Sunday, January 26, 2014

Report # 29 Sailing Towards Papeete January 26, 2014 Sunday Chance of rain, 78 degrees

Today was actually day number twenty three of the world cruise, and also happened to be Australia Day. Guess we have been very lucky to have had mostly sunny days so far. Rain was definitely on the agenda, because during breakfast, we watched the huge windows at the back of the dining room dripping with sheets of it. Something tells us this is not going to be a pool day.

A walk was in order on the promenade deck, but that was interrupted when we ran into host, Tom. Occassionally, he takes some time to relax on a padded teak lounge before he has to attend the chat time on deck five for an hour. We ended up having a private chat with him, as we caught up on old and new happenings with our travel agency. Since meeting and sailing with Tom and Ellen back in 2005, we share a lot of fond memories and experiences. It's always a pleasure to visit with him.

It appeared that the rain clouds had passed over us, and perhaps the sun was on its way out. Our timing could not have been better to arrive to the aft deck, set up our chairs, and watch the skies turn black and start to rain. About the same time we were getting settled, another nice couple we have come to know were doing the same thing. After three weeks, our routines have become established, and the regulars have their spots staked out, more or less. Funny how that works. Anyway, when the rain began, we migrated to the overhang near the back wall. So we ended up sharing a table while we waited out the storm.

Happening at the same time, was an Aussie BBQ in honor of Australia Day, something similar to our Fourth of July holiday. Now usually, this BBQ would have been held in the middle pool area, but for a change, it was back here on the aft deck......right out in the pouring rain. The chefs, who were not happy campers with this situation, pulled the large BBQs near the staircase, but also closer to the tables and chairs. They were cooking large shrimps, steaks, and some fish.

We stayed out there for over an hour, soaking up the smoke. The rain never did stop, but at least we had some time to visit with Cheryl and Larry, the friendly couple from San Diego. If we had not eaten breakfast, we may have sampled the BBQ, since it did look tasty and smelled equally as good. The water that began flooding the deck, did not stop the guests from lining up to get their food.

The Tahitian team wrapped up their entertainment with a show at 11am in the Queens Lounge. They will be leaving the ship tomorrow in Tahiti. We think that many people appreciated their visit, and this new style of On Location entertainment. What a better way to learn the native crafts, dances, and traditions of the Polynesian people than from the locals themselves.

For a change, we ordered room service lunch. Watching the BBQ in progress, made one of us crave a steak sandwich. However, the room service steak sandwich came fairly slathered with a ton of mayo and oil-sauted peppers and onions. Probably, the BBQ meat would have been the better choice. For another change, we were able to watch an excellent movie, although older, in our room from the very beginning. Turned out to be 2 1/2 hours long. That was a good thing, because today we are finally feeling the effects of changing the clocks for five days in a row. Do you know how long it takes to get accustomed to a one hour change back or forward? Well, try five hours. What is our dinnertime let's say tonight at 8pm, was literally 1am five days ago. No wonder we are all dragging a bit.

We never did go back to the pool, although the sun did peek out later in the afternoon. Perfect time for a PM stroll before dinnertime. It was obvious that the lower promenade deck was being cleared for it to be scrubbed down. Lately, we have noticed that all of the outside doors have been cordoned off for walking while they are hosing the decks. Nice to know they are being kept clean. Can you believe we saw an elderly lady smoking a cigarette without an ashtray on that deck? She was flicking the hot ashes on the teak floor. What was she thinking? Our friend Cheryl handed her one of the stainless steel ashtrays that are hung on the railing to use. Instead of thanking her, she requested that she moved the ashtray to her other side, since she had trouble lifting it. Later in the day, this same lady came out for another smoke, opened her little purse, and pulled out a ship's ashtray. How about that? She did the right thing.

There was a section on the front page of the newsletter today with a "did you know" question for all. It was disturbing to say the least. It read: Mosquito-borne illnesses such as dengue fever, chikungunya, and zika fever are a possibility in tropical climates including some of the ports on our itinerary. Common symptoms are fever and joint pain. Oh boy, this is a first warning like this we have ever seen. The CDC has advised that we wear long sleeves and pants with covered shoes with socks. Using tons of insect repellent high in DEET is highly advised. We will take this warning seriously, since recently our oldest son came down with something bad while in Thailand. Although never diagnosed with dengue, the symptoms were quite similar. The culprit.....mosquitos in the hotel rooms. We do have the anti-malarial meds for Africa, but have never taken them in this part of the world. And truthfully, we are not sure they are of any use for these other fevers. Pretty scary...........

We kept dinner light and turned in as early as possible. The performer tonight was Naki Ataman. Last night, the Unexpected Boys did Broadway. We heard mixed reviews on that show. Some loved it, others did not. Can't please everyone all of the time.

It will be nice to be in Tahiti tomorrow........nicer if it does not rain.

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