Thursday 31st January

Today we are in Sanya, China, on an island in the Deep South of the country. This modern city is fringed with mountains and forest and has a crescent shaped mile long beach. It is a busy fishing port and a place where cargoes are carried by junks to smaller settlements around the coast. The arrival of the ship created a lot of interest. As we write we are unsure as to whether this was the first visit of such a large ship, or the opening of the new cruise terminal, or perhaps both. TV crews were on the dockside, conducted interviews and even had an aeroplane circling the ship.

We had a quiet day and went on every deck to photograph the artwork of Dutch landscapes and Dutch maritime adventures. We were studying one, on Deck 8, which illustrated the former island of Schokland, now surrounded by fields, when the Captain came out of the Bridge. He was surprised that we were paying such attention as for the past 5 years he has just walked past these works of art. As the conversation ended he said, he was determined to study these more carefully because he is a Dutchman and it is his heritage.

We have returned after dinner, during which we set sail, and our towel friend is ‘hanging around’ near the desk but he can’t get the computer to work any quicker!!

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