A Travellerspoint blog


Day Five @ Sea

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Some spectacular cloud formations contributed to make this morning's sunrise a success. Today we cross from the Southern to the Northern Hemisphere and we'll encounter King Neptune and his court. We've crossed the Equator on a number of ships and the "Ceremony" is a long-standing maritime tradition to mark the event. Those who have not crossed the Equator on a ship are referred to as "Pollywogs" and during the Ceremony they are proclaimed to be "Shellbacks". Another job for the staff, to print and deliver almost 2,000 certificates, one each regardless of previous crossings.

King Neptune came aboard and presided over the ceremony. After all the Pollywogs had been initiated the captain and Cruise Director were taken for a dip in the pool. Almost all of the 2,000 passengers crowded the vantage points and were encouraged to join the chorus of 'Guilty !!' as a number of individuals were accused of various crimes.

A simple lunch from the International Cafe after which we made our way to the Theatre for a talk by Lyn Hurry. Today's topic being the extermination of Tasmania's indigenous people and the circumstances of their demise. Quite an emotional story and caused her to pause for a while at one stage of the talk. Certainly not an uplifting story.

We stayed in our seats to Today's Movie. I hadn't heard of it but Jenny had some knowledge of it. "Unbroken" is based on the real life of an American Olympic runner who during WW2 survives an aircraft crash in the ocean to be picked up by a Japanese submarine. As a POW in Japan he is singled out for 'special' treatment by a sadistic camp commandant and against all odds survives to see the end of the War. He suffered from this ill treatment for many years and in later life returned to Japan to carry out charitable works. He died in 2014 aged 97. Another brutal tale with a thread of great heroism to make it a worth watching movie.

Dinner was excellent as usual and sadly we say farewell to the Junior Waiter, Joseph, he leaves the ship in Singapore. He has a bright personality and is very quick to see what needs to be done. We will miss his happy smiling face.

After dinner we went up to Deck 12 for Movies Under the Stars - again. We've rarely previously watched a movie on the giant scree and this is already the second one for this cruise. With all the colour and sound of a Bollywood feature "The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" continues on from the original with the same cast. Full of love, intrigue and unlikely story line, it is the colour and costumes that carries this off.

This morning's sunrise created an impressive image if you have time you can view it by following this link to the image for Today

Wishing you good health and safe travel.
Have a great day and stay well.
Cheers .. Tony

Posted by greynomadm 05:47 Archived in Indonesia Comments (0)

Day Four @ Sea

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

This morning presented with some scattered clouds, a light fog on the ocean surface and a continuation of the calm seas. Sunrise was later again, forecast for 06:48 and was pretty much a no-show. The fog made any attempt to use the auto-focus a futile exercise.

Breakfast has become routine for both of us as we try to avoid the fried and calorie-rich offerings. It continues to amaze us that some people can pile large quantities of food onto a plate, consume it all and go back for more. Perhaps it is their only meal for the day.

The Destination Expert was in the Theatre at 09:30 where she provided an overview on the features of Phuket, Thailand. We have a shore excursion booked and will have little opportunity or desire to visit the beaches which are the major attraction. Shortly after her talk we were once again entertained by Lyn Hurry with a talk on the effect for the Gold Rush on early Australia.

Following a brief lunch we headed for the Theatre again for the Movie of the Day. The film, "Southpaw", was rated 'R' and lived up to that rating. The language was in keeping with the pro boxing scene and the visuals were graphic and brutal. The story-line followed a predictable riches to rags and the loss of everything including many fair-weather friends. From the dungeon of despair there is a gradual recovery culminating in one final victory. The lead actor, Jake Gyllenhaal gave a very believable performance as a boxer.

This afternoon we passed through the Sunda Strait where we transitioned from the Indian Ocean to the Java Sea. We passed close to where the warship HMAS Perth was sunk in February 1942. An announcement from the bridge by the Captain briefly recalled the event and paid tribute to the sacrifices of those sailors lost.

On completion of another lovely dinner we observed some delicate colours ti our stern. By the time I got back to the cabin and up on deck again it had faded significantly. I snapped off some shots and was well pleased with the results.

Off to the Theatre again to be enthralled again by the magic flute of Kaitlyn Carr. The 45 minute show was packed with foot-stomping and hand-clapping Celtic Airs.

Despite what appears to have been a day of sitting on my backside, the FitBit recorded 10,711 steps for today, not bad for a sea day.

This evening's twilight created a delicate image if you have time you can view it by following this link to the image for Today

Wishing you good health and safe travel.
Have a great day and stay well.
Cheers .. Tony

Posted by greynomadm 05:13 Archived in Indonesia Comments (0)

Day Three @ Sea

Monday, 11 January 2016

This morning the sea was again remarkably calm but there were storm clouds overhead. Forecast high temperature is 30 °C and the humidity is increasing. Sunrise is later again today and is due at 06:30. The ship continues to clip along at about 19 knots and it is difficult to detect any sense of motion. Quite remarkable.

The sunrise was blocked by clouds and it took some lime for it to break through. By this time it was almost 07:00 and time for breakfast. Returned to what has become our favourite spot in the International Cafe to read our Kindles and observe other people trying to find seating. By about 10:00 it had become crowded and rather noisy so we decided to find an early lunch in the Horizon Court.

Spent some time waiting to see the Future Cruises Manager. I questioned him about the PNG cruise for April 2017. I was convinced that it was available from Sydney but he had booked us a round trip from Brisbane. He agreed to change it to RT Sydney and was under the impression I'd asked for Brisbane. Anyway, the booking has been changes so that we now sail from Sydney and back there. Much better.

Today's talk by Lyn Hurry is titled "Mathew Flinders". She covered much of what I knew about him and a whole lot more. The most surprising fact being that he was a prisoner of the French on Mauritius for nine years. We stayed in the Theatre for the Movie of the Day. The title is "Spy" and starred Melissa McCarthy. A totally crazy senseless comedy of bizarre characters in unlikely situations and a dialogue comprising almost totally of basic clichés and innuendos. Absolutely a Must See movie, haven't laughed like this in years.

After a lovely meal in the dining room we joined a large crowd in the Vista Lounge to be entertained by Rikki Jay. He's one of those fast talking energetic comedians who tells a lot of short jokes at a rapid speed whilst rushing from one side of the stage to the other. He couldn't be classed as a 'stand-up' comedian - he didn't stand still long enough. Some of his material was quite funny but the majority were old and worn.

This morning's sunrise was short of spectacular if you have time you can view it by following this link to the image for Today

Wishing you good health and safe travel.
Have a great day and stay well.
Cheers .. Tony

Posted by greynomadm 05:33 Archived in Indonesia Comments (1)

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