Wednesday, 14 August 2013

North Sea Sunshine

Sunday 4 August 2013. We expected to wake up to a rolling, bucking ship. But the North Sea was not only smooth, it was basking in sunshine!

We were onboard the Thomson Spirit cruise ship on our way to Norway for a 7-day cruise called Fjordland Wonders. Before we get to the fjords we need to negotiate Dogger Bank and a few other half-familiar sea areas mentioned on that strangely compelling 5 minutes on BBC Radio 4.

Miss Franny, pretending that the water is warm in the adult pool on Deck 7. I tried it... I screamed... There was a couple sitting up there who must spend all their lives in exotic places, judging from their tans. Either exotic places or Sonia's Tanning Centre...

We ended up a couple of decks down and watched the Spa demonstration and then a demonstration of towel folding. I failed to win a free massage but we were destined to have our towels folded later in the week...

There are a number of oil and gas platforms out on the North Sea. This is the South Arne platform. Actually we saw far more on our way back as it was night when we were going through the relevant bit of North Sea and the rigs were all lit up like Christmas trees. On our outward journey we were slightly further east off the English coast. In fact Felixtowe was the last bit of England we saw...

This is the Maersk Resolute platform. I reckon you would need to be fairly resolute to work on these things... I had been told there were minke whales in the North Sea. With our usual luck they managed to avoid us totally...

We were pleased to find a few past acquaintances onboard. The entertainers in the Horizons bar were New Dimensions and we found Pipit, our waiter from our last cruise on the Spirit waiting to welcome us to our table in the Compass Rose Restaurant. After the day at sea it was the Captain's formal night and a chance to get out the dinner suit again.

In the next entry we will actually arrive in Norway - hurray!!! In the rain - boo!!!

Large versions of the photos: in this set at Flickr.

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