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January 25th 2020
Published: January 25th 2020
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A day at sea.

I know folks who say they would be bored cruising. I never seem to have that problem. Today I awoke at 5:30 and that seems to be my routine so far. Checked my email and the news then had breakfast in my cabin; juice, cereal and coffee. It was then time to visit Australian immigration officials as we will hit an Aussie port tomorrow. Headed to the Lido for my smoked salmon and sat in the sun to enjoy. Next I went to a lecture on bio-diversity in the South Pacific. It was excellent. Checked out the casino to see if we would have a tournament but only three signed up.

Took a little time on my deck chair chatting with my next cabin neighbor and reading and before I knew it lunch time rolled around. My choice was nacho fixings. Then I checked back at the casino but still only three names. Headed to the showroom for a talk by Maoris about the Maori war chants. I expected a lecture but it turned out to be an audience participation gig. And thus I learned a Haka from the words to the body language that goes along. Actually it was fun and the audience was very receptive. After a rest it was time for Happy Hour and the Team Trivia and a chat with a couple from England who have their own special hell with Brexit.

Dinner tonight was “Gala” so I enjoyed a double order of escargot and rack of lamb. Yum.

Tomorrow we try to tender into Norfolk Island.

Norfolk Island sits all alone off the coast of Australia and north of New Zealand. It was the second refuge of the Bounty mutineers as the population on Pitcaron Island became too large. The British took possession and established a penal colony here. Even if you could escape there was nowhere to go.

From my room the sea looked calm but as I watched the local tenders make their way to the ship it was apparent that the swells were making it hard going. Norfolk is a new port to this ship and last week they were unable to tender at all.

Our tenders could not operate because the shore side facility was incompatible. The local tender towed it’s own “launching station” and after a delay when a local sailor ended in the drink, the passengers began the process. This meant standing at the edge of the platform, and waiting until the crew tells you to GO. One, two three, wait, not now, ok, go. The Captain acknowledged it was not the smoothest operation and we were warned that we were to carry nothing in our hands to be free to grab hold. The next caution was while we could get over, the weather could change and they might not get us back. Is that case we would be flown to Sydney, from there to Auckland and then to the ship wherever it might be.

Weighing the benefits versus the cost and after I heard of a woman who fell flat on her face in the tender, I decided to stay on board. They cruise director added more activities, the Captain declared Happy Hour all day and I was able to enjoy an extra sea day.

The Maasdam has a wonderful assortment of art and artifacts on display and I wandered about admiring piece after piece. Enjoyed lunch in the Dining Room which was opened for the day. Then it was Trivia and reading time. Watched Downtown Abbey then headed to the Crow’s Nest for a Maori demonstration of how to make poi balls, those fabric balls at the end of a string that accompany chants all over the Pacific. Enjoyed my stinger and settled in for a short nap. Awoke to discover I had missed my assigned dinner time and wasn’t hungry after a delicious lunch of fusilli primavera so read a bit and slept the night through.


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