Cruising – Saturday – at Sea

Today is sadly our last full day on board the Oceana, having had a fantastic few days cruising the Norwegian fjords. We cast off from Stavanger in southwestern Norway at 4.30pm yesterday afternoon, and headed for the North Sea. I think the Captain said we were expecting Force 7 or 8 winds as we turned out of the fjords into the North Sea, and it was certainly the roughest part of the cruise. The Oceana has enormous stabilizers on each side that reduce the side to side rolling, but you could still feel a fair amount of movement through the deck. And I am very glad to report that, despite my fears, I was not at all sea-sick! If you glanced out of the cabin port-hole or through a window, the grey seas looked very rough, with a heavy swell. The waves were tossing and rolling, cresting with long curling lines of white sea horses. It was hard to walk straight, and we staggered and lurched around, and at times – especially on the stairs – it was wise to hold the handrail! It really felt as though we were on board ship, and I have to say, I quite enjoyed it! During the night I stood in the dark at our port-hole, looking out over the swelling seas. For a few moments the moon was visible, hanging low on the horizon. It was the colour of creamy Devonshire butter. I watched until it was squeezed out of sight by all-enveloping black clouds. By this morning the seas were a little calmer, although the wind was still stronger at Force 5 than it had been last Monday, when it was Force 3/4.
After breakfast we took it in turns to pack, (there wasn’t room in our cabin to all pack at the same time). We then lazed around for most of the afternoon, reading, playing cards (I taught them all to play Canasta), or just chatting. We also had a last browse in the on-board shops, and took some photos around the ship.
First thing tomorrow we reach Southampton. So much has happened, and we have seen so many fantastic sights, that it’s hard to believe that only a week has passed since we first arrived on board.

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