18 May 2012, Gail’s trip log

A very welcome sea day. The past three days were such a cultural shock and sensory overload that it was very nice to get back to the air conditioning on the ship and the calm waters as we sail around the west coast of Africa. We are going pretty much west today, off the Ivory Coast. Tomorrow we will angle northwest past the coasts of Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea towards our next port of call, Dakar, Senegal. The countries of Africa have certainly changed since I was in school. Dan got up early as usual – funny, this trip has been just the opposite of home, where I am always up first. Anyway, I got up and joined him for a little breakfast about 800, then went to the library for my daily Sudoku and to read some more of my book. I am really trying to be better about my eating, especially on sea days, and am now at least holding my own since Cape Town. I had to be careful today at breakfast and lunch because we dressed up formal and went to the dining room for dinner. Whenever they have rack of lamb I go to the dining room. Anyway, at 930 we went for our bridge lesson, then came back to the cabin for a while to watch a TV presentation about the “Mary Celeste ghost ship”, from which all humans disappeared in the 1880s, by a guest lecturer. It was interesting, as they all are. Dan wend down to chat with the tour desk about a couple issues with yesterday’s tour, then we had lunch. I had a green salad with cheese and turkey on it and a sugar free mousse. Not too bad. We did not play really well at bridge today. Overall we are doing well, but 2 or 3 stupid errors seem to almost always end us up near the middle. Today we were 4th out of seven tables, just out of the points despite scoring 53 percent. But we are learning stuff and keep refining our game. After bridge we came back to the cabin and got ready to go to formal dinner at 600. It was very nice – we really enjoy visiting with our table mates when we go to the dining room. We were comparing our experiences from our past three days’ tours. After dinner we just came back to the cabin and read. Dan is going to watch a movie, but I think I will go to bed and read.

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