spikesgirl58 (spikesgirl58) wrote,

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Panama Day 14 – at sea

Weather – cloudy, 28 C, calm but rolling seas

After a somewhat rocky night, the ship, not me, we woke to clouds and lots of them. We never did see the sun today, but it was still warm and muggy. Oddly enough, it was also the first totally dry day we’ve had.

Today was a quiet day after the excitement of the Canal. TBG and Sparky spent the morning napping while I wrote and read. I think we all just needed a bit of quiet time. We met for lunch and then we headed for the pool.

The waves made the pool a bit like swimming in the surf. We were the only ones in it and we had great fun battling the surf! Around us, there was some activity as they were setting up for an ice carving display. We always like to watch these as we both carved our share of ice back in the day. As the time approached, we climbed out of the pool and retired to lounges to watch.

Because of the air temperature, the ice had come to temperature and was even a little mushy sounding. When you hear that, it means carve very fast. Our crewman was very skilled and did about 90% of carving with his big chisel, only switching to his smaller one for the last five minutes. It took him about fifteen minutes to pull a rearing horse out of the ice.

Quickly TBG and I headed back to the cabin to shower and change for the second (and last) wine tasting. This one was a big more expensive because we were tasting more expensive wines and because of this, the crowd was much smaller. This was also a food pairing and we have apps to accompany each tasting.

We started with a Nichlas Feuillatte Brut champagne (France). This is a very small and new winery and their champagne is hard to find. It was a refreshing but dry champagne. I didn’t really think it went with the smoked salmon, but I will always think of champagne as a celebration, not necessarily a food beverage.

Then we headed to our state of California for the last four, which was a bit of a surprise. First up with a Chamissal Stainless Chardonnay. It was surprisingly oaky tasting for a wine that had never seen a barrel. It was crisp with a clean finish. It didn’t overpower the shrimp, which is hard as shrimp has such a delicate flavor.

We then switched to reds and tried the first of two Cabernet Sauvignon wines. The first was a Simi Reserve and it was brash, almost too hard to drink, but then you add food, in this case a liver pate, and it was exquisite. I’m not a big cab fan, but I might order a bottle of this just to see what it does with other food. The second cab was a Pine Ridge Cab. Like the other one, it was big and bold, with a “Honey, I’m Home!” sort of impression. Food also tempered this one, although I’m not sure the egg mousse did it.

Finally we ended with Overture from Napa Valley and carrying the hefty price tag of $109 a bottle. It is the leftover from the Opus – it is restricted to only 1,000 bottles. After that, some additional wines and more aging, gives this wine a very rounded and subtle flavor. It is smooth and it makes loves to your mouth the way Napoleon does with his women (or Illya, depending on your PoV). I would love a bottle of this for dinner, but at over a hundred dollars, I’ll drink something else.

We headed back to the cabin and called Miss Sparky. She came down to join us and we finished off the Vicar of Dibley dvd we’d brought and also watched Hush (Buffy the Vampire Slayer). Off we toddled to dinner.

There had been Indian food for lunch in the buffet (it was incredibly good) and there was also Indian food on the menu. Sparky had a shrimp cocktail, a cold strawberry soup, and scallops. TBG had a crab cake (so good he ordered a second one), a corn chowder and the scallops. I started with the crab cake, then had a lovely soup Tom, something. I should have written it down. It was so freaking good that I had a hard time getting it away from TBG! He ate half of it for his ‘taste’ – yes, it was so good. Then I have a vegetarian Indian stew of potatoes, peas and cauliflower. It came with jasmine rice and nan.

For dessert, I got a plate of nothing (a plate with strawberries in syrup, some whipped cream, sprinkles and a cherry on top) with the word ‘nothing’ written on it. It was a running gag from another ship. I kept saying, “Nothing for me.” And they brought me something similar. This time I had my camera and took a photo.

As I was stuffed from dinner, we went up to the track and did about a half mile before heading back to the cabin and starting, My Neighbor, Totoro. Started because the sleepies overtook all of us and we happily headed for bed. Tomorrow – Columbia! :D
Tags: at sea, cruising, food, friends, travel
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