Pre-Samoa


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Oceans and Seas » Pacific
February 14th 2012
Published: February 14th 2012EDIT THIS ENTRY

Monday 13th February:

Sorry to rub it in but the Equator in mid February is an absolutely fantastic place to

be. It got to over 30 degrees today so we spent much of the morning on our balcony as

that was on the shady side of the ship. By the time we went up to the pool area in the

afternoon it was so hot there wasn't a single sunbed in the sun with a body on it. But

we managed to find Richard a perfect arm chair in the shade. I wallowed in the pool

with an eclectic mix of other guests. The pool could only have been improved if they'd

chilled it down a bit to become refreshing. No-one was swimming but we all looked like

a multi-coloured group of hippos wallowing at a water hole. There is such an array of

humankind to wallow with: fit, fat, flabby, pale, pink and lobster, plain, bling'd up

to the eye brows and all sorts of tattoos on show including some very strange Russian

eyebrows that have been inked half way up a forehead! There is a small group of about 5

Russians on board and they are very clear about their favourite things: brands, bling

and body art.

Late afternoon we spent back on our balcony as that was now on the sunny side of the

ship and this evening we shall go off to dinner after a very refreshing G&T - with as

much ice as we can possibly fit in the glass!

The interesting element of the day was our mid-day lecture from the marine salvage

specialist and today's talk was a slightly odd choice for a cruise ship as it was about

all the different things that cause ships to need salvaging. His photos were amazing

and they covered just about every cause imaginable: running aground, running into

another ship, metal fatigue, human error, plain stupidity, fire, explosions, war,

terrorism. He was also very up-to-date and talked quite a bit about the Costa Concodia.

(It's his company that is currently taking the fuel out of that hull.) His next talk

is another perfect choice for a boat whose itinerary will take us close to Somalia and

Syria: pirates! At least we know we have one expert on board who will know what to do

with us afterwards should anything untoward happen.

We go ashore again tomorrow; this time on American Samoa. It sounds like a wonderful

place: 18 miles long by just 6 miles wide, volcanic, dense vegitation, precipitous

cliffs with much of the farm land on the island sloping at angles as steep as 45

degrees! We're off to a small village to eat at an Umu feast. An umu is a Polynesian

earth oven so should be an interesting culinary exploration.

There's not much wildlife to report out here in the Pacific: just swarms of flying fish

which the ship clearly takes by surprise; this far from anywhere they're probably not

expecting some great hulk to go racing by at over 20 knots! It's now 7.30 pm and it's

86 degrees outside. Even the sea is over 82 degrees now. We've sailed 2,532 miles

since Hawaii and a grand total of 15,574 since Southampton. I wonder how many we'll

have done by the time we get back at the end of April?

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