Firstly,thanks for the comments. We're so sad to hear about Nala. She had a happy life with you, but you'll miss her. How's Josh coping? And - yes - we did miss your anniversary and your birthday, Becki. How bizarre! We've been putting our watches back one hour for the last few days, tonight as well, and then to lose a whole day. Tomorrow, I gather we put our watches forward as we'll be sailing east for the first time, but after that we start putting them back again. At this moment, it's 10.40 a.m. on Saturday, 25th September. At home, I think it's around midnight on Saturday night. Very weird. Hope the Waltons had a happy anniversary and birthday, anyway. We were thinking about you all. Wendy and Peter - thanks for your emails. Hope you have a fantastic time on your cruise. You'll be pleased to know that we've had good weather all the way down, the sea calm and only occasionally choppy. We're not the best sailors, but we've been fine. Richard says he went to a classic car chatty thing yesterday but was disappointed that most of the people there (Americans) didn't know what a classic car was! Shame!
Secondly, we are now in the Pacific again, following down the Kamchatka peninsula and sometime later today the northern island of Japan, Hokkaido. We land in Muroran early tomorrow morning. We have a tour booked which will take us up to Sapporo (WinterOlympics?), which will take all day. We could probably find a computer there somewhere, but we won't have time as the tour takes so long. So we are using this on the ship - special deal of 20 mins. for the price of 10 - best offer yet! We've been at sea for a week now, and it's been a long one. There have been lots of things to do, lectures, shows, food to eat!!! etc., but we'll be glad to get on shore again. There's a professor on board who's been giving lectures on Korea, China and Japan, and he's been fascinating. There is a lady on board who gives talks about what to expect at each destination, and she's very knowledgeable and friendly, so that's been really useful.
Richard is much better now - his chesty infection has improved - but, of course, he now has a bucketful catarrh! He's coughing and splurting all over the place - and his handkerchiefs are disgusting. We have quite a good launderette on the ship, and I've used it twice so far - I'm sure many of you are wondering how I'm coping on the washing front! Being away for a month has it's problems! We have a very pleasant cabin with everything we need. It's on deck 8, near the sharp end of the ship, so we feel quite a lot of the movement - but it hasn't stopped us sleeping.
I'll try and blog again either from the ship or from one of the ports we're visiting next week.
Hope everyone is well - love from the Pacific Ocean!