And so to the afternoons. There were a few options here. I could join in with a game of deck quoits on the sun deck. I got quite good at that once you had worked out the pitch of the ship and the wind effect. I did not sign up to the Deck Cricket game on one trip, but Edsel, not wanting to shame his West Indian roots decided he would give it a go. He was more naturally a tennis player and his stance was not particularly good for cricket – even in a steady sea. The pursers put up nets all round the sun deck and piled the tables and chairs high against one wall and strapped them rigid. Apart from the constrained pitch, the rules were pretty similar. If someone hit the netting it was a four, if they hit a ball over the netting into the sea you got six, but because balls were a rare commodity on ship you were also declared out. Otherwise other runs were scored running between two wickets.
Bowling was strictly underarm. This infuriated one of the players; he was also west Indian, from St Vincent, long and lithe. Even underarm he would demolish the wicket time after time. In the end they had to restrict his movements to no run up or else he would have bowled the other team out for zero. Many of the crew pitched in on the team and even the captain had a go and got a lot of ribbing from the people he commanded when he was caught out. I perched myself up on the top deck and got a grandstand view.