Haynes World - ships, ferries, a laugh on the ocean wave, and other interesting things...


MINERVA 14th May 2016 Part 4 A sea day

Tuesday 17th May 2016
Someone I love is 7 today - happy birthday R. It may be a sea day but there are things to do and see, starting with breakfast in the Veranda, and then time in the Shackleton Bar to catch up with my diary. Shackleton was such a brave man and I enjoyed seeing many of the famous photographs on the walls here. There was also a picture of the legendary Mr Swan himself. I made time to go up on deck for a walk, and noticed that the two craft up there were named Edmund Hillary and James Caird - more famous names.

Choppy water in the swimming pool

Edmund Hillary and James Caird

Just before 11 a.m. I headed for the Darwin lounge for coffee and then to listen to our RHS lecturer, who was interesting.

At 12.30 I went to the Single Travellers Party up in the forward Orpheus Lounge (named after one of the previous ships), and met several of my new friends there. I knew that the MINERVA Library was one of the best and biggest at sea, and before I left home I decided to give one of the last copies of my book to the Library when I was on board. (2,000 were printed and published by Mallett & Bell and I believe there are only a few left unsold now.) It seemed polite to give the book to Captain Broomhall first, as a gift to go to the Library, so I handed it to him at the party. He thanked me and immediately started looking at the ship pictures, before tucking it securely under his arm. We talked for a little while and then I joined my friends.

Captain Neil Broomhall

Lunch in the Swan Restaurant was a cheerful time at a large table. After that several passengers went off to the Watercolour Art workshop with Matthew Phinn in the Orpheus Lounge on Promenade Deck, whilst others went to Afternoon Bridge in the Card Room.

Today's Daily Programme told us that at 4 p.m. there would be a Vocal Workshop in the Orpheus Lounge - a Fun Passenger Choir coached by Opera del Mare. I belong to a local choral group back home in the UK so went along to see what was planned. There were many of us there and the Opera del Mare artistes were pleased with the response. I put my bag on a seat, and then noticed a ship sailing in the opposite direction outside, so had to go and take a quick photo.

Ciudad de Cadiz, Airbus on Board

Back in the Lounge I took my seat and I'm now in the first sopranos group; we were all told we are to take part in the chorus of one of the songs in the Flowers and Gardens programme by Opera del Mare on Thursday night if we would like to. Music was handed out and we practised our parts for the Ivor Novello song 'We'll Gather Lilacs'. That was an interesting 40 minutes.

After changing for dinner I went up to the Orpheus Lounge again to take part in the Early Evening Quiz. A team of two asked me to join them - we didn't win but enjoyed it. Tuesday night is often pub quiz night at home so it all felt the right sort of pastime.

Dinner and conversation was enjoyable once again. We are sailing towards the French port city of Nantes, and are due there early tomorrow morning.

Ships seen: Ciudad de Cadiz (Airbus on board), Edmund Hillary, James Caird

To be continued...