was an ‘off’ day, which meant no classes and a whole day to fill. I’ve been feeling much spritlier today, and was keen to make up for the lack of fresh air and steps of yesterday.

Long days at sea are the perfect time for crew members to catch up on routine deck maintenance tasks, and as we walked our laps, there was much painting, cleaning, scraping and polishing going on, as passengers lazed the hours away on sunbeds.

Despite being sunny and the sea calm, a breeze meant lots of ‘white horses’, making it virtually impossible to spot any wildlife other than the flying fish scurrying away from the hull of the ship. At one point, though, that surface breeze seemed to drop, almost in an instant, because all of a sudden, the sea looked much calmer; a deep blue, with no white breaks to be seen anywhere.

This was followed some time later by a couple of large splashes, and the sight of something leaping straight up out of the water. I say ‘something’ because we couldn’t decide if they were dolphins of whales, or precisely how many of them there were. They seemed too large to be dolphins and too small to be whales. Either way, they were fun to watch, and remained visible for a good long while. It was later confirmed, with the aid of photos taken by another passenger, and consultation with Sue Walsh’s reference books, that what we’d seen were actually two minkie whales… awesome, or what?

At 11am, we went to listen to Sue’s lecture on the toilet habits of sloths, before resuming our pounding of the upper deck, which took us neatly up to lunchtime.

After lunch, we walked a bit, then relaxed on the back deck until it was time to go to the Craft Room to set up for tomorrow’s class(es?).

We have two more days at sea, bringing the count to seven (not six, as I believed in an earlier post), before we arrive at our next port-of-call, Willemstad, in the Carribbean. With the numbers attending the art classes showing no sign of abating, we’re compiling a shopping list of materials to top-up for the long stint of no fewer than 9 consecutive sea-days we’ll be facing after we’ve passed through the Panama Canal into the Pacific Ocean. I may have to make two classes official.