Atlantic Ocean.

Eclipse is making steady progress across the Atlantic as we awake this morning. It’s dull and overcast and difficult to make out where the sky ends and the sea begins. If you step out onto the balcony you are met with quite a fresh breeze but it’s not too cold. The ocean itself is lively as evident by the rocking of the ship but it’s nothing major. The rest of the crossing looks to be quite calm which at this time of year is quite lucky. We know from the Captains daily announcement that the sea depth beneath our keel is over 10,000 feet. That’s a lot of water.

After breakfast in the OVC I take my new DJI Osmo Gimbal for a test run. I seem to take a lot more video than photos on holiday these days and one of my main problems is shaky video footage. One cure for this is to use a gimbal which is a stabilisation device. I did a lot of research before buying the DJI. It was pricey so I hope the results are worth it. I load my phone onto it and venture out around the ship. Some people are looking at it strangely, mostly because they are unsure what it is. A fellow guest stops me to ask about it and so I explain. When I return to the cabin I am happy with the result. There is certainly less bobbing up and down on the video. Not sure it justifies the price though.

From there we head to the library one of the nice quiet spots on the ship. I am reading Philip Pullman’s Book of Dust. Volume 1 – La Belle Sauvage. It’s a prequel to his Dark Materials that I read many years ago. I’m only a few chapters in but it’s nice being back in this strange alternative Oxford where people’s spirits animals (Daemons) are visible companions. Lyra (as a baby) Lord Asriel and Mrs Coulter are all back as well as some new and interesting characters. Peter is reading The Dry by Jane Harper that I recommended he read ages ago but he has only now found the time to do so.

The Ocean View Cafe is extremely busy this lunch time. I think we came at peak eating time and so finding a table takes some time. We spy a couple leaving and pounce on it. The waiter clears it for us and we then takes turns grabbing something to eat. I start healthily with some salad and cold cuts but having spied some delicious looking curries I venture back for some. It was really good. Peter has salad and then some dessert which I skip as penance for the curry.

We take a walk up on the top deck which is a very blustery affair. The Hot Glass Show is taking place up at the Lawn Club but it started some time ago so we don’t stay. It’s on at some point most days so we will catch it another time. We both have a lazy late afternoon in our cabin. I watch some Netflix. I downloaded the new season of Stranger Things before leaving the UK so I have that to watch as well a few movies. The gentle rocking of the ship however makes me sleepy so we both catch 40 winks before evening falls and we get ready to go out.

Rather than head straight to the Martini Bar we go up to deck 14 and the Sky Lounge for some pre dinner drinks. It’s fairly quiet up here and now it’s dark there is not much to see ahead of us. From there we go all the way down to deck 4 and the Passport Bar which is much livelier.

We dine in Murano this evening. This is Eclipses premier dining venue. The restaurant itself is small and intimate. Plush furnishings and drapes abound and the cutlery and glassware is gleaming. We are seated and given menus. We choose our wine, Mer Soliel, and order some Evian water. I order Diver Scallop Wellington style to start and Dover Sole Veronique for my main. Peter orders Smoked Salmon & Peekytoe Crab Parfait to start and Veal Tenderloin as his main. We are both served an amuse-bouche to open up our palettes. I can only tell you it contained a scallop and was tasty. My starter was nice but the scallop and pastry pairing didn’t really work for me. It was ok though. Peters starter looked much nicer. The main course was a different story. My Dover Sole was prepared at the table and expertly de-boned in front of me and served with a green grape au beurre noisette. It sounds fancy but it was delicious. Peter thoroughly enjoyed his tenderloin too. We share a dessert which was a flight of six small shot glasses filled with a variety of tasty treats. We finish with a cheese board and port. A wonderful meal.

We retire to the Ensemble lounge where there is an excellent acoustic singer who is taking requests as we sit down. He does a good job of I can’t make you love me, sitting on the dock of the bay and various other classics. From there we head to the Martini Bar for a drink. It’s getting quite late now but seating is in short supply so we park up at the adjacent bar called Crush. We debate whether to have another drink but decide against it and head back to the cabin. Clocks go back another hour tonight and will do so every night until we each Boston.

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Patrick O'Halloran

Cruisers, Bloggers, Cocktail Drinkers.

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