April 27, 2002

    Yesterday, the ship left the last port of call in Brazil, Fortaleza, and three cruise-only days began today. Fortunately, the Atlantic Ocean was extremely calm. Shig began preparation for packing, in order to estimate how much our luggage had increased during the cruise. It was not too bad and well under control, and Shig was a little at ease. Then Shig put pictures in order.

    Last evening when we dined with Herb & Leah, Sue promised to show them three unique things, and took lunch today together with them again for that purpose. One thing was her long jacket made of the traditional indigo fabric Kurume-Gasuri. The second was her brown bag made of recycled cloth from Sake filtering cotton sacks strengthened with persimmon vernish. The other was "imperial topaz" bought in Rio de Janeiro. Shig was afraid that Americans would not appreciate those traditional things not splendid by any means or a little shabby, but Sue was confident that Leah would like them judging from her preference observed so far. At lunch Sue showed and explained about them. Leah was very much interested and liked them, and began to say she would like to buy those things in some way or others. So we promised that we would make a survey and let her know. It was surprising that there were Americans who would like those things.

    Before noon, the ship crossed the equator again into the north hemisphere. We felt we were approaching home. In the afternoon, there was again the equator-crossing festival.

    Shig has reached a hypothesis. "The beard grows faster in a life with American food." Shig must shave twice a day. Shig has always experienced it during his stay in US, but Shig thought that it must be because the beard grew in a strange time due to the jet lag. But this time, without the jet lag, Shig must shave still twice a day. Can anyone endorse this hypothesis ?

    It was an "Informal" evening. Sue wore a light brown silk Mori Hanae jacket but Shig wore a sport jacket without a tie. This unbalanced couple dined with new passengers, Ken & Mary, and Bob & Edie, both from Florida. Shig told that there used to be a TV commercial message "Nissan Skyline of Ken & Mary !!" in order to apeal to young couples. Ken, seemingly more than 70 years old, responded by saying "We are still young enough". Both Shig and Sue took shrimp.



 昨夜Herb & Leahと夕食した時にスミヱは3つの変わったものを見せる約束をした。そのために今日昼食をまた共にした。一つは久留米絣の長いジャケットで、二つ目は柿渋で強化した木綿の酒濾しの袋の布をリサイクルして作った茶色のバッグ、最後はRio de Janeiroで購入した"Imperial Topaz"だった。決して華麗ではなくむしろ少々貧相なこれらの伝統品を米人は評価しないのではないかと重悳は心配したが、スミヱはLeahさんの好みを今まで見てきた限りではこういうのが好きなはずと自信を持っていた。昼食時スミヱはそれらを見せて説明した。Leahさんは非常に興味を持ち、自分は好きだと言い、どうにかしてそれらを買い求めたいと言い始めたので、調べて教えてあげると約束した。米人でこういうものを好む人が居るとは驚きだ。終戦後占領軍に接収された日本家屋が戻ってきたら、杉板の木目が美しい天井やシミのある竹の柱がみな鮮やかなペンキで塗られていたという話をしようかと思ったが止めた。面白いけれど楽しくはないだろうから。



 今晩は"Informal"の日で、スミヱは薄茶の絹の森英恵の上着を着たが、重悳はネクタイなしのスポーツジャケットだった。このアンバランスな2人が一緒に食事したのは、Floridaから来てRioから新たに乗船した2組のご夫妻で、Ken & Mary、Bob & Edieだった。昔日本のSkylineという車を若者に売ろうとしたコマーシャルで、「Ken & MaryのSkyline」というのがあったんだよと言ったら、「ウン我々もまだ充分若い」と70歳過ぎと見えるご主人が応じた。重悳もスミヱも海老をとった。

April 28, 2002

    The Ocean stayed calm today. The ship was cruising towards Caribbean Sea but still along the South America's coast.

    We listened to two lectures in the morning; the sightseeing lecture of Barbados, and more professional lecture of Barbados by a Smithonian doctor. But we, like some other audience, sneaked out of the latter lecture not only because the OHP slide of a map stayed for more than half of the lecture time, but more because the lecturer had spanish accent and we could not understand his English. Shig thought about why and was a little proud. A receiver with a limited capability is more affected by noises. Our English capability is limited and we are like a limited receiver. Accent is a kind of noise, which makes understanding more difficult. It means that our English capability is tuned to the standard English without any accent. We can be a little proud of it.

    In the lunch, tuna sushi was one of the selections. We took much of it and fount rice not enough cooked to the interior. Apparently they were not using rice cookers. We wanted to write a suggestion letter to have them equipped.

    In this cruise, we brought special music CD's. Instead of bringing in many CD's, we compressed about 20 CD's in WMP technology into one CDR, and we brought 3 such CDR's, of classics, pops and Japanese pops, for playing on our PC. But we have not listened to them much, partly because the TV system on board broadcasts music, and partly because we bought CD's on board either from local players, such as African music, or from performers invited for shows on board. But Shig wanted and did today to hear Japanese pops, maybe because he felt home nearer after the ship had crossed the equator into the northern hemisphere. Shig found singers in 50's and 60's really good at singing.

    It was a "Formal" evening and Sue wore black and golden Tomesode kimono. Before the dinner, there was a party of the repeaters' club, in which we were entitled because we were already in the third segment of cruise. Because of Sue's kimono, we were successful to chat with many people. This evening, we were a part of nine people invited to the Captain's table. Sue was seated next to the Captain and talked much with him. We sat with Captain, the first lady of the ship Elda, Chaplain Eli & Margaret Takesian, Dr. Bob & Clare Nixon, et al. Sue took pasta dinner and Shig took sole. After the dinner we enjoyed fabulous piano by a Russion pianist, Nana Mukhadze.





 "Formal"の夕べで、スミヱは黒と金の留袖を着た。最高の着付けが出来たとスミヱは自賛して、夕食前に行われたリピータのためのパーティに出た。我々ももうクルーズの3つ目のSegmentに入っているのでリピータなのだ。スミヱの着物のお陰で結構モテて多くの人と話ができた。今晩は他の7人と共に船長のテーブルに招かれていた。スミヱは船長の隣の席だったので色々話しこんだ。テーブルを共にしたのは、船長、Assistant Cruise DirectorでFirst LadyのElda、米軍Marineのトップの牧師Eli & Margaret Takesian、Dr. Bob & Clare Nixonなどだった。スミヱがとったのはパスタディナ、重悳は舌平目を食べた。食後ロシアのピアニストNanaMukhadzeの素晴らしいピアノを楽しんだ。

April 29, 2002

    We had fairly high waves today but the ship averaged out these short wavelength waves and cruised very smoothly. Yesterday evening, we heard interesting stories.

    Chaplain Takesian served for many years as the chaplain for the US Marines, and was promoted, before retirement, to the Chief Chaplain of the US Marines located in Washington DC, and thus continued to live there until today. But he was a 18 year old Marines soldier when he first saw Japan. He was taught during the war that Japanese people were cunning and malicious. But when he approached Kobe by ship he saw beautiful mountains and sensed that people living in this beautiful country could not be malicious. Later he confirmed his sense, as he said. We found it a good story.

    The Captain confirmed the rumor which Shig heard. This ship was originally built for Soviet Union as a "research" ship, or the information gathering ship. But when only the hull was completed, the world was changed and Russians didn't have money or need to build this ship any more. The half-completed ship was kept moored in St. Petersburg until Radisson bought it. Then Radisson completed the ship at Genoa, Italy, by adding all the passenger decks above the deck 5. Shig asked the Captain if there was anything in this ship affected by this history. He said nothing except that there were many unused electrical wirings built inside the hull.

    In this afternoon, we attended a mini-lecture on emerald. A jeweler dealing with the boutique shop on board lectured. He brought in about ten very expensive jewels, $ 40k - $ 150k, mostly emeralds but also other jewels, and circulated them among the audience, to our surprise. Such circulation can be only possible in a ship like this, as we think. Sue liked a $ 60k emerald and gold necklace. The objectives of the lecture were primarily for passengers' pleasure for learning, and secondly for expectation for better sales.

    It was an "Informal" evening and Sue wore a pink Mori Hanae jacket with a thick coral necklace. We were seated with Ron & Vi again, and a new couple of a computer systems engineering expert Mike and Pat Murray. Both Sue and Shig ate scallops on angel's hair noodle. The show after the dinner was the ball dance demonstration by Jason and Kristy Rivers and the sing show by a dynamic female singer, Elvy Rose. Rivers did this time tango and passadobre very beautifully.


 Takesian師は米軍Marines従軍牧師を長年勤め、引退前はMarinesの従軍牧師の元締めとしてWashinton DCに勤め、そのまま住みついたという。彼が初めて日本を見たのは18歳のMarinesの兵士だった時だという。戦時中は日本人はずるくて悪意に満ちた民族だと教えられていたが、船で神戸に近付いた時美しい山々を見て、こんな美しい国に住む人が悪意の人であるはずがないと感じたそうだ。後にこの感じが正しかったことが確証されたという。良い話だと思った。

 船長は重悳が聞いた噂が本当だと確認した。この船は元々ソ連が「研究」船、つまり情報収集船として建造したが、船体だけが出来上がった所で世界が変わり、ロシアは建造を続ける金も必要も無くなった。建造途中の船はSt. Petersburgに係留されたままとなっていたが、それをRadisson社が購入し、イタリアのGenoaで第5甲板より上の現在の旅客用甲板すべてを加えて完成させたそうだ。この経緯が船に影響を与えている点は何かあるかと重悳が質問したのに対して船長は、船体の中に異状に多くの電気配線が組み込まれていて、現在は使われていないものが沢山ある他は特に影響は無いと言った。なおGenoaは豪華客船建造のメッカらしい。造船業にも韓国中国と競争する上でこういう道があったことを知った。

 午後エメラルドに関するミニ講義を聞いた。船の売店と取引がある宝石商が講義をした。彼は十点ほどの非常に高価な宝石を持ち込んだ。$ 40k - $ 150kのほとんどはエメラルドで一部他の宝石もあった。驚いたことにそれらを複数個同時に違うルートで聴衆に回覧し始めた。こういう回覧はこういう船の中でないと出来ない。$ 60kのエメラルドと金のネックレスがスミヱの好みだった。講義の目的は、主として乗客に学ぶ楽しみを与えることで、副次的に拡販を狙ったのだと思う。

 今日は"Informal"の夕べだった。スミヱはピンクの森英恵のジャケットに太い珊瑚のネックレスをした。一緒にテーブルについたのは、再びRon & Viと、新しいカプルでシステムエンジニアリングのエキスパートMike & Patだった。重悳もスミヱも細いスパゲティの上に貝柱を置いた料理を食べた。食後のショーは、Jason and Kristy Riversによる社交ダンス演技とダイナミックな女性歌手Elvy Roseの歌だった。Riversは今回はタンゴとパサドーブレを踊って素晴らしかった。

April 30, 2002

    Around 7:30am, we saw the island of Barbados afar in the haze. It was a fairly big island. As we approached, we saw a huge white ship docked in the port. Someone said it was Queen Elizabeth II. It was indeed QE II, and we could see the logo as we came closer.

    As soon as our ship was docked and cleared, Shig got off the ship and walked around the pier to see both ships. And Shig actually came into QE II and asked whether he could get in for taking pictures, but was immediately expelled. As far as the lengths are concerned, our ship looked 2/3 of QE II. But note that its cube, (2/3)**3, is 30%. QE II is still based in Southampton, England , but it is now owned by an American company, Cunard. Apparently, QE II was designed for trans-Atlantic voyage when the number of days for crossing the Atlantic was competed among ships. Its hull looked so. All rooms except the uppermost expensive ones don't have balconies, which increase air resistance. We heard from those who once got on board QE II that most rooms were very small, some without any windows, others with small round windows, in order to accommodate 1,700 passengers, therefore in different classes for different restaurants, and that every "at sea" day was for "formal" attire, but that passengers in a lower classes wore only black suites rather than tuxedos. In contrast, our ship is designed for cruising pleasure for Americans, with balconies in almost all rooms, with the same room size in most rooms, without any classes, and with accommodation of only 490 passengers. The contrast was interesting.

    Shig took the pictures of two ships from roughly the same distance. The uppermost cabins of QE II looked roughly comparable with those in our ship. Apparently, our ship appeared more comfortable for passengers, but QE II was technologically far more beautiful. Difference in speed can be noticed at a glance. Later we learnt as follows; QE II was one week ahead of us in St. Helena, but it returned to US without visiting South America, and it left New York for a 13 day Caribbean cruise including visit to Barbados eventually to return to New York. It cruises fast and efficiently because it can do 28 knots as compared with 20 knots of our ship.

    We set out for a bus tour. We got into a stalactite cave, called "Harrison's Cave" by a tram. Then we visited St. John's Church overlooking the rougher Atrantic Ocean. Our final visit was to Francia Plantation House to remind those days when sugar cane plantation by African slaves was the major industry here.

    We returned to the ship and took a late lunch. Then we set out again for a walk along the beach to visit gift shops. We bought one poster art and many small items.

    It was a "Casual" evening. We sat together with staffs of Martin, Tania and the jeweler Kelvin Lovell who did an emerald presentation yesterday. Shig took spagetti vongole, and Sue ate fish.

 7:30am頃靄に霞んで遠くにBarbados島が見えた。結構大きな島だ。珊瑚礁が隆起した島だそうで、比較的平らな島だ。近付くと赤い煙突が目立つ巨大な船が港に接岸しているのが見えた。誰かがQueen Elizabeth II号だと言った。確かにQE IIだった。近寄るにつれてロゴも見えた。

 我々の船が接岸して下船可能になるや否や重悳は下船して、埠頭を歩き回り、両方の船を見た。実際にQE IIに入り込んで、中に入って写真を撮ってもいいかと聞いたら、直ちに追い出された。それは予想していたが、少なくとも船内に数歩踏み込むことが出来た。船の長さで言えば我々の船はQE IIの2/3くらいに見えたが、2/3を三乗すれば30%になることに注意。QE IIは今でも英国Southampton港を母港としているが、今は米国のCunard社が所有運用している。明らかにQE IIは、大西洋を何日で横断できるかを船会社間で競っていた頃に大西洋横断客船として設計されたようだ。船体の形がそう見える。最上部の高価な部屋以外は全ての部屋にバルコニーがない。バルコニーがあると空気抵抗が増すからだ。QE IIにかって乗船したことがある人から聞いたところでは、1,700名もの旅客を収容するために、ほとんどの部屋は非常に小さくて、窓が全然ない部屋もあり、あっても小さな円い小窓しかなく、従って等級があり等級ごとに行けるレストランが異なり、また航海だけの日は全て"Formal"だが、下のクラスの人はTuxedoではなく黒いスーツを着るという。それとは対照的に、我々の船は米国人のクルーズの楽しみのために設計されていて、バルコニーはほとんどの部屋にあり、ほとんどの部屋が同一サイズで、等級は無く、定員は490名に過ぎない。この対照が面白い。

 重悳は2つの船の写真をほぼ等距離から撮った。QE II最上階の船室と我々の船の船室が同じように見えた。明らかに我々の船の方が乗客には快適に見えるが、QE IIの方が工学的に遥かに美しい。一見して速度の差が感じられる。後で聞いたところでは、QE IIはSt. Helenaでは我々より1週間前を行っていたが、南米には寄らずに米国に戻り、今度はNew Yorkを出てNew Yorkに戻る13日間のカリブ海の旅に出て、このBarbadosで我々と一緒になった。QE IIは素早く能率的だ。我々の船が20ノットなのに対してQE IIは28ノットで航行する。

 バスツアに出た。Harrison's Caveという鍾乳洞に電気駆動トラクタで入った。美しかったが鍾乳洞を多く見ている我々には感動というわけにはいかない。それから荒い大西洋を見下ろすSt. John's Churchを訪問し、開拓者の望郷を偲んだ。最後にFrancia Plantation Houseを訪れてアフリカ人の奴隷による砂糖黍のプランテーションが主要産業だった頃を思った。


 今日は"Casual"だった。Casualでもスミヱは何を着て行こうかとしばし考える。テーブルで一緒になったのは、船のスタフのMartinとTania、それに昨日エメラルドの講義をした宝石商のKelvin Lovellだった。重悳はスパゲティヴォンゴレを、スミヱは魚を食べた。

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