Day 8, At Sea, on the way to Leknes on Lofoten Island, June 22, 2017

Yesterday Kirkwall, today we are not going to Lerwick.  We set our alarm for 6:45am.  Right after it woke us we were greeted with a message over the intercom system in the room.  We were told upon embarking that no announcements would play in the room unless it was an emergency.  So when we heard the alert that an announcement was imminent we were listening.  Turns out that due to high winds we were not going to make our stop in Lerwick.  According to the Captain maneuvering into the harbor was too risky, so we were skipping Lerwick.

Had we reached Lerwick here is what we might have seen:

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We were looking forward to seeing the rocky cliffs.  In photos they remind us of The Cliffs of Mohr in Ireland.  Well, for the Captain to err on the side of safety is certainly sensible.  It wasn’t all that long ago that we were on board a ship that, upon its approach to the harbor in Monte Carlo, struck the sea wall due to high winds and rough seas.

So, we spent the day at sea, traveling from Kirkwall to Leknes, our first stop in Norway.  We strolled around the ship.  Had lunch in the World Cafe and then moved on to The Wintergarden for afternoon tea at 4pm.  It’s interesting how people, not us of course (really, I don’t mean us), get up from eating a large lunch and move onto afternoon tea repleat with finger sandwiches, pastries, scones and clotted cream.  We passed up the sandwiches and pastries.  I, however, love scones and clotted cream and indulged myself.

I decided to run down to the Chef’s Kitchen to take a photo since he was giving a training session.

On the way out, through the Chef’s Table (where we were to return to for dinner) I met the nicest officer, Sanja, who posed for a photo in this lovely restaurant.

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While I am on the subject, let me compliment the crew on board the Star.  We have sailed  more than 150 times on oceans, seas and rivers and the crew/staff on this ship is at the top of the list and Sanja is representative of what is best about the Viking Star.

Dinner was, as I said before, at the Chef’s Table.  We were at a two along the wall.  The menu was the “Venice Carnival” which featured Roasted Pepper & Tomato Jelly which was far better than the name implies, followed by Beef Carpaccio.  The main course was Cod Fillet which was excellent. Dessert was Mascarpone Passion; a perfect ending to a perfect dinner.  And, wine was paired nicely with each course.

Then the fun began and the evening got interesting.  After dinner we decided to visit the shops.  Got as far as the logo store, about 30 minutes before closing.  It was then and there that we met two delightful ladies from Florida.  I will call them Jane and Sally (not their real names; if you recognize them from the story, oh well).  Jane is the Florida “Gators” biggest fan.  Travels to places like Tennessee to see them play.  Sally is her friend from the Homestead area.  Both of them are teachers although Jane is now retired.

The four of us closed the shop and I invited them to join us for a drink at the Viking Bar in the Living Room.  It was a little after 10pm.  They told us about the agony caused by Hurricane Andrew in 1992.  Both of them chose to ride out the storm in their homes only to find, after Andrew passed, that the community was devastated.  Sally lived for more than 3 months without electricity and other services.  They told us that the destruction was so overwhelming that one could not navigate what streets there were because all landmarks were gone.  Teaching was a pleasure because the schools were generator powered and air conditioning worked

Santo, the resident guitarist was playing in the Atrium as we enjoyed drinks and chatted. At the end of the evening, approaching 12am, he was joined by pianist Eva who just wanted to play a set with him.  They were wonderful together.  At my request they played a Rhumba and we had our first dance of the trip.  When Santo and Eva were done for the night they joined us for a night cap.  Well, it turns out that Santo and Jane were  on the other side of marriage, each having been divorced.  Maybe looking, maybe not, but just in case I offered to perform a wedding service if they were interested.  That’s what a couple or three Armagnac will empower one to do; perform weddings.  I regret to inform you that they are still single.

We closed the Bar, just like we closed the shop, and at 1pm it was off to the cabin for a good night’s rest.

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