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Around the World in 80 Days

Day 56: 19 November

Michael Palin - Around the World in 80 DaysThe worst of the gale is over, but on the faxed chart there is another approaching from the west. Our speed has dropped and America is still 4000 miles away. We have just passed off my admirable Kummerly and Frey map of Asia on which I've been able to chart progress since we left Crete fifty days ago. Now I have nothing but my inflatable globe to show me the vast distance I still have to travel.

Passepartout is scattered in various accommodations. Ann is in the pilot's room, Roger in the 2nd officer's, Nigel and Dave are cadets 'A' and 'B' and Simon is spare officer. At breakfast there is much one-upmanship over how badly we slept last night . . .

'An hour! You were lucky!'

'Nothing woke me up, nothing. I never went to sleep.'

After breakfast we assemble to discuss the day's work in the 'Meeting Room', seven floors above the deck, and just below the bridge. The wall is covered with certificates and mementos of the Garnet's maiden voyage in January 1986: a silver and black model lifebuoy inscribed 'Bon Voyage' from the port of Osaka, a miniature ship's wheel from the stevedores of Terminal 18 at Port Seattle, and a pink, glass-eyed geisha doll presented by the Hyundai Shipyard, South Korea, on completion of the vessel.

Talk at lunch to the Pakistani chief engineer. He is anxious about the new Sulzer fuel efficient engine, which is giving him 'many sleepless nights'. This sounds ominous.

Tonight, to celebrate the Indian festival of Deepavalli, a special buffet supper and party is to be held. We have managed to steer the Singaporean chef away from attempts at European food and he comes up with an Indo-Chinese spread which scores highly. Curried prawns, red snapper, chicken with mangoes and rice, followed by Tiger beers in the bar followed by introductions and speeches, emceed admirably by a Singaporean officer whose name I think is Hang On.
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  • Series: Around the World in 80 Days
  • Day: 56
  • Date: 19 November
  • Country/sea: Pacific Ocean
  • Place: Pacific Ocean
  • Book page no: 186

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