SUNDAY, APRIL 19, 2009 – 101/44 – SALALAH, OMAN -- CANCELLED DUE TO PIRATES!
Sea day number three. This is when Dick usually starts to get antsy. Dick is up at 5:30AM checking email. There is a email picture from home of our neighbor’s tree laying across our fence. It fell over in a heavy storm Friday.
When we open the curtains, we find a tanker a half-mile off to port and another one several miles ahead. We are in a convoy with collation forces close by. Supposedly, they are monitoring our every move. It is a bright sunny day with beautiful blue skis.
We have a huge breakfast brought to the room. Now it is 10:30 and time to get out and see what is going on. Not much!
During the afternoon, we fall into a group of merchant ships and tankers escorted by a US Navy ship. It has a “Sea Hawk” helicopter on its stern and a 5” gun mount on the front. The number “76” is painted on the stern and bow. We now know that this is the USS Higgins, a sister ship to the "Bainbridge," that has been in the news recently.
At mid-afternoon, there are numerous ships in sight heading both east and west. By sunset, we can only see one small tanker to our rear and one tanker several miles ahead of us.
Oh, and there are two .50 Cal. Training (Fake) Machineguns mounted on the stern of the ship along with real LRAD sound producing units on each side of the ship and two security personal watching with high power binoculars. By this time tomorrow, we will be out of the pirate waters so, tonight is our big risk.
We have cocktails and dinner with the trivia group, which proves to be a fun evening. This means again we sit at one of the tables for ten. We don’t like these big tables as the service is very poor at them. The group is split between US and British citizens. Everyone else has been on Seabourn at least once before.
It is interesting to hear how they feel about the line. Most all comments are favorable though some think the service is a bit off. We agree with that comment as it applies to the dining room service. There is plenty of staff in the dining room for the size, but there is a lot of standing around. We have to ask for water and wine refills and have asked for things that never show up. After the table is cleared one member of the party finally tells a waiter she would like some coffee; it was never offered and of course the rest of us, who had given up, all ask also so it is 10:30PM before we get up from the table, but is was a great evening .
After we turn out the lights in the cabin, Carolyn goes out on the balcony. It is really eerie, as the ship is totally dark. The light from the stars on the wake is the only thing that is not some shade of grey or black!