Equatorial rain

It’s 6.45 am, and we are about to cross the equator. This means the usual mayhem of a ‘Crossing the Line’ ceremony! This will be the third time on this voyage for me and the Cruise Director has asked for something different! ‘Crossing to the other side’ (and it was originally planned for yesterday (May the Fourth), meant we could do something really different and Neptune will be challenged by ‘Daft Wader’, with his Storm Troopers….probably ending up in a soaking in the pool. But it is pouring down with rain as it can in these latitudes, the decks are awash and very unpleasant. Of course it can all clear as quickly as it came….we shall see later today.
We left Rio in a blaze of orange sunset, and cruised past Sugar Loaf and out towards Recife to the north. Food was of secondary importance following an amazing meal at a pirate den called ‘Marius’ at Copacabana, courtesy of the Head of Corporate Entertainment as a thank you for the efforts put in to this cruise so far. And it has been busy. Today marks the 43rd presentation I will have given since boarding in Sydney about 79 days ago, and the show I’m doing on the 7th will be the 12th! Of course we managed also to do the two drama productions, ‘Opening Moves – the start of the American Civil War’, and ‘Fallen Star – the last days of Napoleon’. We are in rehearsal for a panto that I have written – Sindy Rella – with the production cast, and we still have Liars Club and another two solo shows to perform….an ‘Ain’t Patricks Night’, and a farewell show of comedy songs….in addition to cameo appearances in two other shows before we reach Los Angeles. An auction was held yesterday to raise funds for the crew welfare fund….and they raised an amazing $28,000……Clive the cocktail pianist and myself were sold for $400 for a dinner with 6 guests. Funny really as I dine most nights with guests and they don’t have to pay a thing – it’s probably Clive they wanted!
And so on towards Devil’s Island, where the tender ride ashore might be in doubt due to the weather, so I’ve prepared a reserve presentation ‘May7th – a date in history’…..
And then the Caribbean and the Panama Canal. 20 days to go.

Halfway? March 31st

Tomorrow is April Fools Day. And Easter Sunday. We are at sea twixt the island of La Reunion and Richards Bay in South Africa. So, over to our starboard side lies Madagascar and to port….not much before you get to Australia!

We completed the SAGA cruise to West Africa with bumpy seas and the nora virus on board. A fairly routine cruise turned into 8 lectures and 3 shows covering for missing personnel and gaps in the programme. The cabin was well forward with no window, and whilst the company and food were good, the overall experience left a bit to be desired. We did spend a great day with our friend Dodou and his family in The Gambia, and enjoyed our usual dose of bread, cheese and wine in Lisbon. It was good to shore time with our friend Rose from Plymouth, and even if SAGA ask me to join them again they will need to be quick as I’m pretty much booked for the next two years. We had a quick turn around in the UK before flying to Perth for a few days with Sonya and Jim. I flew on to Sydney to join the RSSC Navigator, with Julie remaining for a few more days in Perth. Straight into the business of lectures and shows on this ‘world cruise’, back with our friends Jamie and Dana managing my life. Via Geelong, Adelaide, Esperance, Port Lincoln and eventually to Fremantle to meet with the family. I had met Jim in Geelong where he was doing a half iron man – finishing second in his age group. Well done Jim!

And so on up the west coast of Aus towards Bali, via a stop to view the Komodo dragons (we didn’t!)

But the ship did run aground trying to leave Bali which delayed us around 36 hours…but we made it to Brunei and Malaysia and eventually to Singapore with another Neptune duty under my belt!

From Singapore to Phuket, Thailand and Port Klang….and Colombo Sri Lanka before turning south to the Maldives (snorkelling) and the Seychelles with a great deck BBQ. Mauritius and La Reunion followed and we head now for South Africa, and the halfway point of my 100 days. 25 lectures done and 8 shows….It’s still fun, it’s still warm….and the wine is still free!

Updated – cruises to avoid!!

Currently experiencing a very interesting 21 day cruise to West Africa on the Saga Pearl II. A storm in the Bay of Biscay meant a three night (2 day) stay in the small town of Aviles in Asturias Spain. But today, 12th Jan, we are continuing our trip towards The Gambia and Senegal…..Here are the latest bookings for the next two and half years. we are hopeful the the autumn/fall of 2020 will include some time on the newest Regent ship, the Splendor, somewhere in and around Europe.

2018 Cruises
15th Feb           Sydney to Fremantle              RSSC Navigator (part World Cruise)
25th Feb           Fremantle to Singapore                     “
13th March      Singapore to Cape Town                   ”
7th April           Cape Town to Rio                              “
30th April         Rio to Los Angeles(25th May)          “
14th August     Copenhagen to Stockholm                 RSSC Explorer
24th August     Stockholm to Copenhagen
3rd Sept           Copenhagen to Southampton (leaving in Amsterdam 12th Sept)
14th Sept         Malaga to Civitavecchia (24th) Oceania Riviera
17th Oct           Piraeus to Civitavecchia                    RSSC Voyager
29th Oct           Civit to Monte Carlo
5th Nov            M.Carlo to Barcelona
12th Nov          Barcelona to Miami  (26th Nov)
4th Jan             LA. To New York (15th May)            RSSC Navigator World Cruise 18th June       ‘Arctic Quest’ Southampton to New York  (Sept 3rd)  RSSC Navigator                                                                                                                                             8th Sept         TCS ‘Hidden Mediterranean’ By private plane! (Sept 27th)
24th Jan           San Francisco to San Francisco (June 4th)       RSSC Mariner World Cruise


Anyone recently trying to access this website would have received a message that even I didn’t understand! It seems that someone, somewhere in the depths of etherland changed the configuration of the website….leaving us without one!

So thanks to my friend, excellent musician, ex-Bee Gees keyboard genius, current keyboard genius with the Italian Bee Gees and future cruising co-entertainer  Blue Weaver all has been reinstated with a new look which I think is easier to follow.

So I’m back in business…..with more news of some of the information above to follow…especially about my partnership with Blue in 2018……

Sorry for any issues arising!


Home sweet home? Hmm…..

I’m sitting here in the lounge of Julie’s dad’s place in Wadebridge Cornwall. Having just driven from Malaga to the UK, over a period of five days, I have just a few moments for some reflection. By the time we get back to Canillas de Aceituno, around the 11th November I will have spent well over 140 days of this year (so far) on either a ship or a plane, going somewhere, usually very pleasant (sometimes not!)

It’s been a strange year, but then most are these days as we spend most of our time motoring around the world on large ships, at the speed of a combine harvester, being chaffeured by experienced sea captains, and directed by entertainment managers to do what I do, when they require it. Lectures and shows occupy my waking hours, alongside oftimes gentle explorations of ports old and new. The New Year started in the Magellan Strait with a flight back to Malaga from Sanitago, Chile, first to Rome and then home. Julie was already in the UK having ‘deserted’ the ship in Rio, and I joined her there a few days later to watch over her lens replacement surgeries. All went well and home we went, in time for me to take the flights to Auckland New Zealand to join the Voyager for 27 days to Singapore, via the beautiful landscapes and settlements that constitute the north and south islands of this distant paradise. The sun shone, the mountains drifted past, the people smiled and offered their Maori greetings…..but I didn’t see one sheep!  I met with friends in Auckland, Sydney and Brisbane (a school chum I hadn’t seen for 46 years!), and so to Singapore to spend my birthday in the airpoprt before flying to Perth to meet with the family…and Julie who had arrived to join the next cruise. We flew to Darwin and joined the Navigator for a long cruise ending in Rome, with many excellent sights and sites…denied a visit to Myanmar (Burma), we again spent days on the west coast of India, and navigated the Suez Canal. a dip (or float!) in the Dead Sea was a highlight and the cause of much merriment. The Greek isles came and went, and with about 20 lectures and 9 different cabaret shows completed we head home from Rome for a rest. The house was still standing, and ready to deal with laundry, unpacking, and repacking for the next trip…to Miami for a Caribbean, Panama Canal, west coast USA and Alaska cruise again on the Navigator. We met friends in San Francisco, Vancouver and Oregon, enjoying good company and memories of journies past, present and plans for the future. Whale watching doesn’t come much better than that which we expereinced in Victoria Canada, and the White Pass railway in Skagway, brought home to us the experiences of Julie’s great grandfathers who had both sought their fortunes in the Klondike!

Home from  San Francisco for a few weeks and then I was off again to the Baltic for a brief, yet interesting cruise, with friend Mick as company. St. Petersburg drenched us in history, folk dancing and rain! Tallin and Riga showed us their best in the autumn sunshine and the Kiel Canal was, as always, a delight. In Bremerhaven I had engineered the embarkation of Blue Weaver and his lovely wife Sigi, and for a select audience we presented our ‘relaxed’ show….An Audience with Blue Weaver….with the stories and songs of his years with the Bee Gees. (We will be repeating this, plus additional material, on three cruises in 2018!)

And so to Dover and Rochester to catch up on family matters and have the routine kebab! No more cruises (except Brittany Ferries) for the rest of the year. Time to catch up on gardening, house painting, repairs and just plain and simple time in the Spanish retreat. A few little sing songs here and there, and preparation for the work ahead in 2018. A SAGA cruise to west Africa starts in early January, and then to Australia to complete the world cruise – 48 lectures and about 11 shows! And then there’s more………

So where is home? You know I’m not really sure. Sometimes it’s Casa Sin Nombre, up a mountain in Andalucia, sometimes, but less often it’s Sage Road in Rochester….but more often it’s a cabin number.

But you know the trick is to live where you are….not wish yourself somewhere else….just enjoy it as it comes..that’s what we do best!