Monday, April 28, 2014

Over the Equator ... and a stowaway

As I write this, we are about to arrive in Honolulu after our second 4,000km sea leg of this trip.  This one took 5 days compared to 4 days for the last one ... can only assume the bump over the equator must have slowed us up a bit.

Normally, a few days "at sea" sees me getting a bit jumpy and I have to look for things to do to keep me occupied ... as a resylt, I tend to fill my days attending so-called enrichment lectures, art auctions, etc.  This time around it has been different ... it seems I am totally relaxed and have spent more time sitting around reading and watching the world go by than I ever have ... perhaps retirement and a less stressful life is the difference??

Pic of King Neptune

We experienced our second equator crossing ceremony the other day.  It is traditional in the maritime world for those who cross the equator for the first time (they are referred to as "polywogs" unlike us "shelbacks" who have done it before) to undertake an initiation ceremony at the hands of King Neptune.  Compared to our initiation ceremony on Ocean Princess, which was quite an expansive production, this was a low-key affair that didn't last more than about 10 minutes.  If it hadn't been for a Polynesian dance performance at the beginning, the ceremony would have been even shorter.  We left somewhat disappointed for those experiencing the initation for the first time ... it could have been just so much better,

In some respects, this lack of effort is typical of the work of the cruise director and his staff on this cruise.  Suffice to say, I have seen better, more varied shipboard prgrams on previous cruises than on this one ... perhaps a change of cruise director for the next 2 legs will see an improvement.  At least this guy organised an Anzac Day dawn ceremony, which was good, although it only lasted 5 minutes ... and then they opened the bar so that everyone could enjoy a beer and remember ... at 6am though most adjourned to the cafe/buffet for coffee!

A stowaway was found on board the other day ... an injured bird took refuge from the windy weather on the promenade deck.  How lucky we came along when we did ... there's not much land between French Polynesia and Hawaii on which he could have landed if we hadn't come along!

Pic of bird

Speaking of weather, we have experienced some very windy and overcast weather over the past couple of days that has kept the temperature down to the mid-20's ... while this is quite cool for the tropics, it is really quite absurd to see people walking around the pool deck in winter woolies as we crossed the equator.

We have found our spot on deck ... most days we sit by the lawn on the very top deck of the ship, enjoying the breeze and view it offers, not to mention the drinks our friendly barmen at the Sunset Bar pour for us during the day.

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