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Around the World in 80 Days

Day 76: 9 December

Michael Palin - Around the World in 80 DaysThe sea is calming. Quite the opposite of what's supposed to happen on the Atlantic at this time of year. I lie in bed this morning and seriously consider what it will be like to be back home. Up till now I've not allowed my thoughts to take such morale-threatening direction for very long, but now it seems increasingly likely that the Bombay astrologer's prognostications will be accurate. I realise for the first time that I shall miss this journey, which many times I couldn't wait to end. At sea the pace of life slows to a very agreeable level, and the thought of a return to city life is not, this morning, as tempting as I expected it to be. In fact I could easily go round again.

The Danes seem private people, not given to drawing attention to themselves, and despite having been six days on the Leda Maersk we keep meeting members of the crew we've never seen before - today a thickly bearded Captain Haddock of a man appears in the engine room lift. He, like one or two others of the crew, seemed determinedly uncommunicative. Not so the captain who is becoming quite mischievous at the expense of the company, whose representative, Jesper, supervises every aspect of our filming.

We're talking at lunch about lucky and unlucky ships. It took three attempts before the champagne bottle broke at Leda Maersk's launch, which the captain says is not a good omen. I asked him if there were any likelihood of a ghost on board.

'Not on an A.P. Moller ship,' was his brisk reply. 'He doesn't allow them!'

Much laughter from the crew, less from Jesper.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Around the World in 80 Days
  • Day: 76
  • Date: 9 December
  • Country/sea: Atlantic Ocean
  • Place: Atlantic Ocean
  • Book page no: 243

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  • Atlantic Ocean
  • Day 2 
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