In the wee hours of the morning I knew the seas had changed. I went over to the balcony door and looked out at a very angry sea filled with whitecaps
We needed to be ready for an early morning tour of Skagen, Denmark. So, off we went up to the lounge for a quick breakfast then down to the cabin to prepare to go ashore.
As the morning wore on the air grew colder, we started to experience 55mph winds, and the seas were now covered with whitecaps.
Just as we were making our way to the theatre to wait for our tour to be called, the captain came over the intercom and announced that the harbor had been closed and we would not be going into Skagen. We went out on deck and could see we were not the only ship in a holding pattern outside the port.
We were disappointed when we learned that the ship would not be stopping at Skagen. I was especially disappointed that we would not see the Buried Church. According to the literature, only the upper 2/3 of the tower can be seen. Perhaps next time, we shall see.
We left the cabin and were coming down a flight of stairs when we noticed a crew member dressed as a bear and a photographer on the landing. I am sure that they were scheduled to be on the pier as passengers disembarked for their day in Skagen.
Mr. Bear seemed eager to have someone to pose for a picture with him; I gladly volunteered. I managed to snag Randy too and then along came Steve and LuAnn and we got them involved. What a fun way to start the day.
Then the captain came back on the intercom and announced that the ship would be holding fast for a bit as it awaited a helicopter to come and rescue a passenger in need of hospitalization.
Despite the cold, extremely windy weather, the decks were filled with passengers awaiting the arrival of the helicopter. Other passengers were poised in front of the many windows facing the bow of the ship.
The helicopter was at the ship in 10 minutes. When they first arrived, they dropped a paramedic on deck. My understanding is that the paramedic would assess the situation and consult with the ship’s doctor before deciding what was to be done.
While that was going on, the helicopter circled the ship going around and around until the pilot received final instructions to come and pick up the paramedic and the passenger. It was all quite exciting.
The excitement over, we decided to stay in the lounge and do a bit of reading. At noon we made our way to the Solarium pool, picked up some lunch and tried to find a place to sit. However, every chair on the ship was at a premium so we went back to our cabin to enjoy our lunch.
We spent some time in the cabin relaxing, reading, checking out our pictures. After a while we decided to go the shops and browse a bit. The shops were crowded with passengers trying to find that last minute deal for tee shirts and other goodies to take home. The shops were so crowded we decided to just take a leisurely walk around the ship and stopped at the Schooner Bar for photo op.
The afternoon went by so quickly and it already time to prepare for the evening. We dressed and made our way up to the lounge and enjoyed cocktail time, once again, with Steve and LuAnn.
The captain came over the intercom again announcing that we would be turning around and heading to port. Evidently, the husband of the woman who had been airlifted to the Skagen hospital wanted to go ashore and be with his wife.
The Danish Coast Guard denied the ship’s request to return to the ship because of the heavy seas and it was not a medical emergency. The captain decided to lower a lifeboat and have the gentleman taken to shore.
Again, the decks and windows were full of curious passengers watching as the lifeboat made its way back to the ship. There were times when you could not see this small boat as it was completely swallowed by the angry waves. We stood for what seemed a very long time watching this small craft bobbing up and down in the waves.
As the boat came alongside, cheers and applause erupted from the passengers saluting the bravery of the crew members.
Dinner was delicious again this evening. I ordered the Slow Roasted Pork coated with mustard and caraway seeds with pan gravy and roasted potato wedges. The pork was so tender you could cut it with a fork. Very nice.
I followed the yummy main course with a Warm Chocolate Banana Strudel. This yummy treat of chocolate and bananas all wrapped in phyllo dough with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce was decadently rich and delicious.
We had another surprise this evening when we learned that Don was celebrating a birthday too. Our favorite assistant server, Christine stopped by to wish Don a happy birthday. More cake, more candles and more singing made for a festive end to our delicious dinner.
We had already enjoyed tonight’s headliners on the Oasis last fall, and although we loved the group, Graffiti Classics, we decided to go to see “The Hobbit — the Battle of the Five Armies” in the movie theater. We enjoyed the movie but missed having popcorn. I think I will make that a recommendation.
Tomorrow we are at sea again.