February 28, 2002

    We arrived at Tokyo Harumi Pier around noon and asked the officials attending the gate what formalities were required. One of them answered that they were no officials but post office clerks to sell postage stamps. Eventually we found that there were no officials or no formalities to embark. There were even no security check into the ship.

    We were led to our room, a long room with 10 feet in width and 36 feet in length. The 6 feet are for an open terrace. The remaining 30 feet are basically divided into 3 square rooms partitioned by curtains. In the outermost room are sofas, a desk and a bar. The middle room is occupied by a big double bed. The innermost room consists of the bathroom and a big walk-in closet. We were busy unpacking and hanging clothings into the closet. Out of 30 hangers, Shig used 3 and Sue occupied 27.

    Then we went to one of the restaurants in the ship to have lunch. It was like a regular high-class restaurant. We made orders out of the menu, but we didn't pay or put a signature, because everything was found free.

    The ship left Harumi exactly at 5pm. Besides ourselves a six person Japanese group, destined to Hong Kong, embarked at Tokyo. Only our son and clerks of Tokyo Port Office saw the ship off with lighted sticks.

    In the restaurant for the dinner, the waiter asked us whether we would like to eat alone or with someone else. It seemed that some tables were set for association-seeking people like ourselves. We were led to a six seat table. The four people with whom we enjoyed conversation during the dinner were; Ms. Robyn McCorquodale, a Vancouver-based singer pianist on board for entertainment for the passengers, Maria also from Vancouver, Fred and Judy from New York. Sue and Shig took "Tofu miso soup" in a soup cup with a spoon, unusual for Japanese, and "Tuna sashimi", of rectangular slices of 3 x 20 x 80 mm placed fan-shaped on the plate, another unusual thing. Shig ate pork and Sue took fish. Again, everything was for free including wine.

 レンタカーのバンを晴海で乗り捨てて12時頃乗船準備が出来たので、出入口に居た係官にこれから乗船していいかと聞いたら、いや係官じゃないから分からないという。よく見たら記念切手を旅客に販売する目的で来ていた郵便局の職員だった。係官が居なくては乗船できないじゃないかと悩んだが、次の寄港地が長崎なので出国でも何でもないから手続きは皆無と判明、船側のSecurity Checkすらなくすんなり乗船できた。Passportは取り上げられてしまった。陸で泊まるときはPassportは返してくれるが、寄港地で下船するだけの時は通常はPassport無しで出入りするらしい。Purserが乗客全員をまとめて係官と折衝してくれるので、それで手続きは済んでしまうことが多いらしい。

 部屋は3m x 11mの鰻の寝床だった。3m x 2 mのオープンテラスがあり、潮風が楽しめる。残りの9mは四畳半を1割がた広くしたような3つの正方形の部屋にカーテンで仕切ることができる。一番外側はソファーと机とバーで、真ん中が大型のダブルベッドで占められ、一番内側はバスルームと衣装室だ。早速荷物をあけて衣類を衣装室に掛けた。ハンガが2段に30個あって、重悳が3個スミヱが27個使用した。



 夕食に主レストランに行くと、お二人だけで食事したいですか誰かと一緒にしたいですかと問われたので、勿論後者を選んだ。テーブルの幾つかはそういう人達のために用意されているようだ。私たちの6人掛けのテーブルについたのは、船内で公演するために乗船しているVancouverの歌手・ピアニストのRobynさん、同じVancouverから来たMariaさん、New Yorkから来たFred & Judyさんだった。かなり話がはずんだ。"Tofu miso soup"をとったらスープカップで出てきてスプーンで戴いた。"Tuna sashimi"は3 x 20 x 80mmの短冊形にした切り身を扇状に配置し山葵醤油をかけたものが出てきて、味は美味しかった。重悳はポーク、スミヱは魚をとった。ワインまで含めて何を注文してもタダだというのが面白い。

March 1, 2002

    The ship rolled quite a bit at night, but we were asleep. Shig got up early in the morning as usual and set up GPS. At 6am, the ship was sailing near the tip of Kii Peninsula. Kumano's high mountains were seen afar. We wondered whether the ship would sail via Setonaikai inner sea or in the Pacific towards Nagasaki, but eventually the ship took the course in the Pacific. The ship can do up to 20 knots = 37 km/hr. But it was doing only around 30 km/hr according to my GPS. An announcement said that Kuroshio current was as strong as 3.5 knots = 6.5 km/hr against the ship, and the ship might be delaying. "Kuroshio" in Japanese means "black tide". The water looks indeed black.

    Sue didn't feel very well in the morning. Our maid, called "stewardess", recommended Sue to wear wrist bands to push inner points of the wrist to avoid motion sickness.

    Sue was better towards the noon. We ate too much for lunch at a buffet restaurant, and took a walk around the ship.

    Today was the first day for us in the formal attires. Sue wore black formal Kimono called "Tomesode" and Shig wore Tuxedo for the first time in his life, with a little mistake in a bow tie, which was corrected by the butler standing and checking in the hall. To Shig's pleasure and surprise, Sue got a lot of attention in the dinner restaurant. Indeed only a few Japanese wives can wear Kimono, speak English and keep looks to some extent despite ages.

    We dined with Mark & Pat from Orange County, California, and Dale & Pat from Ohio. Later we saw a single lady 91 years old in the elevator. Dale & Pat said this was the 50th cruise for them, counting segments of cruises (This world cruise has 5 segments and is 5 cruises in their counting), and the 2nd world cruise. They said that this was one of the best cruises. We are lucky to hit the best. Shig took sole and Sue ate lightly with spagetti. The dinner took from 7pm to 9:15.

    We learned a knowhow. Rooms in the middle of the ship in the lowest deck get the least rolling and pitching.

    There was a Latin music and dance show in the theater from 9:45pm for about an hour, and we enjoyed music of cheerful tempo and sexy dance.

 船は夜中に随分と揺れて棚のウィスキー瓶が一方の隅に偏ったほどだったが、幸いよく眠れた。時差がないのがいい。重悳はいつものように早起きしてGPSをセットしてみると、6amに丁度紀伊半島の沖を航行していた。段々明るくなりNHK連続ドラマに出てくる熊野の山が立派に見える。串本の灯台も見えた。もしかして長崎まで近道になるはずの瀬戸内海を行ってくれると面白いと思ったのだが、願い空しく四国の南100kmほどを南西に向かって進んだ。船の速度は20 knots=37 km/hrのはずだがGPSによれば30km/hr前後で航行していた。逆行する黒潮が今日は強くて3.5 knots=6.5 km/hrもあるため船は遅れ気味と放送があった。確かに海水が黒い。




 今日一緒に食事した仲間は、California Orange Countyから来た72歳同士のMark & Patさんと、Ohioから来た重悳と同い年65歳のDale & Patさんだった。後でエレベータで91歳という単身女性を見かけた。クルーズの旅客は元気な年寄なんだと理解した。Dale & Patさんはこれが50回目のクルーズだというのでびっくりした。今回の世界一周クルーズは5つのセグメントで構成される。それを5回と数えて50回なのだそうだが、それにしても驚く他はない。世界一周はこれが2度目だとか。DaleさんによればこのクルーズはOne of the bestという評価だった。我々はそのベストに当たって運がいい。重悳は舌平目を、スミヱは軽くスパゲッティを食べた。



March 2, 2002

    The ship called Nagasaki today. Because we were to leave Japan, Japanese officials came to the ship and compared the passport pictures with ourselves. That was the only formalities.

    Because we thought the general guided tours were not for us, we took a cab in the rain to look around the city for four hours. Sue looked at many places for the first time, and Shig, for the first time since he was a student. Sue found Nagasaki a city of rich historical culture.

    At 3pm, a highschool band saw us off at the pier, and the ship headed straight at Shanghai on the rather quiet East China Sea.

It was an informal dress evening. Not knowing what it was, Shig wore a regular business suit with a tie, and Sue wore a pink flower-patterned suit. In the restaurant, we found ourselves a little bit more formal than average. We were seated again with Fred & Judy, a ball dance performer Ms. Kristy Rivers, and Troy who was one of the Latin music and dance performers last night.

After dinner, we seated at Stars Lounge to listen to Ms. Robyn McCorquodale sing and play piano for an hour. She appeared to like Sue and came to our seat to talk for a while.




今晩はInformal Dressの日だった。様子が分からないままに重悳は普通の背広にネクタイ、スミヱは森英恵のピンクの花柄のスーツに真珠のネックレスで出掛けたら、平均よりややFormal過ぎたかという感じだった。再びFred & Judyと同席になったが、後二人は社交ダンスの演技者Ms. Kristy Riversと、昨夜ラテン音楽とダンスを見せたうちの一人でTroyというWashington DCの人だった。重悳もスミヱも皿にテンコ盛りの味付け"Soba noodle"を取った。量が多くて食べ切れなかったが悪い味ではなかった。

食事後Stars Loungeで$3.45のウィスキー水割りを飲みながら、Ms. Robyn McCorquodaleのピアノとハスキーな歌を1時間ほど聞いた。彼女はスミヱが好きらしく席に来てしばらく話して行った。

'02/ 2/28 出航    晴海埠頭から汽笛とともに出航した。

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