High winds in Rarotonga

It may be tricky getting ashore

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Adventure at Rarotonga

Before we set out on this world cruise on the MS Amsterdam, I “googled “ the history of this cruise and came upon the following news item from January 27, 2016.

It described an incident that occurred at our next port. Will history repeat itself? How will we handle it? Should I have learned to swim?

Cruise ship tender hits reef

Wednesday January 27, 2016 Written by Melody Cargill Published in Local

A tender ferrying passengers from the cruise ship MS Amsterdam became stuck on the reef at Arorangi yesterday afternoon.

The tender, with 90 passengers aboard, ran into problems while attempting to transport passengers to the beach to join afternoon tours.

An attempt was made to pull the boat off the reef using another tender, but it proved unequal to the task and the Ports Authority tug boat Toa was summoned from Avatiu to free the vessel.

Six passengers were initially brought to shore aboard a lifeboat, but when conditions became too rough, the cruise ship’s captain and crew took water out to the tender, then helped the remaining passengers walk to shore.

Turama Pacific Destination Management, Nina Webb said afternoon tours had been cancelled as a result of the incident.

Bill Murphy and Robert Rye from New Jersey in the US were aboard the tender when it struck the reef.

“The tender was coming in. It got right into the passage way and then a wave came and pushed it onto the reef and it got stuck,” said Murphy.

“Once we were stuck on the reef, the waves would come and just push us further onto the reef.

“Originally when we came in, the boat was stuck facing the island, but each wave kept pushing it, causing to turn the opposite way.”

Said Robert Rye: “They sent one tender to help pull the tender out but there was too much weight so they had to call in the tug boat.

“The crew asked if people could possibly leave the boat and swim to shore to make it lighter to pull it off, but the tender still didn’t seem to be moving.

“The ship’s captain, first mate, hotel manager and other crew members came out to bring water to the people stuck on the tender then helped offload some of them on to the reef so they could walk to the shore.

“Everybody was fine on the boat and made a good laugh out of the situation as we all put on our life jackets.

“It was totally unexpected, but it was a good adventure and something to talk about.

“We are all just very thankful that no-one was seriously injured; just a few cuts and dents from walking on the reef, but nothing too bad.”

A spectator watching the dramatic incident said the tug boat had done a good job of freeing the tender.

“They were fighting an outgoing tide and I didn’t they’d be able to get it off, but they eventually did it.”

Earlier in the day the MS Amsterdam attempted to disembark passengers off Avatiu harbour, but was forced to travel on to Arorangi as the sea was too rough.

The ship was carrying 1150 passengers and 650 crew members on day 21 of a 115-day world cruise.

The ship’s next destination is New Zealand.

Back at the tender pier we found an unusually large crowd of passengers lined up. It turned out that one of the tenders had been blown onto the reef while trying to get through the channel & it was stuck there, unable to move off. Some police in a zodiac were taking tender passengers to shore a few at a time & a number of passengers swam & walked ashore

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Jurassic Park

We sailed into Moorea this morning, where Jurassic Park was filmed.
One of our fellow passengers claims he just saw a dinosaur slip behind that misty mountain, where we will be going on our 4 x 4 Jeep ride.

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Humpback whale leaps out of the water just yards in front of snorkelers…

We got to Moorea a couple of months too late. But we can always hope!!

Humpback whale leaps out of the water just yards in front of snorkelers who are submerged by huge waves in spectacular video

Daily Mail · by Liz Dunphy For Mailonline

  • The spectacular video was filmed in French Polynesia of
  • The humpback whale leaped out of the water just a few feet away snorkelers
  • The filmed the incredible scene near the tiny island of Mo’orea on October 5

A spectacular video has emerged from French Polynesia of a humpback whale leaping out of the water just a few feet away from some snorkelers.
The rare perspective was captured close to the tiny island of Mo’orea on October 5.
‘We spotted a humpback whale that was apparently sleeping,’ the snorkeling enthusiast who filmed the dramatic scene wrote online.
‘So we jumped in the water and watched it with our masks and snorkels.
‘The waves were very big that day so it wasn’t easy to swim. The whale slowly started to swim and wasn’t doing much for quite some time.
‘Suddenly it bent its whole body and started to swim to the surface very quickly and breached through the high waves directly next to us.
‘I tried to keep on the surface to get the second jump but wasn’t able as the waves pushed me down,’ the person who shared the footage online wrote.

A spectacular video has emerged from French Polynesia of a humpback whale leaping out of the water just a few feet away from some snorkelers who filmed the dramatic scene

The rare perspective of the majestic creature was captured close to the tiny island of Mo’orea on October 5 when the snorkelers noticed them nearby

It breached right next to the snorkelers who filmed the animal as it leaped through the water

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Sea Days Synopsis

Day 8-Thursday 1/11/2018 – At Sea 1

Clocks were set back one hour this morning. Our clock cannot go backwards so it went forwards at 4:24 AM until it came to 3:24.

So far, we spotted a few very small leaping fish and some small birds skimming the top of the water. The ship is some 300 miles from Panama after 24 hrs. According to my calculations, we need to make 481miles per day to reach our destination in 8 days.

Daily activities:

10:00 overview of upcoming Ports of call.

11:00, we listen to various speakers on things related to our ship, interesting facts about the places we will visit (Herman Melville -Moby Dick author) and other sea topics.

2:00, there is usually a presentation specifically related to the Port we will be visiting next.

There are sooo many activities throughout the day it is necessary to pick and choose your favorites. In the evening, there is always great entertainment with featured guest performers.

In between the activities of the day, you might find a moment here and there to read or just observe the ocean, waves, clouds.

Day 9-Friday 01/12/2018 – At Sea 2

With coffee in hand, we waited for sunrise on the back deck. Sadly, too many clouds interfered.

I did my walking exercise-
first by climbing stairs from 3rd floor to the 7th (am winded — not good),
second by walking around the ship (it taken 3 ½ times around the perimeter to do 1 mile. Walked with Ernie the first mile and then he got my 3 wheeler and I completed 2 more times. Hope to do this every day.

Day 10-Saturday 01/13/2018 At Sea 3

Clocks turned back one hour (Denver time). This time, Ernie saw the clock go ahead this morning at 4:24AM and stop at 3:24.
No sunrise–too much cloud cover

Very nice lecture on the Isles of the Pacific. Kainoa, a native Hawaiian and former Cruise director gave us a better understanding as to how the Polynesian peoples settled Island after Island, landing on Hawaii as the most northern Polynesian Island.

We did not do much today and took two naps. We may still need rest after those 6 weeks we were both sick and had to do house closing and packing.
Weather was on the cool side. Not much of a sunset.

Day 11-Sunday 1/14/2018 At Sea 4

Watched a few pods of dolphins hunting from our side of the ship–needed binoculars to see them.

Attended the talk on the Island of Rangirora.. No tour here. We have decided not to do a tour of the first Island of Nuku Hiva and instead walk around the area as you can’t go far. Also, we found out there is a Geocache nearby. Two of the officials from our tour company (CSI) are here and told Ernie how to get to these geocache sites.

Lunch was special for today. It is called Buffet Lunch. We were placed at a shared table and met 6 other people. This 3-course Buffet was was unusual in that we were given a set menu and got a small piece of everything on the menu. There was no getting up to serve yourself as we were waited upon.

Took a short nap after lunchtime. Noticed the ocean during lunch— absolutely smooth, not a ripple on it, just long wide shallow swells—-definitely the doldrums. After nap, winds must have picked up as there are small disturbances on the surface.

As we waited for sundown, a pod of dolphins swam very close to the ship. And, just as the sun set, we saw the green flash.

Day 12-Monday 01/15/2018 At Sea 5

Today, we are ½ way thru our Pacific voyage and have 4 more days to go before we reach land.

Sunrise was supposed to be at 5:32 so we got up at 5:00. It was still very dark at 6:00— someone made a big mistake. Am thinking 6:32 is sunrise but it was too heavy a cloud cover. Temps are much warmer with that cloud cover. Also see a few white caps–a bit more swaying side to side.

Morning talk on what to do and see in Papeete, Tahiti. I would like to go to the Market and we will do so when we get back from our tour around the Island. We don’t leave this place till 5AM the next morning because our next stop is the next Island–very visible in the distance—Moorea.

Black& Silver Masked Ball. Actual Ball begins at 9:30 and ends at 10:15. Everyone was given a mask. We did do one dance–other ones were a bit too peppy for us and dance floor was very crowded. At 10:15, out came the Chocolate Surprise goodies trays–liquid chocolate and all kinds of decadent treats (and we tasted every single one of them—all self control went out the window). Music was still playing when we left about 10:30.

Day 13- Tuesday 01/16/2018 At Sea 6

Time change —gained an extra hour-now on Pacific time.
I woke up to terrible pains in my hip joint. Could hardly walk without intense pain– not in ankle, but in hip. Was wondering if I slept incorrectly on the hip last night. Am using walker in the room and that makes my steps tolerable.

Our 10:00 presentation today will be ‘what to see and do in Moorea and Bora Bora’. I will attend that program on the walker.

No breakfast this morning due to no self control last night. I will have a banana, pear and orange. We will attend a lunch with people from Cruise Specialists. Was able to walk to dining room without assistance. I think the aspirin kicked in.

Lovely afternoon on our deck watching the waves and swells and looking for sea life too. It is so delightful to be outside listening to the waves as we pass by. Sky is clear of clouds on starboard side with sun shining in the distance ahead of the ship–we are heading west, south west. So far, sunset looks good.

Had light dinner on Lido deck and then headed to entertainment.
It is called “Majority Rules”—It is not how much you know, but how many people agree with you. Absolutely funny. People work in teams and must get the answer to the question down on a piece of paper quickly, race up to the front to hand it in and sit down quickly. Last man sitting gets to come to the front and dance to some music. Then the results are read—risqué answers to a question like—-‘”What would you find in a single mans wallet”? The majority answer wins–absolutely hilarious.

Day 14. Wednesday 1/17/2018. Sea Day 7

Both of us awoke with light coming thru the window indicating sunrise soon and it was a bit after 5:AM— (we thought sunrise was to be at 6:00 ish). Hurriedly, we dressed, got coffee and were sitting on back deck when our sun appeared over the horizon mixed with clouds at 5:23.
‘Land Ho’ is coming ever so close to Nuku Hiva– will be there Friday, early AM.

Attended the Lecture with Kainoa on the Polynesian Lei–customs attached to it and what it represents. Very interesting. Makes you realize there is significance to the giver and receiver of a lei.

Day 15. Thursday 1/18 2018. Sea Day 8

Today is the last full sea day on our traverse across the Pacific.
Sunrise–5:18. Lots of cloud cover but a few breaks made it a neat experience.

We have a full day.
9:00—South Pacific deck sale– will see what is for sale.
10:00–what to do and see in Rarotonga and Niue—-very informative about these Islands. Ip Each one is a tender port.
11:00— An introduction to the night sky. We learned how to find the southern cross. Must go back outside at 11PM to actually see it.
1:00—- GoPro seminar. Great talk on the new GoPro—- Ernie bought the latest model as he uses it constantly and I thought it was a good purchase too.
2:00– Kainoa talks on Polynesian nobility. He is absolutely a good lecturer when it comes to the history of Hawaii. Really enjoyed what he had to say.
6:03—-sunset and again clouds on the horizon
7:00—-wine and appetizers for Cruise Specialists before dinner. We are not going to dinner because we are still full since lunch. Also, ernie confirmed what I had been aware of for a few days—my legs are swelling due to too much salt intake and I have not been drinking water .
8:00—decided at the last minute to go to a late dinner where we met more people
10:00-10:45—singers and dancers perform

Am thinking early to bed (is 11:PM early to bed?) because we want to be up at the crack of dawn to be able to yell (softly) –Land Ho!!!!!


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January 19, 2018

After 8 days on the open ocean, we have finally arrived at the first sight of land Nuku Hiva, French Polynesia.

As we stepped out onto the balcony to look at the island, there was a young exhausted seabird laying on the corner of our deck. Helene carefully wrapped him (her?) in a towel and raised her up into the wind and off she flew.

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Dolphin Companions

Dolphins racing us to Tahiti

at sunset over the Pacific Ocean

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