From Tenerife to Cape Town

We left Tenerife on Jan. 15 and got to Cape Town on Jan. 26. Between those two dates we had little or no internet availability so that’s why I have only posted a short blurb since then.

Jan. 17 we had an unplanned stop in Dakar, Senegal to transport a passenger to a hospital. We didn’t actually get to the port but dropped anchor 5 miles out and a boat transported the patient.

Jan. 19 we crossed the equator. There was a big celebration with Neptune and his entourage. Then all the pollywogs (first timers) who volunteered were covered in spaghetti and sauce and led to the pool. Neither of us volunteered. Instead we watched with a deluxe old fashioned to quench our thirst. It was much better than getting spaghettied. Here are a few pictures of the celebration.

We are now shellbacks and have the certificate to prove it.

We also celebrated that evening with a cocktail party.

In the next few days I learned some things: it’s really hard to paint your toenails on a moving ship, the doldrums are really calm seas but it’s still hard to paint toenails, there aren’t nearly enough washing machines for passenger use (Laundry Wars!), it’s really windy at sea except in the doldrums, you que up rather than stand in line and lots of other stuff. One of the best lectures I attended was General Lord Dannett who was, among lots of other things, Constable at the Tower of London. That was a great lecture.

Jan. 24 we arrived at Walvis Bay in Namibia. There was not much there. Internet was down over all of Walvis Bay and so we had no contact. It is just a town in a desert. I did get a picture of a Pelican, though.

Finally on Jan. 24 we arrived in Cape Town for our 2 day stay. I thought we were never going to get through immigration! It took hours.

One of the most famous sites is Table Mountain as seen here. It’s the flat topped mountain.

Early in the afternoon the clouds came over the mountain. It’s called the table cloth. We never saw the top again.

We toured the city both days on a hop on hop off bus so we saw a lot. Here is a little of the architecture of the old town.

We explored a bit on our own through the markets.

Today we hopped on again and this time we went to Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden and had a thorough and interesting tour of the plants.

We also saw some very interesting birds: sugar bird, ibis, and guinea fowl. This one’s for you Amy!

After the gardens I was cranky and tired. (I know, hard to believe.) We went to a winery and had this fromage plate and some wine which was just the thing I needed.

Two things we saw near the wharf were sea lions and Nobel Square honoring South Africa’s Nobel Peace Prize winners: Luthuli, Tutu, de Klerk, and Mandela.

We are about to leave Cape Town for Port Elizabeth. If we have cell service there I’ll try to connect again. If not, we’ll see you when we can! I love seeing your comments. Thanks!


We had a terrific few days following our Southampton stop. We ate at the captain’s table with the deputy captain one night and attended two welcome aboard cocktail parties where we met the captain. Here is one of those occasions.

This is the Grand Lobby which is the center of the ship.

Today we visited the little Portuguese island of Madeira. It’s really beautiful as you can see here.

We went up the island on the cable cars and came down on the toboggan which was a lot of fun.

And of course we had a glass of Madeira!

Tomorrow is Tenerife and then 8 sea days to Namibia.

The Crossing

This trip did not start out the way we expected. We left port a day later than planned in a blizzard with hurricane strength winds and rough seas. We immediately got seasick. On the second day out we started to feel better (those patches are wonderful) only to wake up to no water anywhere on the ship for a few hours. Somewhere during the day there was also an (false) alarm for a fire on our deck. The ship was pretty rocky for the whole crossing but we had a great time anyway. However, you’ll have to wait until later for pictures because I’m having technical problems.

Today we arrived in Southampton and Mike and I toured on our own. This is where the Titanic sailed from. It is also a medieval town with some remnants from that time. Here are some pictures of the Bar Gate. It separates the old town from the new stuff.

A favorite place of mine is the Rood Church which was bombed during WWII and is still a ruin. The white memorial is for those who lost their lives on the Titanic.

This is the Titanic Pub. It was too busy for us to go in but it sure looked like a great place.

And where did we eat? At a Pizza Hut. I was craving pizza. Next we are off to Madeira and Tenerife.

Traveling 2

We left home on Jan.1 after picking up our rental car. It was pretty packed with all six suitcases .

We drove to New Stanton, PA, that day. DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS IN WINTER. It was a rough trip. The next morning we drove the second leg. It was dicey at first – lots of junk on the windshield and frozen window washer – but it got better.

We drove through the Holland Tunnel and through Chinatown, arrived in Brooklyn and got to our hotel without a problem. Miracles do happen! The hotel was not in the best of neighborhoods as evidenced by the numerous tattoo and piercing businesses as well as the knock-off MK purses being sold on the sidewalk. There were plenty of factory stores too. We had a comfort-food meal at Shake Shack. This is the view from there.If you look hard, you can see the Brooklyn Bridge between the buildings.

If you look hard, you can see the Brooklyn Bridge between the building.

Today we got up and found a nice local restaurant, Junior’s in Brooklyn on Flatbush,for corned beef hash. Then we managed to get gas in the car, find the terminal, drop off our bags, take the car back to the rental place and catch a taxi back to the pier. All of this took maybe an hour and a half. it was really very easy.

At the pier we stood in at least three lines showing our passports and tickets. We got our cabin keys and then waited in something like a warehouse to board. They did not let us into the VIP lounge! Imagine that.

After embarking we roamed the ship and ended up in a buffet where I looked out on the city and the Statue of Liberty. We met another couple who has already traveled the world and gave us lots of travel tips. She was English and he originally came from Glasgow and was in the Royal Marines. This is so awesome!

We will begin “The Crossing” in a couple of hours. This is over and out until we dock in Southampton.


Mike and I are about to begin the journey of a lifetime. Really. On January 3 we will be embarking on our four and a half month trip aboard the Queen Mary 2. Some of you have expressed an interest in hearing about our trip. This is my blog, such as it is. Right now we are still celebrating Christmas with friends and family and the fireplace. If you are interested, please feel free to follow as I share our experiences on board and our experiences on the four continents we will visit along the way.

We have received a few bon voyage gifts. This one is is a cool handmade leather journal. 

This one is our bottle saver if we have to abandon ship. We have been assured that the life preserver works.

Hmmm. What if we can take only one thing?