Day 8 Friday 26 October on the Atlantic
The clocks have gone back again overnight and here I was outside on the balcony at 5:30 am watching the clouds in the dark night sky.
The promised tropical depression was here and the wind fairly whipped across the deck. I made a drink of tea and tried to get back to sleep.
Early morning visitor
I must have not locked the sliding door and it came open with the ship’s movements. No issue normally but now we woke up with a bird on the carpet. The bird looked pretty wet and miserable.
As I approached the bird it went to the side of the door…
… and then hopped out and under the dividers to the next door cabin’s balcony.
It was very cloudy and the sea had lots of spray coming up from the waves.
Breakfast was in the Oriental just after 9 am. Our table had only been re-set for four rather than eight as we were late. Our companions were from Leeds and one had been to my university for his economic‘s degree.
My morning plan was to attend a talk on flash photography. I left once I discovered that the talk had been switched to one on portraiture.
I spent a useful hour on the balcony experimenting with the menu settings on my waterproof camera. This was to be my camera of choice once we hit the Caribbean and went to beaches there. Hopefully I may manage more travel images once I get it off automatic.
The ship was gently rolling as we started our 3 mile walk on the Promenade deck. As we came to the bow on the port side the waves were spectacular as the ship dug in. The swell was coming from the stern and Azura was also pitching. All this movement made walking quite a challenge.
The smoking area is on the starboard side and is supposed to be only in marked areas fore and aft on the deck. The mid-ships was supposed to be a smoke free zone. P&O may have added the extra aft zone but had yet to add bin and ashtrays.
I passed a couple in midships and was covered with smoke from their electronic cigarettes. I challenged them about smoking mid-ships. They explained that as there were no signs then smoking was OK. I pointed out the two areas for smokers and before things escalated even more I moved on.
The explanation of the ‘smoking zones’ in the Horizon is hardly a clear description so in the absence of signs it is more than possible that light readers may miss this less than ‘helpful’ advice.
It was very humid walking the decks so we were taking things slowly. On our third mile we passed three ladies who were huddled together midships again with no ashtrays at the railings, flicking ash and cigarette ends over the side. I decided this was not my problem!
Lunch in the Peninsular
Lunch was again in the Peninsular. The restaurant was very busy as everyone was inside. On our table we shared experiences are were able to help with advice as to where to pick up seasick tablets on the ship (at Reception).
Best of all I learned of a farm B&B on the island of Anglesey that was at the end of the runway at RAF Valley-sounded perfect!
I had an Egg Benedict as a starter followed by a chicken burger (I can’t remember the added flavour adjective in its description) plus chips. To this I added a small plate of salad (that was off menu) and then a strawberry yoghurt parfait. The chicken may have been a bit dry and crunchy and it’s covering but once I covered it with the fillings that was smeared on the bottom half of the bun it was fine especially with salad.
Azura was now being affected by the tropical depression and the upper deck swimming pools were all closed due to the movement of the ship. As the rain came down with retired to our cabin for a cup of tea and to find a movie to watch.
We found ‘The Accountant’ which was a surprisingly good movie.
Partway through the movie we noticed a container ship passing by going in the opposite direction.
After the movie had finished we went onto the balcony and watched the waves and had a G&T. We had booked the Beach House was booked for 7.30 pm. We had plenty of time to watch the Atlantic.
The smell of a cigarette being smoked somewhere on the wind was our only distraction for the next hour or two.
Over the ship’s tannoy we heard that the evening entertainment outside was to be all moved indoors due to the forecast rain at after 6 pm.