Monday, 28 December 2015

Day 8 A Day at Sea

We have three days at sea during this cruise and this is the second of them. It makes a nice change to have a day when in theory there is nothing to do other than get up late, laze in the sun and eat. The Minerva however has other ideas.

The “Activities Programme” (which always arrives under our door at about 1900 the previous evening) tells us that we have a choice of:

All Day Cards and Games 
09:30 Ecumenical Service 
10:30  Fitness Workshop
10:30  Napkin and Towel Folding Workshop
11:30  Lecture: South American Architecture
12:15  Lunch time music with Olga in the Bar
12:30  Lunchtime Melodies with Kirsty by the Pool 
13:30  Bridge Tour with the Captain 
14:00  Watercolour Art Workshop 
14:30  Bridge Tour with the Captain 
14:30  Afternoon Social Bridge 
15:00  Photography Workshop 
16:00  Vocal Workshop 
17:00  Lecture: The edge of a Continent: Caribbean Islands fringing South America 
18:00  Fitness Workshop 
18:00  Early Evening Quiz 
18:30  Pre-Dinner music with Olga on the Piano in the Shackleton Bar
18:30  Pre-Dinner music with Ciprian on the Violin in the Wheeler Bar 
20:15  Evening Social Bridge 
21:30  Opera Canteremo "Songs of Travel" 
22:30  Signature Sounds music in the Observation Lounge 

There are also seven films showing on the in-room TV (most of them repeated during the day) and also repeats of all of the Lectures held so far on a continuous loop on two of the channels.

In between or around all of this, we are offered: Early Risers Tea and Coffee, Breakfast,  Morning Coffee, Lunch, Afternoon Tea, and Dinner and of course Tea and Coffee etc are available on a self serve basis at any time of the day or night.

We are both attending the two lectures, Pat is going to the Watercolour Workshop and I am going to the Photography Workshop and also the Bridge Tour and of course we are both doing Breakfast, Lunch, Afternoon Tea and Dinner !

The Bridge Tour

Bridge entrance

In the entrance to the Bridge are plaques presented by many of the ports the Minerva has visited throughout its cruising life.

The Bridge is open to passengers three times during this Cruise

Passengers on Bridge

and on each occasion,


the Captain gives a very carefully (and obviously very practised) one hour talk about the ship, its instruments and operation.


If there were no passengers present, it would be a calm and peaceful place for most of the trip with just two crew on the bridge - the Deck Officer and a Lookout.

I will not record the technicalities of navigating a ship like the Minerva because it would take too much space and spoil it for others going on the Bridge in future.

Depth Sounder

however, two instruments which caught my eye were the Depth Sounder


and the Radar - at this stage the ship is on autopilot and the Radar set shows where we are going and which other ships are in the area.

Minerva Size

Slightly more technical information about the Minerva and its dimensions was available

Flag Locker

and it was slightly amusing to see the Flag Locker (I did not know they still seriously used flags to indicate the status of the ship)

Voice Pipe

and this highly polished voice pipe. If all of the navigational instruments fail, then high up out of the way of interference from any machinery or heavy metal is a Magnetic Compass. In the event it had to be used, a crewman would be up on top calling down Compass Readings to the Bridge using the Voice Pipe. We saw a similar arrangement on the Lofoten a few years ago when we sailed up the Norwegian Coast. We were told this pipe had never been used but had been polished daily !

Across the bows

The view from the Bridge, is as you would expect, very good. And we continued to steam slowly towards Bonnaire so as not to arrive too early. 

Technically we were not at sea for the whole day, we arrived on schedule to at Bonnaire late in the evening and very carefully and slowly moored on the edge of town. 

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