2013 0812 Kiel Canal: We entered the canal around 2:00 AM, we were told. Pilot comes aboard for the trip. We’re in the last lock at about 1:45 PM and will emerge onto the open North Sea to make our way down to Amsterdam for arrival tomorrow morning. Canal runs through Germany, is international, but run by Germany.

I awakened early, about 6:30. Marian got up later in time for 8:45 champagne (complementary) breakfast in the suite. Was cold and rainy. Some of the rain was really heavy, so we’re glad it’s a day we’re not touring somewhere. Spent most of the morning in our room. Left for an hour around 11:30 so room could be made up. Tried to have lunch in Waves where they were doing German beer and sausages, but the line was way too long. So went to Terrace Café for buffet lunch around 12:30. Another couple sat with us. They are Eileen and Elliot Schuman from NYC. He was Naval Academy and 10 years in the Navy before getting PhD in Psychology. Teaches at Long Island University. She is a social worker who is an a hospital administrator in psychiatric wing. Both are still working …both look years older than us (but who can ever really tell). This is their fourth Oceania cruise and they love the line. Had an entertaining and funny lunch. Really nice. First time we’ve shared a meal with strangers (other than talking to people at adjacent tables).

Went back to cabin in time to see us entering the last lock. Water being let out and it took about 20 minutes or so for us to be at sea level to go through the gate at our bow. Massages are scheduled for 2:30 for each of us. They were wonderful.

In the cabin, we watched the North Sea: some waves and motion, some gray clouds, some rain. Dinner tonight in Grand Dining Room with Maureen and Bill Preston, the couple we met at a restaurant in Stockholm and have been trying to make a date with them.

Had a very nice dinner. Learned quite a bit about each other. They have/had Tennessee Walkers and did bird dog trials on horseback. Down to one old horse and one old dog now. Have 80 acres in Saskatoon. Dinner was exciting in that the sea was rough and the dining room is all the way aft. So we got some rolling and bumping. Had to hold onto things as we made our way back to our cabin. It got a bit smoother as we went along. But, hey, it’s the North Sea and not the Baltic.

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