1968: Norway – Day 14 – Kristiansand – Black Prince

Lovely sunny morning, keep fit boys at it again early, closely watched by Andrew and Sarah (who didn’t try copying them however). After breakfast we took our things to the beach. Found a nice spot under the pier for Gareth, then Andrew and Sarah went down to the water in their swimming things but didn’t go in the water much as it was rather cold. Sun beautifully hot, cars rolling up steadily all the morning. Owing to the size and wooded nature of the beach, it didn’t seem too crowded though, and we weren’t uncomfortably close to anyone. Loads of kids about, tendency – wise we felt – to dress all members of a family in same colour costumes, made it easier to identify them anyway. Nearly everyone brought li-los with them to toast on and several had the kind you can fold into a seat. Lots of jelly fish about, so care needed by children were unscathed.

Came up for lunch 11.45 and after a quiet lunch packed up the car and drove into Kristiansand. Very few cars waiting for the ship, loads and loads driving off however, looked like a full load. As we could see what was going on, the waiting was not as frustrating as it had been at Harwich. The accessibility of everything was such a contrast to England where getting near any docks is impossible, they are so fenced off. Here everyone could have a good look at what was going on.

Once on board we found our cabin quickly and were far better organised than last time. Put Gareth for a sleep then went back on deck to watch the departure. Bit of excitement as they lost a ladder from a small boat with someone (the pilot?) boarding us very low down. Ladder later retrieved, man safely on board. Watched Norway receding – a low rocky coast, very pretty complete with striped lighthouse which pleased Andrew, just like his birthday cake.

Once out of the harbour, sea became much more choppy. Despite sunshine impossible to stay outside for much longer and everyone retreated within. Sight of stewards putting out little cardboard boxes rather sinister… went down to our cabin and soon everyone except David sick. Gareth managed to be sick over David which was rather a nuisance as he had no spare shirt in the case unfortunately. As it was his terylene lawn one it was easy to wash and dry by the morning. Thoughts of another meal at the cold table faded away rapidly – thought of any food faded pretty fast in fact. Spent a very quiet evening lying down (children went to bed in their clothes!) and listening to the slap of the waves against the porthole, quite terrifyingly loud sometimes. David went for an occasional stroll around and reported all very quiet, most people obviously lying low. Weather calmed down a bit during the evening, though still far from smooth.

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