Friday, May 19, 2017

At sea

We were now pushing on to Hilo, Hawaii.  Back into the good old U.S. of A.  Five days at sea, April 28-May 2.  Would I get bored?  I think not.  Most days I played cards at 9 a.m. with my friend, Alice, from Australia. 

Alice and me ... no money involved.
One day I had a massage, a long one.  I do like to indulge myself on the ship.  I’d go to the gym or walk the deck, read.  That’s the usual stuff.  And deciding on the next cruise, the Greek Isles, for next year.  Mike, Vangie, Stef and I got our deposits done … we’ll be ready to go.  If anyone is interested in where and when, I’ll give you the information.  Message me.

Then there were the other things.  I was doing hula and ukulele lessons.  Those were 30 minutes each, with hula every day and ukulele every other day because there were so many people wanting to learn.

In between that, there were three Hawaiian craft days.  In addition, there was an orchid-lei-making class and a ribbon-lei-making class.  I hardly had time to eat lunch.  And I had no time at all to go to the destination presentations to learn what was coming up in the ports we’d be visiting. 

Orchid lei-making class.  It was fun and didn't take too long.
 Evenings were spent going to the Elite Lounge to join our friends, including some new ones, Derek and Margie from Toronto, being silly and laughing and having fun.  Then we’d all go to dinner, occasionally in one of the excellent specialty restaurants, sometimes a movie or a show, or maybe just going back to the cabin to work on a blog or sleep. 

Me, Vangie, Mike, Margie and Stef.  What a crew.  We were eating at the Crown Grill, one of the specialty restaurants, and quite excellent.  It was so good we ate there twice this trip.

Not much left ... delicious food, right, Mike?
I slept a lot … good sleep as the Beautiful Emerald Princess was usually rocking just right.  The waves are one of the most soothing sounds in the world, I think.  I’ll miss them when the cruise is over and we’re back on land.  Six weeks on a ship is wonderful.  I don’t think there’s any reason to be bored.

I had noticed in the recent days when walking the deck that the water has changed color, from turquoise to the bluest sapphire I’ve ever seen.  It’s beautiful.  Up until the seas changed and got a bit ugly.  On those days it was difficult to walk out on the deck, but it’s all part of the adventure.
We crossed the equator, and received another certificate.  We’re gathering wallpaper by the day, and all we have to do is be on the ship.  But it’s all new stuff, and welcome.

There’ve only been one or two other ships out here.  Where are they all?  Ours is a lonely life in our little community.

An impromptu hula demonstration with the Hawaiian ambassadors who were playing music in the piazza.
We were scheduled to arrive in Hilo Wednesday morning, May 3, but there was excitement on Tuesday.  There was a medical issue on board and Tuesday morning we were steaming as quickly as we could, at about 22 knots or so, to get to Hilo to get the person off the ship and to medical help.  It became critical, and a helicopter evacuation had to be performed.  While I didn’t see it, some of my friends did.  The helicopter sent down a medical person to evaluate the situation, then a basket came down, the person was loaded and the airlift completed.  A C-130 circled around the entire time … watching … waiting to help if there was a problem with the airlift.  We did hear later all went well and a full recovery was expected.

After the rescue was complete we cut our speed to 10.8 knots.  We were getting too close to Hilo and we weren’t expected to arrive until 7 a.m. the next morning.  We ended up slowing and just doing big circles out in the ocean until it was time for us to get to the dock. 

Steam from the lava reaching the ocean.
The upside was that we spent the afternoon and night on the ocean, watching the steam come off the water where lava was flowing into it.  We also saw the orange glow of the lava as it came down the hillside.  We wouldn’t have seen that otherwise. 

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