Monday 22-February-2010 – day at sea

Well the adventure has begun. Today is our first full day at sea. We left Singapore yesterday at about 10:15 AM. Leaving Singapore by ship is a captains nightmare. The amount of shipping going and coming is unlike anything I have ever seen in the world. Makes the area around the Panama Canal look like an empty parking lot. Very large freighters and super tankers coming and going. Fortunately they have established traffic separations schemes, to try and bring some order out of the insanity of about 50 ships moving all at once. Also I would estimate hundreds of ships of every description (freighter, LNG tanker, bulk carriers, oil tankers) at anchor. Not sure of they were waiting for births to off load or not. I guess many are in storage waiting at anchor waiting for the world’s economy to recover. I’ll ask the Captain if I get a chance.
After having sailed about 41 nautical miles out of the Straits of Singapore we entered the South China Sea, and turned the ship north toward Bangkok. All last night in the dark you can see small fishing boats with their lights on. Also gas rigs all over the place. This part of the South China sea is also called the Malay Sea. Periodically last evening we could see through the mist tall islands rising from the sea. At one point we could see a tall volcanic island in the distance. Very cool.
This ship we are on the Azamara Quest is a small ship compared to most cruise ships. A good thing on this trip. As we are able to get into the smaller ports that bigger ships would need to be away from cities. I’ll try and post a few photos depending upon upload times to the web from the ship. Tomorrow we are in Bangkok where we will join 4 fellow travelers on a trip into the back lands of Thailand to the Tiger Temple. More on this in a few days when we return. Should be a great adventure. Everyone always ask about the food on the ship. Well so far it is OK. Breakfast is the same every day in the main dining room, very boring. Actually looks like the “Windows” Buffet has a better selection of Breakfast foods. They do have better coffee. Our stateroom is a bit small but pleasant. The bathroom (head on a ship) is tiny!!!! Autumn Dream’s head is larger and she is only 34 feet long! Oh well. The weather so far is hot and humid as you would expect at the equator. Its wonderful after being in cold New England this winter. 10 minutes in the sun yesterday and my bald head was starting to burn. Need to be very careful at these latitudes. Have seen many boiled lobsters among the ships guest already.
I have a camera glitch. There is crap inside my lens. So the black spot in the photos were taken with my camera. I have tried unsuccessfully to clean the spot away. I can see a small piece of plastic in inside the lens body stuck to the lens. Looks like plastic from the lens construction that was not cleaned up during assembly, and now through

static cling is stuck to the lens. I’m cranky about this, but I cannot disassemble the lens to the necessary level to clean it.
Jet lag has been difficult on this trip. Better today. We have slept well but the 13 hour time change from home and 18 hours in the plane is difficult to deal with. We were awake at 3 AM this morning!!! We did manage to get back to sleep and did not get up till about 8:00 AM. Glad we are at sea today!. Well time for lunch. Be back in an hour or so!
Well lunch is over. It was fair. Service in the main dining room on this ship is average to poor. Very disorganized. Tough to get you glass filled with water or you coffee refilled. They sell themselves as a premium product, but they have a long way to go. Once you get your food its usually good, but once again very disorganized. For lunch today we had beef and chicken satay for a starter and seared Ahi-tuna for the main course. The starter was very good! The main course was over cooked. More like a piece of cooked tuna, not Ahi seared on the outside and raw on the inside as it should have been. Enough bitching, I’m on vacation and that in itself is wonderful.
Our captain is a character. He is the youngest cruise ship captain in the world and very personable. He loves his job and it shows. Well that’s about it for now, we’ll be away tomorrow and so give us a few days to post again.

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