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Around the World in 80 Days

Day 55: 18 November

Michael Palin - Around the World in 80 DaysThe only waves troubling me this morning are waves of delayed fatigue. The supply of adrenaline which pushed me through Hong Kong and China and Japan has dried up and as I lie in bed this morning, having lost an hour's sleep to the clock my body feels as immovable as the 6-foot-high anchor on the bowdeck. Rain beats against the window. I look out on the first unequivocally wet day of the journey.

Eggs and bacon have run out already and breakfast is a Singapore dumpling that nestles, white, round and naked on my plate like a miniature early warning system. The intrepid eater is rewarded with a smudge of red bean curd at the centre. A mug of coffee, then a sorting out of clothes and a visit to the laundry room. There are two machines, above one of which is written 'Dirty Overalls Only'. This looks to be stating the obvious until I see one of the engine crew looking with satisfaction at a filthy, blackened, grease and oil-stained boiler suit - which he has just taken out of the machine.

11.45: up on the bridge. 250 miles out of Tokyo and on a course East North East up to latitude 38 and longitude 165 at which point we shall head due East for the rest of the journey. Our speed is steady at 20 knots. I ask the captain why we are 3 knots slower than the more aged Neptune Diamond. He says it's all a matter of economics. At 20 knots his engine is using 10 tons of fuel a day. At 23 knots it would use 20 tons.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Around the World in 80 Days
  • Day: 55
  • Date: 18 November
  • Country/sea: Pacific Ocean
  • Place: Pacific Ocean
  • Book page no: 185

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