At Sea To Fakarava, Tuamotu

My cabin was cozy;img_3177.JPG

I slept soundly, and loved the motion of the ship. The shower was a hoot. The bathroom (OK, head) floor slanted in the shower corner with the drain in the lowest part.

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Great idea, unless, of course, the ship was listing in the opposite direction.

With rain coming down steadily, the sea was bumpy. There were some noticeable absences at breakfast. Mike Quane, a travel writer with the Daily News in NY, was not well. I gave him my acupressure Sea Bands. Several times afterward, I did a re-twist of the bands for him. He got the pressure point concept, but I think he liked the bead showing on top of the wrist rather than hiding under it.

Lifeboat drill was at 10 AM. The rain had increased, but we all had to stand in position by our lifeboat station. Each station was next to a zodiac. Canvas protects a raised area of the stern deck to allow shade for those who want to avoid the sun. It filled with water. During drill, a wave, a lurch, and a waterfall on a man’s head were part of the entertainment.

But, the zodiacs were not our lifeboats. our life boats were forward and this photo I took on a sunny day.

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We were moved to the Tropical Bar area, where, huddled under another canvas, the Captain gave further instructions in case of emergency. Next, Cruise Director Frederic talked about snorkeling and urged us not to be afraid of the sharks or the stingrays. He said it was really no problem as the ship had a 10% casualty allowance. Funny line, but not as funny as it might have been if the sun were out.

The unfunny line was the one leading to the handing out of snorkeling equipment. It wound up a narrow stairway to a small deck area with a desk at a dead-end. Two of the sports crew were handing out equipment and alternately holding an umbrella. I asked for size 10 and got size 8. Luckily I checked them before sliding my way by the oncoming cluster of snorkelers. It just felt weird to be getting rain soaked, standing and waiting for goggles and mask to facilitate being in the water.

At the end of the drill we were given boarding cards with our name and photo. I couldn’t remember my photo being taken. After some investigation I realized that the photo had been scanned from my passport. It was a great idea and other cruise ships could well adopt it. If you don’t show up for lifeboat drill, you don’t get a pass to leave or board the ship.

The sea stayed rough and it rained most of the day, working itself up to a crescendo of lightning and thunder by late afternoon. It was exhilarating to be on an open deck, albeit under a canvas cover, in the midst of a storm at sea. For me, this was a good day, and I must say it’s easy to make friends while sitting around an outdoor bar in a storm.

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Lightning still flashing, I went to my cabin to write. My writing table has a stool with a round metal stand as a desk chair.img_3178.JPG

One big wave dumped me off the stool and on the floor. The second time, the sea threw me a bit further. I landed on the bed, stayed there, and took a nap.

Star Clipper posts the night’s menu over a display of prepared dishes for the coming meal.

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It’s a neat idea, since you can see what your food will look like, and make a choice based not only on description, but something a bit more sensory. This display is in the Tropical Lounge on the way down a flight of stairs to the dining room.

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Unfortunately, this did not help the queasy. Some passed the food exhibit, then passed through the dining room walking towards their cabins at a brisk pace. At dinner, I twisted Mike’s Sea Bands into place.

Captain Brunon Borowka promised sun and clear skies tomorrow.

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