Saturday – At Sea

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Today has been our first full sea-day, as we head towards our first port of call, Lisbon. I had set the alarm on my mobile phone, fully intending to wake early and attend breakfast, but didn’t make it (cruising just makes me want to sleep….).

 

I did manage to attend a lecture this morning, though, which is a rarity for me; once my workshops start, it becomes difficult, if not nigh-on impossible, to see lectures because of the timings.

 

Steve Ragnall, our resident maritime historian gave us an interesting talk on the Lisbon earthquake of 1755, largely recognised as the world’s first ‘modern’ disaster because it spawned the first seismologists, who gathered accurate data to help predict and manage future earthquakes, and it gave us some of the first earthquake-proof buildling designs. Absolutely fascinating stuff… brilliantly presented, too.

 

It’s been a cold and grey day in the English Channel, where we’ve spent most of the day. Being cold and grey means everybody has been inside, which means nowhere to sit in the lounges, and long queues for the tea and coffee station.

 

I had an early lunch because at 1:30, it was time for the Watercolour Registration….

 

I headed for Scotts Bar at about 1:15, to be greeted by a sea of people, all wanting to sign up for watercolour classes (if only there was this sort of enthusiasm on land…). Fortunately, Andi, one of the Performance Hosts came up to help me out and maintain order. He gave a brief introduction, then invited people to form two orderly queues; one, for people who were interested in coming to a morning group, and one for people who wanted to attend an afternoon group – I took the Afternoons – Andi took the mornings. If anyone was flexible and didn’t mind either, then we noted that down on the list.

 

The final figure was 113.

 

After the induction was over, we reconvened in the office to decide how the classes should be organised, and decided on 4 classes; A, B, C and D groups; two morning groups and two afternoon groups, running on alternate days (as predicted) – that’s one group of 29 and 3 groups of 28. Time was spent in the tiny conference room to determine how best to squeeze them all in… from now on, I think I’m going to start calling the Conference Room ‘The Tardis’.

 

So; classes start tomorrow. Everybody who put their name down has been sent a letter under their cabin door tonight, telling them which group they’re in, and to refer to the Daily Blurb for times.

 

And so it begins…..

 

Peter Woolley

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