smooth sailing at last

Oceans and Seas » Pacific » Sea of Japan
March 3rd 2019
Published: March 3rd 2019
Edit Blog Post

i had to break down and buy a days internet on board the ship again. it is expensive and very slow, but i have all day to write and no where to go. we are currently in the pacific ocean heading towards kagoshima, japan. our arrival date is thursday, march the 7th. quite a long stretch at sea, but so far the sea is much calmer and i think cyclone oma is finally behind us.

i wrote in my last blog that after sydney we would be heading east then north to avoid oma but that was incorrect. oma was making her way east after brisbane so we headed north hugging australias coast line. the passage was still very choppy. i think there must have been quite a few disappointed passengers re. missing the great barrier reef, because 3 days after leaving sydney, captain cook announced he was going to try to stop at yorkeys knob so we could see the GBR, all depending on the wind and the waves because yorkeys knob is a tendering port. when he announced this you could hear a cheer roll across the entire ship. it was a wave of a roar! but that would mean missing rabaul, papua new guinea.

so on the morning of feb. 27th we arrived at yorkeys knob which is a smaller port just on the outskirts of cairns. unfortunately i had booked my GBR tour from airlie beach, which we did not stop at and is on the other side of cairns from yorkeys knob, so i did not get to see the GBR after all. but from what i heard the boat ride out to the GBR from the ship was over 2 hours long and very rough. lots of passengers got sea sick. when i was watching the boats leave from the side of the ship there was already a passenger puking into a bag and they hadn't even left yet! maybe it was good i missed it. i could have never coped. and then when they got there the sea was still very cloudy from the wind and the waves so the visibility wasn't very good. apparently it takes a couple of days for the sand to settle after a storm. but at least they were able to tick that box.

i finally dined with my new table of 8. we are all solo travelers except for one couple from australia. most of the solos on my table have had recent losses of partners, except for the one lady who has never been married. all the others are from the uk. some are on until hong kong and dubai, and the others are on until southampton. they are very friendly and easy to talk to except i think they must all be in their 80's, with the exception of mike, a gay man that lost his partner of 40 years a year ago. another man lost both his wife and his daughter in the same month. so not as many laughs at this table like we shared on my last dining table. and the lady that has never married reminds me of maggie thatcher. she talks like her and looks a bit like her, only older, and when ever you sit beside her she wants to talk politics. apparently she was a career woman and was involved with politics in london somehow. i might dine in the belvedere more often anyways. all this dressing up for dinner every night gets a bit tiring. and i have been dining with other friends i have made on the ship. when we were in sydney we had kangaroo meat on the menu. it was good. lean and red. on black tie night we had the most delicious cheese after our meal. stilton with port in it. it only comes out on special nights. the captain also gave us all a free meal and drinks up to 30 pounds at one of the fine dining restaurants. a gesture to smooth over some disappointed passengers i am sure.

some of the guest entertainers have been excellent. in sydney we had a sydney group called desperado who did an eagles tribute. the lead singer was from vancouver, canada! we had 2 ladies playing classical music on a cello and a viola. the viola player spoke german. it's a bit like a violin only more mellow sounding. the headliners theatre group put on an excellent show on our 60's and 70's night. all disco dancing and disco music. it was amazing! all the lights and choreography and costume changes. they even performed 2 bay city rollers songs. i was crazy about them when i was 10. brought back some great memories. and 2 nights ago we had a tom jones impersonator. he was on the show the voice in the uk. he sounded exactly like tom jones and had the audience all singing along. i went to both of his shows that is how much i enjoyed it. we also had an outdoor dance party on the back deck of the ship. i really enjoy dancing outside. there is always a nice breeze, and lots of room to boogie. but they don't decorate like they used to. at one time there would be balloons and streamers everywhere. but because everyone is so plastic waste aware now, that has all stopped.

while at sea on the 28th the captain gave us another surprise. he announced that we will be making a quick 4 hour stop after all at rabaul, PNG on the 29th. not enough time for any tours, but at least we can tick another box. germany had control of this region in the late 1800's and early 1900's. but at the start of WW1 an australian force landed here and took it over. australian currency is used here. in 1937 a volcano erupted on the island killing 507 people. then in september 1994 there were 2 volcanic eruptions from 2 different volcanoes. you can see one of the more recent eruptions in one of my photos. i didn't get off the ship in rabaul. the route in was scenic enough, and once we were dockside the town didn't look like much. passengers were lining up for an hour to get off the ship. some were already coming back while they were still trying to disembark others. in one of the photos you will see the local pilot boarding our ship. in most ports they have local ship captains who have expert knowledge of the waters. they board the larger vessels to guide us into their harbour. they usually board the arcadia a mile or so out. once the pilot is on board he has control of the ship, and outranks captain cook.

i really enjoy my balcony and have been making good use of it. i've seen some nice sunsets. and at night the stars in the sky are amazingly clear and bright. sometimes in the afternoon i will retreat to my cabin for an afternoon nap. then when i get up i will sit out on my balcony with a cup of tea and my book. i know now why there is always constant re-painting and re-varnishing going on everywhere on the ship. my deck chairs are covered in large salt crystals from the sea. i could dry them in the sun and bottle them!

every day we are at sea, at exactly 12 noon the officer of the watch will ring the bell from the bridge and give us the weather report and the current location of the arcadia. yesterday we crossed back across the equator heading north. there was another ceremony with the captain dressed as neptune but i decided to give it a miss.

and some news about the passenger that needed the blood transfusion, apparently he/she got back on the ship in sydney to rejoin the cruise and is doing well. well this is what i heard from some other passengers while at a jewelry making class. 😊 i have noticed quite a few passengers with bandages on their legs and some with their arms in slings.

it's almost 2 pm here as we head towards japan. we are doing 20 knots at the moment. it is sunny and 28 degrees outside with a force 5 wind so quite breezy and a bit choppy. i think i will pop up to the belvedere on deck 9 and grab some lunch while my photos download. when we get to kagoshima on the 7th i am booked on a 4 hour city tour.

i received a very nice message from a couple in the uk who are following my blog. they were booked to go on this world cruise but last minute had to cancel because of an illness. so instead they have been reading my blog and enjoying hearing about my adventures at sea from their home in england. they said it is like going on a virtual cruise for them. thank-you to them and welcome aboard!

so until next time, keep well everyone!

cruisin again, susan 😊

Additional photos below
Photos: 46, Displayed: 28


11th March 2019

Onward journey
Hello, thoroughly enjoying reading about your onward journey. Hope you make all the remaining ports. Have fun. Margaret & Mick

Tot: 0.074s; Tpl: 0.018s; cc: 10; qc: 48; dbt: 0.01s; 1; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.3mb