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DAY THREE - 'TWAS ON THE GOOD SHIP VE... ERR ... OCEAN ENDEAVOUR

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While you admire a few more photos of Eclipse Sound, with Bylot Island away in the background, let me introduce you to our ship Good Ship Ve ... errr Ocean Endeavour.

Having stuck our wet clothes into our lockers on deck 4 we climbed up one level to the reception area.

We were welcomed aboard by the very friendly reception staff and given a few basic details of how the most important things work on board, seeing as it's going to be our home for the next while.


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I was introduced to my floor steward, a very sweet little Filipino girl, and she took me to my cabin.

The Reception Desk is on Deck 5 and, as it happens, so is my cabin. Just a short way back towards the Blunt End on the Port side gangway.

I've booked an interior cabin, with no porthole. That suits me fine and it's just what I wanted

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The reason for that (or one of the reasons anyway) is that I'm not the sociable type as you know.

If I had a cabin with a view outside, I would have a tendency to spend all of my time sitting in it looking out of the porthole.

That's not going to do me any good whatever. Whether I like it or not, I have to do my best to be sociable and mingle every now and again with my fellow-passengers..


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So now that I've found where my cabin is, I can tell you all about it.

It's a tiny 4-berth cabin - and by "tiny" I DO mean "tiny". It's probably not much more than two metres wide.

There are two small berths with a cupboard in between them - and I notice that the cupboard doors have clips on them to keep them closed in a rough sea.

As well as that, there's a small desk with a chair, a small wardrobe and the tiniest bathroom that you have ever seen. And yet they have managed to cram into it everything that is necessary

I'm no bigger than most people and yet I feel rather squashed up in there. Heaven alone knows how the average standard American would manage.

This must have been the same cabin as the one where William Wordsworth wrote the initial draft of "The Thorn". Because
"I've measured it from side to side
Tis three feet long, and two feet wide"

And it wouldn't surprise me, having a quick glimpse around in the corners of the cabin, to find that the ship was already in existence in 1799. It's seen better days, that's for sure.

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And that's not all either.

Over the top of the two berths that I just mentioned are two more fold-down berths. So in theory this room could sleep four people.

However I have made sure that I have booked a room on my own. because I don't do company, as I'm sure that regular readers of this rubbish will recall.

And that is just as well because given the size of the room I would hate to be in here with one other person, never mind three others.

And that's another reason why I've booked a Room Without A View. Everyone else wanted a room with a porthole so they were all having to share. No-one else wanted an inside room so I can have it all to myself.

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Except for Strawberry Moose of course.

He's quite happy sharing a room and with his little bed. And of course I'm quite happy to share with him because he's quiet, doesn't snore, and is well-behaved.

He doesn't move around very much either, although he will pretty soon when he'll get to meet the rest of the passengers.

Mind you, if the one other person were young, female and friendly. And then sleeping wouldn't be all that much of an issue, would it?


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Having organised my room somewhat (although my suitcase has yet to arrive) it was time to go up to Deck 6.

We're waiting for the remainder of our party to join us - there were a couple more aeroplanes coming our way - so we are going to be having a good look at Pond Inlet - or Mittimatalik - for quite a while yet

But first, there are some things to be doing.


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As you look at this view of the cliffs here and wonder, just as I did, why it's the name "Pond Inlet" is picked out in large white stones on the side of the cliff over there and not "Mittimatalik", we had a reception to attend.

We were introduced to a few of some of the more important members of staff, like the chef and the restaurant manager, and there was a buffet meal arranged for us.

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Now remember that we didn't have breakfast this morning, due to our very early start. And I didn't have lunch because there was no vegan food on the aeroplane.

And so you can imagine just how dismayed I was to discover that in this buffet meal, there was nothing whatever that was vegan. There wasn't even any bread with the soup.

And so there was nothing at all for it but to buttonhole the Manager of the expedition and have a good moan about the whole set-up.

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He sent the service manager over to see me. That latter was most gracious in his apologies and told me that he would make it up to me. Maybe I would like a complimentary bottle of wine to recompense me.

He was most put-out when I mentioned that I didn't drink and I felt rather sorry for him.

However it's not the end of the world. We are going to have an evening meal later on. And in any case I have some supplies in my suitcase and that should be here by now.


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There are several people, so it seems, who have dietary issues. And those of us were invited to make ourselves known to the Restaurant Manager to discuss our dietary requirements.

It turns out that he comes from Budapest, and that was something extremely interesting for me to learn.

In my days as a coach driver with Shearings Holidays in the 1980s and early 1990s and I'd even passed through there with Nerina on my honeymoon so he and I had quite a lengthy chat about Hungary and Budapest.

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But returning to our moutons, as they might say in Quebec, the manager asked me all kinds of questions about my diet. It's the first ever time that someone has paid such attention to it

Once I'd filled him in, we arranged that whenever there's a set meal (that's usually in the evenings - at breakfast and at lunch there's a buffet) I should speak to him and he would then speak to the chef who would organise something for me.

All of this sounds fine to me. I won't have a choice of meal like the others of course, but it's as good as I can expect.


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There was plenty of time to go before our evening meal and so to pass the time we had a lifeboat drill.

Much to my surprise, there's no question of "Birkenhead Drill" on the Good Ship Ve ... errr Ocean Endeavour. We assemble in one of the public rooms when the alarm is sounded and then we are counted off regardless of age or sex and ushered to the nearest lifeboat.

The alarm though is extremely interesting
"Five short blasts on the siren means 'Assemble in the Public Rooms'"
"Six short blasts on the siren means 'don your life jackets'"
"Seven short blasts on the siren means 'move to the nearest lifeboat'"
"One long blast on the siren means that the ship's siren is stuck"





To see more details of today's voyage, please refer to this page



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