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We left Ålesund at nearly 6 o’clock, and after some manoeuvres near the harbour were heading out to sea shortly afterwards. Although the weather had brightened a bit over the town – it had at least stopped raining – out in the seaward approaches it was dark and unwelcoming, with what looked like rain over the mountains on the outer islands. I went out onto the balcony and took some pictures, a few of which seem to be ok. But I could see rain squalls in the distance and, wimp that I am, once we’d sailed into one I retreated back into the cabin. Hopefully I’ll be able to post them later on Thursday. (I’m hoping to be able to upload this post early on Thursday once I get a phone signal at Akureyri. Assuming I get a phone signal at Akureyri….) 

This is probably a good time to say that my internet strategy has worked well so far. Basically I haven’t bought a package on this cruise; instead, I’m drafting posts and preparing pictures offline. When I’m in port I connect to the internet via roaming on my phone, which since last week is free! I do this by setting up a Personal Hotspot on my iPhone and connecting the iPad and/or the laptop to that, mainly over Bluetooth. Then I can upload the posts & images from the iPad, etc, via the phone, effectively for free. Of course it does mean no connectivity during sea days but that’s no bad thing, actually. Best of all, Val is happy – she says it’s much more relaxing to not have me prowling the ship desperately seeking a good wifi signal and expressing my frustration when I was having connection problems. So it’s a win/win situation, and all for free – I’m on a 12 Gb monthly data allowance deal with EE. (Last word from Val – “there’s also no last minute panic as he tries to use up all his on-board internet allowance before we disembark!”)

Last night we went for a meal in Sindhu. On this cruise the charge is £20 per person; including drinks we spent just about £50. I think it was worth it, though if I’m being truthful it didn’t seem quite as outstanding as it has on other cruises. Nothing wrong with anything, it just didn’t seem as special. We’re going again later in the cruise when they’ll be offering a different menu and I’ll report back from that as well. We have decided to not eat in The Epicurean this cruise – that no longer seems a worthwhile deal at £30 per person which we believe is the current price – we’re actually having trouble finding the actual figure.

Today has been a sea day during the passage from Norway to Iceland. The weather has been pretty good, with high cloud with some small patches of blue sky, but it’s been cold – it was 9° when we last looked just after lunch. We’ve been quite busy. We got up early so I could bag a washing machine when the launderette opened at 8 o’clock (successfully done). Fortunately, the early rise was compensated by the fact that the clocks went back last night thus giving an extra hour’s sleep. Having been on European time for the calls at Norway we’re back on UK time now, and we’ll get another hour tonight. Later this morning we watched a film in the theatre – “Sully – Miracle on the Hudson” – which we enjoyed. After that we had lunch and once again got into an interesting conversation at the buffet table, and after that we attended a talk on Oscar Wilde, one of a series being given by guest speaker Priscilla Morris on well-known literary figures. We enjoyed it and just about managed to stay awake, even after what might have been a too-big lunch. We certainly did better than the chap behind us who was snoring away for most of the talk.

Tonight is the second formal night, and tomorrow we arrive in Iceland.

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