On a more frivolous note, if that is possible, I will try and present a passenger of the week again. However first signs are that it appears to be a rather uninteresting group on board. But this gentleman might start the proceedings off.
The passenger of the week usually needs no introduction, but in this case I feel I should set the scene.
The ship’s pool is of necessity rather small. Two people swimming laps (very short laps) make it very hard for anyone else to use it so a little consideration is needed when taking a swim.
On this first sea day, I watch as a man who looks to be in his seventies approaches the pool carrying several pieces of rather strange equipment. There is nothing about him to suggest that he takes care of himself. He moves carefully across the pool deck with a slight stoop.
When he reaches the edge of the pool he carefully lays down the apparatus and starts to perform various movements which I take to be stretching exercises. One might expect such public poses to be the harbinger of an impressive display of nubile fitness. But this is not the case. He can hardly raise his hands above his head let alone bend his body in different directions. There appears to be little stretching achieved and virtually no exercise
After several minutes he sits down, presumably to catch his breath.
He then proceeds to put on a large belt, the sort a weightlifter might wear. To this he attaches a bungee cord, and then adjusts the belt so that the cord is hanging from the middle of his back. Next he dons a pair of swim goggles. He then carefully enters the pool, trailing the bungy cord like a tail.
By this time all eyes are upon him.
Once in the pool he spends some time adjusting his goggles. Then he attaches the loose end of the bungee cord to the pool ladder, and with a great deal of effort starts to swim out into the middle of the pool, at which point the bungee cord prevents him from making any further progress. And there he stays swimming in the middle of the pool held in place by the bungee cord, not moving in any direction and succesfully preventing anyone else from using the small pool.
It is not a performance that endears him to others wishing to use the pool.
A debate follows on the merits of either grabbing the bungee cord and hauling him in like a large fish, or of releasing the bungee cord from the ladder and thereby propelling him across the pool at great speed.
Fortunately neither method has to be resorted to as after just a few minutes he stops and, gasping for breath undoes the bungee cord, climbs out of the pool and collapses on to a chaise where it takes several minutes for him to recover.