Monthly Archives: January 2013

Nuka Hiva

Sunday 27th  January 2013

Land Ahoy!! … After ten days at sea we have finally arrived at Nuka Hiva which is the largest of the Marquesas Islands in French Polynesia, an overseas territory of France in the Pacific Ocean. It is formed of several volcanoes the highest being Mount Tekao.

Helen Viewing Our Home Away From Home

We anchored off Taiohae which lies in a superb protected bay overlooked by the mountain known as The Sentinel and is the principal village and administrative centre of Nuka Hiva. The bay contains many giant stone statues called ‘tikis’ from the ancient culture although now the island is mainly catholic and has a cathedral called Notre-Dame.

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We were last here two years ago on the Sojourn world cruise and thought it would be interesting to follow in our previous footsteps so we walked the one road through the village and found that nothing had really changed. In fact Vance found the derelict village house that we had joked about two years ago and guess what…it was still derelict now.

We walked right to the end of the bay where we had paddled last time and met a local family hunting for crabs in the rocks there. They showed us the big rock and the heavy mallet that they use to crack the crabs ready for cooking…yummy…not…..I don’t think Chef Thorsten needs to worry about the competition here!!

On the walk back to the tender  – by now we were hot and sweaty and in desperate need of our 12 noon beer – we stopped to view the cathedral entrance but the lure of the cold beer was greater than my cultural needs!!

Just before we got back to the tender we saw a local horseman exercising his horse on the beach. We were told that all the horses on the island are of Chilean stock brought in by the French in the 19th century.

We made it back just in time for our noon ritual and then sat in the shade at The Patio Grill for a long lunch.

At 6pm there was a Tahitian sail away party with Polynesian dancers at the poolside but unfortunately I was in the bath at the time so I didn’t take any photos…sorry folks…but as the dancers are staying with us until Papeete in three days time I’m sure there will be many photo opportunities to come.

Vance did manage to capture the sunset this evening and we do have some great shots of that.

Techie bits: On the 27th of January at 6:30am we were:
9° south and 140° west
Travelling on a compass course : 294°
Speed = 15 knots
Wind speed = 12 knots from east
Air temperature = 26°c (78°f)
Total nautical miles sailed = 6394
Depth = 840 metres
Humidity 67%
Sunrise = 5:47am  Sunset =6:18pm

The Last Of Our 10 Days At Sea

Saturday 26th  January 2013

Still At Sea

Happy Australia to all of our Aussie friends aboard and ashore.

At 9am it was 82f – it’s going to be hot today!!

Vance is almost back to normal…sorry folks the weird humour is returning.

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We spent a quiet morning at the pool or should I say in the pool as it was so hot and humid. I think we must have broken the record for the most guests in a Seabourn pool at one time.

Vance had intended to take the adult ballet class with Heidicha today but wasn’t really feeling up to it – lucky escape Heidicha!!

Then it was a lazy lunch at The Colonnade then back to our suite for an afternoon siesta…zzzzz…

Oh yes – it’s a sad day today as Vance’s pirate pants have finally given up the ghost. Those of you that followed the blog last year will remember that the pirate pants had to have an emergency repair job by the Seabourn tailor and after his excellent work they survived to see another world cruise…until now. This time there will be no return but luckily I had bought Vance a new pair of similar pirate pants and we will just have to hope they will become as much loved and as much travelled as the ‘old ones’.

At 6pm the temperature  was still 75f but misty and pouring with rain – we must be nearing land!!

Techie bits: On the 26th of January at 7:05am we were:
7° south and 134° west
Travelling on a compass course : 255°
Speed = 15 knots
Wind speed = 18 knots from east
Air temperature = 25°c (77°f)
Total nautical miles sailed = 6037
Depth = 4700 metres
Humidity 67%
Sunrise = 5:26am  Sunset = 5:53pm

Day 9 At Sea – Crew Tug Of War

Friday 25th  January 2013

Vance was feeling a little under the weather this morning so I went off to Kinesis and left him in bed. He had a light breakfast and we both had a lazy morning but by lunchtime he was back in his bed and fast asleep.

11am was the final round of the Iron Chef contest. This time the teams had to prepare a dessert using dark chocolate, strawberries and avocado among other things. They all looked delicious but the winner was Team 2. Chef Thorsten said all three winning courses will be on the menu in the main restaurant  in the next few days.

Went  back to the cabin to check on Vance and found him asleep but with the TV on…hooray…the signal’s back.

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Pull Girls, Pull

He decided to spend the afternoon in bed so at 3pm I joined the other guests to watch the Crew Tug Of War. It was hilarious, the crew really enjoyed it and produced some fantastic costumes and I took some fabulous photos. A special mention to housekeeping ‘The Runaway Brides’ for their great costumes and of course for the Bar Team who won for the fourth consecutive time on the world cruises.

We decided to have room service in our suite tonight, so no dressing up for us,  just a club sandwich for me and Parma ham and melon for Vance with a movie and then early to bed.

Clocks back half an hour tonight (not sure why half an hour) so we are now nine and a half hours behind UK time…not that it really matters what the time is anywhere else when you’re in the middle of the Pacific Ocean as all that really matters is ships time.

Techie bits: On the 25th of January at 7:30am we were:
6° south and 128° west
Travelling on a compass course : 257
Speed = 15.5 knots
Wind speed = 15 knots from north east
Air temperature = 27°c (81°f)
Total nautical miles sailed =5667
Depth = 4640 metres
Humidity 68%
Sunrise = 5:34am  Sunset = 5:57pm

Day 8 At Sea

Thursday 24th  January 2013


Woke at 6:45am and ordered tea from room service but when I put the TV on for the ship route info the time said 6am, not 7am…our room clock had not been put back one hour…does that mean I’ve missed an hours sleep…boo hoo…but never mind we were wide awake anyway so we had an extra hour to catch up on the blog.

Still no TV signal today as we are still between satellite regions.

There was a Baggo rematch between the officers and guests at 10:30am this morning…the guests won again!!

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We decided to just have a lazy afternoon by the pool as there are two evening outside events.

At 5:40pm the Captain sent a tanoy message to say that the conditions were perfect for the illusive green-flash sunset. It would have meant going to the front of the ship to see it and I was about to get into my evening bath so I cheated and watched the sunset via the TV forward facing bridge camera. I spoke to the Captain later and he confirmed there was no flash tonight after all but many guest were positive they saw ‘the flash’…too many cocktails perhaps!!

At 6:30pm there was an evening on deck with the officers, staff and crew. The international crew had produced hors d’oeuves representing their home culture and cuisine. The hotel, deck, engine and medical departments had their own bar stations around the pool area where they served unique cocktails. Music was by Duo Everest.

Then it was off to the main dining room for dinner before returning to the Sky Bar for ‘Opera Under The Stars’ with Anthony Stewart Lloyd and guest appearances by Heather Clancy, Loula Geater and Elise.

It was a mesmerising evening with stunning music performed under a star speckled sky. What a fabulous way to listen to light opera …as these wonderful voices soured into the night’s sky I thought that this is definitely something to be repeated on future cruises ….hope you’re reading this Seabourn.

Techie bits: On the 24th of January at 7am we were:
4° south and 122° west
Travelling on a compass course : 255°
Speed = 15.5 knots
Wind speed = 21 knots from east
Air temperature = 25°c (77°f)
Total nautical miles sailed = 5290
Depth = 4280 metres
Humidity 67%
Sunrise = 5:11am  Sunset = 5:30pm

Day 7 At Sea

Wednesday 23rd  January 2013

Woke this morning to find that there is no signal on any of the TV channels … could be something to do with us being about 1500 nautical miles from land in any direction!!

Kinesis this morning was based on boxing but let me tell you that boxing with pulleys in your hands with weights on the other end is really difficult and quite awkward to get into a rhythm … I can’t bear to think what Craig will dream up next!!

The Iron Chef Round 2 took place at 11.00am and the teams had to create a main course from the ingredients provided. There were a few changes in the teams today as apparently internal team politics took over.

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Today we received our certificates for transiting The Panama Canal and also for crossing the equator…what a lovely keepsake.

The Kiss

Alan had taken some lovely pictures of Vance and me at the Pollywogs ceremony on Monday and as I have total editorial control I have decided to add them to today’s picture show ….. power, power … Vance says power mad!!

People have asked how we manage with 10 days at sea but there is so much to do (besides relaxing by the pool) that there never seems to be enough hours in the day to fit everything in … and that’s even with the extra hour we are getting every other day at the moment. Today for example we had the choice of Bridge lessons, The Iron Chef Contest, Painting lessons, Team Trivia, Special interest lectures, Dance Classes, Shuffleboard or you could just go to Seabourn Square to chat, read or have coffee. Phew…  I feel exhausted just listing everything.

You may be interested in the split of guest nationalities on board for this segment of the world cruise. This is:  Australia 17, Belgium 4, Canada 21, Colombia 1, Denmark 6, Germany 24, France 7, Ireland 1, Italy 4, New Zealand 1, Netherlands 6, Sweden 5, Switzerland 3, Spain 1, South Africa 2, United Kingdom 80, United States 153, Japan 2, Luxembourg 2.

We are about 100 short of the full guest capacity – probably because of the number of sea days in this segment – but you don’t know what you are missing folks or as Julia Roberts once said in Pretty Woman …. Big Mistake!!

Clocks back another hour tonight …. now 9 hours behind UK time.

Techie bits: On the 23rd of January at 7:30am we were:
2° south and 115° west
Travelling on a compass course : 256°
Speed = 16 knots
Wind speed = 14 knots from east
Air temperature = 24°c (75°f)
Total nautical miles sailed = 4873
Depth = 4240 metres
Humidity 66%
Sunrise = 5:46am  Sunset = 6:00pm

Day 6 At Sea – Galley Market

Tuesday 22nd January 2013

After last night’s early night I had hoped to get a picture of the sunrise today…I woke at 6am and missed it…I did get eight and a half hours sleep though!!  Vance says that as we are travelling West-South-West and our cabin is on the starboard side there is no way I could have got a picture from our balcony without reaching out about 20 feet…no chance!! or I would have had to run down the corridor in my PJ’s to get to the port side of deck 5…again no way. You will have to wait until we are travelling up the east coast of Australia.

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Helping Brian Finish His Burger

Today is Galley Market but we decided to have a quiet, intellectual lunch with Margaret and Brian on deck at The Grill…the noise and laughter must have been coming from the table next to us…honest!!

I did however pop down to the Galley Market to take some photos of the brilliant spread that the chefs and staff had prepared. One of the chefs had even produced a replica of the world in chocolate icing over a circular balloon …. unfortunately his geography was not fantastic as UK’s Manchester is now off the south coast of Devon and Canada has shrunk to half size – global warming perhaps? However it was a stunning feature for the entrance to the Restaurant …thank you chef.

This afternoon I had a snooze in one of the cabanas on the pool deck – it’s great as you can be in the shade or the sun or both. I chose to keep my head in the shade while tanning my legs….perfect!!

The show tonight was the return of comedy magician John Lenahan and once again he was brilliant.

After the show Hyperion Knight, the piano virtuoso came up to Alan and said he thought he looked just like Leonard Bernstein (an American composer). My reply was ‘but isn’t he dead?’…luckily everyone thought it funny…well everyone except Alan…but it was a good intro to have a chat with Hyperion.

Techie bits: On the 22nd of January at 7:30am we were:
0.5° south and 109° west
Travelling on a compass course : 256°
Speed = 17.5 knots
Wind speed = 11 knots from east
Air temperature = 22°c (72°f)
Total nautical miles sailed = 4475
Depth = 3820 metres
Humidity 65%
Sunrise = 5:22am  Sunset = 5:32pm

Days 4 & 5 At Sea – Crossing The Equator

Sunday 20th January 2013

Woke up at 7am and so glad we had that extra hour last night – I needed it. Must have a quiet day today – I need it.

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This year for the first time Seabourn have introduced a new initiative where guests who enjoy cooking can team up, participate and create their own recipes. There will be three rounds with three teams and after the final round the winning recipes will be featured as part of the menu in the main restaurant.

Today is the first round of ‘The Iron Chef Contest’ where the teams will prepare a starter using ingredients provided by Chef Thorsten. Two teams decided to prepare a salad while the third team created a soup. The winner was…….Team Two – a salad. Chef said the standard was really high and that he’d be happy to serve all three dishes in the main restaurant.

The meal tonight in The Colonnade was Vietnamese so Vance and I decided to dine once again under the stars. For us it’s not necessarily the food rather the fact we can dine outdoors…not something we can do at this time of the year in the UK…especially this week in Bristol….snow, snow, snow!!

Techie bits: On the 20th of January at 7:30am we were:
2° north and 095° west
Travelling on a compass course : 252°
Speed = 16 knots
Wind speed = 15 knots from south east
Air temperature = 25°c (77°f)
Total nautical miles sailed =3656
Depth = 2500 metres
Humidity 66%
Sunrise = 5:34am  Sunset = 5:34pm

Monday 21th January 2013

This morning at 10am the Officers challenged guests to a Baggo tournament at the poolside. With lots a friendly rivalry – and a little bit of gamesmanship by me (sorry officer!!) the Officers were quickly defeated and the guests won the day.

3pm brought the Crossing Of The Equator ceremony when King Neptune and his wife came aboard to bless all seafarers and hopefully grant us permission to pass his equatorial domain.

Shellbacks – those who have previously crossed could enjoy cocktails and watch the trials of the Pollywogs – those that have never before crossed.

With the Captains help sentences were passed, goop was smeared over the prisoners by either the doctor or the barber and the Pollywogs were then made to ‘Kiss The Fish’ before being despatched into the watery depths of the pool.

We decided to dine on The Colonnade (again) where tonight is Spanish Night and I have already decided that I’m going to have the Paella so it’s back to our suite for a wash and brush up before our meal.

Then at 6:32pm the Captain gave an announcement to say that everyone should immediately look out of their windows to see the line of the equator as we pass over it!! – he has a wonderful sense of humour…I wonder how many people fell for it and did look. Vance said that after all the cocktails consumed during the Pollywogs ceremony he wouldn’t be surprised if a few did actually see ‘The Line’

Tonight in The Grand Salon there was a Welsh tenor…not our cup of tea so we left early to go to The Club for a drink before an early night at 10:30pm which was actually 9:30pm as the clocks went back yet another hour. (Now 8 hours behind UK time!!)

Techie bits: On the 21th of January at 7:30am we were:
1° north and 102° west
Travelling on a compass course : 253°
Speed = 17 knots
Wind speed = 16 knots from south east
Air temperature = 24°c (75°f)
Total nautical miles sailed =4060
Depth = 3200 metres
Humidity 66%
Sunrise = 5:08am  Sunset = 6:03pm

Day 2 & 3 Of 10 Days At Sea

Friday 18th January 2013

It was really hot by 11am today – up in the mid nineties so I decided to have a lazy day out of the sun.

I went to the boutique for a look around – it’s amazing that you can get fabulous men’s shirts, tee shirts and sweaters for about $60 whereas for a women’s simple cotton top the prices start at $160…crazy…Vance suggested that I wear men’s clothes!!

At 12 noon while drinking our usual Coronas and during the Captain’s daily update over the ship’s loud-speaker system he told us that the guest who had been taken ill and taken back to Fuerte Amador was doing well.

A romantic for two tonight at The Colonnade – it was based on an Australian theme – no kangaroo though!!

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Techie bits: On the 18th of January at 7:30am we were:
6° north and 080° west
Travelling on a compass course : 257°
Speed = 18 knots
Wind speed = 7 from south west
Air temperature = 27°c (81°f)
Total nautical miles sailed =2726
Depth = 2670 metres
Humidity 68%
Sunrise = 5:40am  Sunset = 5:27pm

Saturday 19th January 2013

Found out today that there is a ‘Celebrate The South Pacific’ event on deck this evening. It starts on The Pool deck at 6pm with cocktails and canapés and the entertainment department are doing the music from the film South Pacific in concert style in twenty minutes or less!!

Lucky Boy Vance

Then it’s onto The Colonnade for a South Pacific market dinner then back on deck for desserts and a ‘Rock The Boat’ finale.

We had already accepted a dinner invite to the main restaurant where eight of us dined together … but I did take loads of photos for the blog picture show…then after dinner we went back up to the Sky Bar to watch the Rock the Boat show.

I persuaded Vance to dance with me under the stars and later we sat and had drinks watching the staff clear the pool deck of the fantastic decorations…well done Seabourn staff and crew it was a fabulous evening.

Clocks back one hour…now seven hours behind UK time…so glad we got the extra hour tonight as it was 1:30am before we crawled into bed…zzzzzzz

Techie bits: On the 19th of January at 7:30am we were:
4° north and 088° west
Travelling on a compass course : 255°
Speed = 19 knots
Wind speed =16 from south
Air temperature = 26°c (79°f)
Total nautical miles sailed =3190
Depth = 4250 metres
Humidity 66%
Sunrise = 6:08am  Sunset =6:00pm

First Of 10 Days At Sea

Thursday 17th January 2013

At 8am this morning we went to Kinesis again. Today Craig worked mainly on our arms…it was hard…hope I can still lift my Corona at noon.

At about 1:30pm the Captain gave an announcement that there was a medical emergency on board and that he was turning the ship around and was returning to Fuerte Amador. We are now travelling at about 22 knots so that we can get back as soon as possible.

Tonight is the Chef’s Dinner in the main restaurant and Irene & Alan invited us and Margaret & Brian to dine with them so Nicholas the restaurant manager reserved us a lovely table and the feast began.

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Champagne In The Pool

The menu consisted of six courses and included the red snapper that we had bought in the main fish market while shopping with the chef in Fuerte Amador the day before. It was a delicious menu but much too much food … for us!! – a true Seabourn event.

Then it was off to the Grand Salon to hear Heather Clancy the assistant cruise director give her one women show which brought an up to date twist to classical music.

Then it was down to The Club for after show drinks. There was lots of dancing and of course cocktails where I was introduced to one called a ‘Lemon Drop’  …  vodka and limoncello … it was deadly… and we all sang Happy Birthday to Ania from Duo Everest – Vance says she is definitely the better looking of the pair…sorry Darek!!

We finally arrived back at Fuerte Amador at 11.00pm. The passenger was disembarked and the ship took on more fuel and we were on our way again to the south seas. Even though we have gone back on ourselves by nearly a day the Captain clearly intends to catch up on time and distance over the next few days as it was definitely full speed ahead.

When we got back to our suite we found our 200 Seabourn sailing days Tiffany lapel pins were waiting for us. Clocks went back another hour tonight so we are now six hours behind GMT. Time for bed…zzzzzzz

Techie bits: On the 17th of January at 7:30am we were:
7° north and 080° west
Travelling on a compass course : 230°
Speed = 16 knots
Wind speed = 18 from north
Air temperature = 25°c (77°f)
Total nautical miles sailed =2296
Depth = 380 metres
Humidity 67%
Sunrise = 6:38am  Sunset = 6:23pm

Panama City

Wednesday 16th January 2013

Fuerte Amador is a short causeway of only 6 kilometres that links 4 small islands to the old city of Panama. The causeway was built from soil and rocks removed during the Panama Canal’s construction.

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Panama City is a mixture of modern skyscrapers of apartments and offices – mainly banks and the shabby old quarter of the old town.

Today we joined the ‘Shopping With The Chef’  tour and went to a local fish market where Chef Thorsten bought  500 pounds (in weight) of fresh fish some of which he would be using in his Chef’s Special Menu tomorrow. As it was hot and steamy inside the market we slipped away and walked the five minutes to the Old Town.

Shopping With The Chef

The Old Town is in the process of extensive renovation where the interiors of the old building are being torn down leaving only the beautiful old facade with the aim of putting a modern  interior behind.

We returned to the fish market to pick up the coach and were then taken on a quick tour of the new city with its huge number of skyscrapers breaking up the skyline before returning to the ship just in time for our 12 noon beer!! During the tour we met new friends Shauna & Ian (from Australia) and Sue & David (from UK) who then asked us to dine with them that evening. It became a very noisy table!!

We were supposed to leave Fuerte Amador at 6pm but because many of the tours had left late that morning we were informed that we’d not leave until 8pm. This then changed to 10pm due to slow refuelling and a delay in the arrival of the new provisions … and we eventually left after midnight – or so I was told as I was long asleep by then…I thought it was calm…zzzzzzz

Techie bits: On the 16th of January at 7:30am we were:
8° north and 079° west
Travelling on a compass course : 041°
Speed = 0 knots
Wind speed = 5 knots
Air temperature = 26°c (79°f)
Total nautical miles sailed = 2176
Depth = 13 metres
Humidity 67%
Sunrise = 6:37am  Sunset = 6:18pm