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Conditions early today were not good – it was raining, cool and quite windy – so we decided to stay on board and relax during the morning. We had breakfast in Al Fresco. When we entered I was struck by the strange combination of total silence from the crew, accompanied by signs of frantic activiity – any crew member not actually serving was busy wiping down some surface or other. The explanation quickly became apparent – the Captain was there, taking his breakfast. Once he’d finished and left, things slowed to a more human pace. We wish we’d found Al Fresco earlier – for a simple breakfast (which is what we have) it’s much more civilised than the Conservatory.

 

At 11 o’clock we decided to go ashore, and went looking for a tender ticket. We were told that it would be about an hour before our tender ticket was called, but in the event it was no more than 20 minutes. Tendering was being done from a pontoon outside deck 3, and I think that a total of three tenders were being used. The tendering operation itself had its drama, however. Our tender found itself ‘stuck’ to the hull – there was a strong off-shore wind blowing against that side of Oriana, and this wind was blowing the tender back against the hull, with repeated crashes as the tender got a couple of feet out and was then blown back into the ship’s side. At one point the tender pilot tried to run the tender along Oriana’s side and off at the bow, but that produced even more alarming crashes – the tender continued to be blown into Oriana but now it was the roof-line of the tender which was hitting the ship, due to the shape of Oriana’s hull at the bow. This was actually quite alarming as the roofline is just a fibre-glass material, and with each collision we could see the tender’s ceiling bend. Eventually, with a lot of work with boathooks to push the tender away from Oriana, we got way to cheers and applause.

 

Tendering back after a few hours ashore in St Peter Port was easier, except that because so many passengers were returning we had to queue for about 20 minutes for the tender.

 

Later we took Afternoon Tea in the Peninsula Restaurant. This was fun – the waiters were all dressed up in white jackets, they served finger sandwiches, scones, leaf tea – one had one’s little finger ready crooked! Then we had to pack – first bags were requested outside cabin doors anytime after 3:30pm so we quickly filled our big suitcase with the washing and stuck that outside. Next we did the questionnaire – “If you have fallen overboard, how likely are to recommend falling overboard from a P&O ship to family and friends?” Then we worked out the tips – oh, the stress! – and finally departed to the Crow’s Nest to watch Guernsey disappear over the horizon.

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