Posts Tagged ‘Canon’

Well, they visit Dubrovnik…

One of the many benefits of cruising is that one gets the chance to see so many friends, as yet unmet: One also get the chance to see friends have already met, such as one the bartenders from a previous cruise who had already advised the staff minding the Champagne Bar that Podge & Tubbs had claimed as their haunt for this cruise, that Podge had a penchant for Laphroaig while Tubbs liked Bombay Sapphire. But that’s a by the by.

It is always fascinating to meet new friends, and so it was for Podge & Tubbs, especially on this cruise as approximately 50% of the passengers were virgins and Podge & Tubbs are always willing to shine a guiding light for virgins and advise on what’s best, what’s good, what’s not so good: Obviously such views were subjective, which they were always keen to point out. The virgins are of course first time cruisers.

On the eve of the cruise, their table companions for the evening were virgins and they were keen to hear about Dubrovnik as Podge & Tubbs had already been there before. The companions were particularly keen to know if there was far to walk to get to the town. Oh don’t worry about said Podge. The boat parks just outside of the harbour and it’s just a short tender ride direct into town.



These pictures were taken in 2005 with a very tired camera showing the boats ‘parked’ just outside the port and a shot of the port itself from where the gate to the town is passed through.

Given the obvious frailty of a couple of the virgins, Podge & Tubbs felt good being able to tell them that all they would have to do was get onto the tender from the ship and straight across into the two harbour and town gates. If there was a better way of arriving in Dubrovnik, nobody knew.

At the end of what had been a fine evening both Podge & Tubbs retired to their quarters, Tubbs went to bed, Podge went to the balcony for one more nightcap before retiring himself.

The Boat’s Going The Wrong Way

Come early Morning, Podge, feeling groggy from his breathing but with significant improvement, got yup and made himself his early morning coffee and went out to the balcony to watch as they sailed into the port / harbour of Dubrovnik. But wait, thinks Podge, “where are we going” as he watched the Oceana sail past the old harbour and continued onwards until eventually turning to starboard, again and again and entering into what transpired to be a Cruise Terminal. Podge checked his location on Google Maps (below) and found they were parking some distance away. The information they had given to the virgins had been incorrect. The trip into town would have to be by bus. “Bugger” thought Podge. “Think I’ll lie low for a while” he mused.


The Cruise Terminal did not in any way reflect the old town that Podge & Tubbs remembered.

The Duchess was double unhappy!

Their extensive investigations and research indicated that the trip into town via the shuttle bus was around 20 minutes so they had no need to rush. And rush they didn’t. They did in fact just about make breakfast before it was shut and reopened for Brunch. Now as it happens, Brunch is almost exactly the same as Breakfast from Podge’s perspective, so he wasn’t worried anyway.

Eventually, with hunger sated, they gathered the necessary paraphernalia for a shore trip: Inhaler(s), drugs (all legal), camera, Kangaroo Poo Baseball cap for Podge, pink handbag for The Duchess and of course wallet / purse. All loaded up they joined the next available shuttle bus and set off for the town of Dubrovnik.

As soon as the arrived, their first port of call was to be ATM: Podge always likes to extract money from an ATM at every port. Nobody knows why, not even Podge: He doesn’t even keep the receipts as mementos. One can only assume that the oxygen starvation from Codgers Old Puffing Disease )Poor Podge) causes him to do irrational things. Who knows, but that’s what he does and that’s what he did this time. Unfortunately, The Duchess saw how much he had withdrawn and made a mental note for calculations during their time in town.

Money sourced, camera at the ready, cap on, wallet secured, on the opposite side to The Duchess, Podge led the way down into the town.

Might get some sweets

Coming into the Old Town from the other end was alien to Podge & Tubbs and it took them a while to get their bearings but heading down what Podge termed as the main drag, they soon enough came to the gateway to the harbour. At leat, they knew where they were. But, the walk had taken its toll on Poor Podge. Podge was struggling. Podge needed to rest but he also wanted to see around the harbour. They slowed down, stopping every few steps to admire the view as they slowly worked their way round the harbour past the Aquarium and out to the lighthouse. Here were some convenient seats to rest and allow Podge the get his breath back before they headed back to the the town centre to find a nice bar for a nice glass of local beer, just don’t ask Podge what the beer was. He can’t remember. He just knew that as he sat there enjoying his beer, that the Duchess, while enjoying her G&T , was calculating. Calculating how much had been drawn out against how much the drinks were (no food was to be allowed) so that the scale of future purchases could be calculated. Quietly, The Duchess worked out the exchange rate and was dismayed when she realised the 500 Croatian things was not much more than £50 . Bah, thinks Tubbs (the Duchess has regressed), might get some sweets but that’s about it.

Maybe not that many sweets

“Do you fancy another?” asks Podge. Humph thinks Tubbs, then thought ‘why not’. ‘OK” she says, “Just one more” she said emphatically. Podge made a mental note of the emphasis on ‘Just one more’. ‘Uh oh’ he thinks. ‘maybe should have drawn out more money. ‘Old Scrooge’ thinks Tubbs. ‘Well there maybe not that many sweets to be sourced but what will be, will be my choice’ mused Tubbs.

Eventually, their thirst was sated, Podge realising he wasn’t going to get away with a third one so up they got and away they went. Slowly, and slowly was the operative word here, Tubbs, trailed by Podge, made their way back towards the pick up zone all the time looking out for what could be purchase with what meagre funds remained. Eventually, Tubbs espied what she had been looking for and in they went.They both gazed around in wonder at the array of sweets and biskwits, sorry, biscuits. They so wanted to spend their money, what money was left that is, but they were stuck behind a bunch of, as Podge put it, ‘Squeaky Squealing Schoolgirl Grockles”who giggled and squeaked every-time they picked up an item looked at it and then put it back. After what seemed an interminably long time, they finally settled for a single small chocolate bar that smaller than a small bar that serves no purpose at all. Well, that’s what Podge reckoned anyway.

Eventually, it was their turn and they chose this and they chose that and they put back this and selected those, and put back those and select them and repeated. Eventually with some glee and air of arrogance, Podge announced that he did have some secret money so they could if Tubbs so desired, have this, that, those and them and they could event have a new fridge magnet. Tubbs was happy: Tubbs loved Podge and so Podge was happy and let’s face it, we all know that Podge loves Tubbs. Happy Podge. But, his breathing was still bad, if not a little worserer (Podge speak) and was by now struggling so the next port of call (get the nautical term?) was to be the coach pick up point and the trip back to where the boat was parked (another nautical term) and Podge just collapsed into his seat on the bus. Poor Podge.

Back on the boat at last, Tubbs knew that Podge just needed to rest so she made him sit down on the balcony where he could relax, enjoy the fresh air and have ‘small’ G&T or a chilled Chablis or maybe a beer (it was too early for Whiskey / Whisky). Naturally, he wasn’t going to be alone and soon enough Tubbs was with him with a nice G&T, Podge had opted for the same, and together they sat and relaxed.

And so, as the afternoon meandered slowly towards evening, His Podgeness and The Duchess sat and relaxed and watched as the boat untied all its strings and gently pushed away from its parking spot and head course back to the Adriatic Sea and turning right to head for Venice.

And, as the Oceana meandered her way Venice’wards (Podge speak), Podge checked out his photos. Today he had elected to take just Canon 5D with 40mm Pancake (making his digital SLR a point a shoot camera) so was interested to see how the pictures turned out. Podge was reasonably happy with the results.

Click here for the same but with photos

Having enjoyed the little trip down the English Channel and across the Bay of Biscay plus taking a day out in Lisbon, Podge & Tubbs were now looking forward to the start of their Mediterranean part of cruise with the first stop being Gibraltar.

Podge was looking forward to Gibraltar as he knew he would be able to source a lens for his camera at a good price: Podge was not looking forward to Gibraltar is he knew that Tubbs would having similar thoughts about the jewellery shops. Podge really didn’t know how he felt about Gibraltar! Anyway, it was to be a 10-minute walk from the ship to the square so they opted for a shuttle bus which took 5-minutes but less effort :-).

Once there the exploration started – ‘where are the camera shops’ thought Podge – ‘where are the jewellery shops’ thought Tubbs but then, Podge had a far right thought. He seemed to remember somebody telling him it was possible to buy Ventolin inhalers over the counter and so, at the first pharmacy he saw he went in and asked for 2 and got 2 for £5. This excited Podge unnaturally as he clutched his purchases with pride: ‘Who needs doctors?’ thought Podge and on their they way went. Camera shops came, jewellery shops came, camera shops went, jewellery shops went until at last Podge sees a shop he remembered (well, that’s what he told Tubbs anyway) and in he went. “Can I help you sir” asked the shop keeper. “Yes please” said Podge, “I would like a 70 – 200 telephoto for for my canon camera please”. The shop keeper looked at Podge’s camera and said “No you don’t, what you really want is a 100 – 600 telephoto: that will give the full range in one go”. “No I don’t’ said Podge, ‘I want a 70 – 200 lens”. ‘Hmm’, thinks the shopkeeper, ‘I think a 75 – 300 will be better”. ‘Look behind you on the top shelf” said Podge, ‘see that 70 – 200 lens, that’s what I want. The shop keeper gave in and handed over the lens. Now all that was required was for His Podgeness to pay. So it was out with his best credit card imaginable and popped it into the machine, checked his pin and entered it. [PIN INVALID]. He tried again [PIN INVALID]. ‘I know it’s the right pin” said Podge “look here, 7593” he said to Tubbs (it’s not really 7593 but I wonder if anybody reading this recognised their own pin and immediately thought of changing it 🙂 ). The shop keeper politely warned His Podgeness that a third [PIN INVALID] would block his card. Podge was now in a quandary. Fortunately, Tubbs The Duchess recognised the signs and took out her own card and paid for it herself. Podge does so love Tubbs.

Leaving the camera shop, Podge sees another pharmacy and again became unnaturally excited at the prospect of buying Ventolin Inhalers over the counter and so without further ado in he went and bought 2 more but this time they cost him £7. ‘Hmm’ he thinks, ‘that makes them a whole pound dearer than the last shop’ but still, he clutched his purchases and continued his walk along the high street only now, he was looking for bars: Tubbs however still had one eye open for all the jewellery shops. But Tubbs is a gracious / caring woman and saw that Podge was starting to slow and thought that it would be a good idea to stop before Podge starting using up all his new inhalers and without further ado found a suitable bar and found a table. Podge, who had indeed started to tire suddenly realised where he was, perked up and order 1 large beer for himself and one large Pinot for The Duchess.

They sat, they drank, they talked, they drunk some more, they ordered the same again and they sat and they drank and they talked and they drunk some more. Eventually, truth be known, they became drunk.

This probably explains how Podge suddenly admitted to Tubbs that he now remembered his PIN, allegedly he was looking at the wrong card [honestly]. And with that Tubbs marched Podge to M&S, leading him by his cauliflower ear all the way to the new tops section: Tubbs is always at her happiest when purchasing new tops. She then lead him to the dress section: Tubbs is pretty happy when buying new dresses. She then leads Podge to the underwear section: Podge is now getting naturally excited, but wrongly so it turns out.The underwear was for him and he was made to choose which to buy. Tubbs then led Podge to the [PAY HERE] section and instructed him to settle up. Podge did as he was told. Podge always does as he’s told. Podge isn’t stupid.

Now, with Podge clutching his purchases, and Tubbs clutching her purchases they started to make their way back down the high street but Podge had to stop off at the bar again: Apparently, when one gets to a certain age, fluid retention become challenging.

On the way back to meet the shuttle, The Duchess, for this is how she becomes when nearing a jewellery shop, espied a shop which had a certain attraction to her and she just knew that she would do well in this shop. Podge couldn’t fight back, one because of his own ill gotten gains and two because he had no strength to do so. And so with the same inevitability of death and tax they crossed the threshold into said store. Once in there, Podge saw two rather fetching oriental ladies who were also from the Oceana but who also had a certain level of class and wealth. ‘Sugar’ thought Podge, or something like that, this shop aint going to be cheap. Podge had to sit down: it was all he could do as The Duchess, now in her element and she now browsed the whole shop. Podge’s heart raced, not because of the sight of the rather fetching oriental ladies but because of what The Duchess may do next. Eventually he heard her ask “which do you prefer, these or these?” It was at this point he knew he’d lost. Any answer would cost money but which answer would please The Duchess the most and which answer would cost the least. Faced with a similar challenge in the past, Podge did try to play her at her own game by saying I don’t mind, I like them both, so she bought them both. Podge doesn’t do that any more. So Podge was honest and chose the ones he honestly liked the best and with that The Duchess bought them, with her own card. Podge was ecstatic: this has never happened before.

And so now, Both His Podgeness and The Duchess made their way to the Shuttle for the short 10-minute ride back. They were joined by a party of inmates [seemingly] from ‘Waiting For God’ with half not knowing where they were, the other half worrying about where they they’d been and all worrying about where all were going to sit on the eight seater bus and there was only five of them. Eventually they sorted them selves out, everybody was aboard and off they went to rejoin the Ocean.

Another successful trip aboard.

PS – Podge is now living on edge. How did he get away with not paying up in the jewellers. What lies in store for hime ahead. Podge was indeed a worried man.

The underwear by the way, were twice his size.

Check back for further recants of Podge & Tubbs Go Cruising.