RICHARD Jones, urger without parallel on the long concourse of my personal history, reminds me bluntly that the last report I made from MV Nautica, now 10 days into a five-week cruise, had me confined to my cabin with an ear complaint.
I travel mainly by sea because of an arthritic body that demands comfort and the sleep apnoea that requires a power supply to keep me breathing through the night. So a degree of technological reliability is prescribed these days as I move somewhat gingerly through time and space.
Loyal readers are used to me diarising travel experiences - banal though they be. I contemplate a memoir. Working title - The most tedious traveller in the world, ever.
So Richard pokes me gently. "The good vessel must be well out to sea now and hopefully the ear malady has worked itself out," quoth he. "But there's stories to write and seafaring narratives to spin while out on the briny."
And he is kind. "Even if just mundane meals we have eaten - deck quoits games we have played - boring fellow travellers we must avoid and retreat to the quietest bar. That sort of thing."
Having popped a Fenac to pretend to my back that I'm looking after it, the chemicals have allowed me to walk three kilometres uphill and climb steps the equivalent of 15 stories so as to inspect the impressive ruins (I know ruins) of Fort Mormugao in the former Portuguese colony of Goa on the Indian west coast.
Now back in my cabin, I think I have lost some kilos in sweat and am desperately trying to to put them back by drinking beer.
High on the ramparts of the fort, and with great clarity, I see the pollution hanging across the bay. I also spot two wild dogs that - to my untrained but cautious eye - look rabid. To them, so must I; because they and I flee in opposite directions.
Well, they flee, I stagger; burdened by a soaked shirt that by now seems to have absorbed 15 kilos of sweat and is draped around me like a giant waterlogged possum.
And now, back in the safety of my cabin, I write these plaintive notes while staring through the window at a derelict MV Qing docked at the next wharf.
Qing is a passenger liner registered in Mumbai. She was previously known as Melody, Starship Atlantic and just plain old Atlantic when launched in France back in 1982.
She's been idle in Goa for a year, looks more buggered than I am and is at a complete standstill. Although Marine Traffic website assures me she is moving at 0.1 of a knot. If that's the case I'm moving at 0.2 of a knot while sitting bolted to this stool my feet planted on the cabin floor.
We were in Mumbai for two days until yesterday and Ingrid and I had a good look around the city and its museums and galleries but saw no Bollywood stars, especially not Brett Lee.
We were guided on the first day by Mumbai University student and future lawyer, Neil, pictured with me here, who reminded us - in appearance and manner - of our youngest son Ben. Cool, assured, astute....
These so-called "millennials" (born 1980-2000) are the first truly global generation. That being so, I hope they will be better at running the bloody planet than mine ever was.
Before Mumbai Nautica crossed the Arabian Sea from Oman. On this leg we participated in a Pirate Drill (readers of my 2014 travel diary had already reminded me of pirates).
Pirate Drill consists of passengers lying prostrate in stairwells while the crew charge around madly, repelling imaginary boarders. It serves to liven up an otherwise dull day at sea.
Oman is quite the place. The current Sheikh, nearly 40 years in office, has made the country a model of what can be achieved when a progressive, honest leadership gets into power determined to share the fruits of the nation's wealth with its people.
I shall draw no comparison.
For the next few days we will continue to sail down the west coast of India visiting Mangalore and Cochin before heading south past the Laccadives to the Maldives.
We shall no doubt motor by the reef where some Maldivian colleagues and I were stranded for a couple of days more than 30 years ago, our launch having been holed by a thrusting spear of coral. That was a real adventure. The kind I don't want to have now.
That voyage was part of a two-week journey to test new radio broadcasting transmitters we had just installed in the Maldivian capital, Male.
Before the trip, I had cunningly plotted the positions of all tuna collection boats in the northern atolls so as to maintain a constant supply of ice to keep the beer cold.
Not being drinkers of alcohol, the Maldivians did not fully understand this assiduousness. But it was, I fully appreciate three decades later, in the finest traditions of Empire.
That will have to do you for now, Richard and friends.