Colombo, Sri Lanka to Dubai, UAE
Yet another sea day on the Sea Princess bucking bronco, as we cross the Indian Ocean trying to evade the worst of Tropical Cyclone 1A. Were we successful in evading the cyclone?
Temperature: High 31C/88F, Low 27C/81F, Humidity 87%
Wind/Weather: Really crummy, see Navigation for our exploits today
Clox: Z+5 (no change)
Distance to Noon: 451 miles
In the early hours of the morning Sea Princess altered from WxN or 280 degrees to NWxN or 328 degree at a speed of about 16.5 kts. This course would intersect the voyage plan’s next waypoint and commence the approach in the Straights of Hormuz. The tropical cyclone was to the East of us, almost due south of Karachi and it was tracking NW at about 8 kts. With our higher speed we should outrun the centre, which was forecast to make landfall astern of us in Oman.
Early morning with 30 to 35 kts of wind
The day started off reasonably comfortably with about 30 – 35 kts wind on the port beam, with the stabalisers countering most of the rolling. As the day progressed the winds picked up to about 40 to 45 kts, visibility started reducing in rain and the glass (barometer) was falling slowly. The ship’s movement picked up considerably, which obviously didn’t appeal to Judi. Not really any excessive rolling or pitching, but lots of pounding with the resultant waves, through the ship, as the structure worked to handle the seas.
Early afternoon with 35 to 40 kts of wind, notice streaks now evident
In late afternoon, the wind picked up to 50 to 55 kts with continuous heavy and driving rain. The rain was so bad that it was coming in to the cabin through the door track, so we spent the evening placing and replacing towels in the track to absorb the water. At this point, Judi really wasn’t liking the bucking bronco and was really glad we have a midship’s cabin on the lowest balcony deck. Captain Kent’s update at 17:20 confirmed the current position of the cyclone and its track, he also discussed the information he is receiving from numerous sources and rest assured the safety of the ship, her crew and passengers are his primary focus. They are also continuously tweaking course and speed to ease the passage.
Late afternoon with rain commencing and 40 to 50 kts of wind
At 21:00 we received an unexpected update from Captain Kent, advising the cyclone’s track changed and was now heading directly towards Sea Princess. He fore-warned that they would be altering course and increasing speed to maximise the distance from the eye. This may result in additional rolling, as the 110 degree course alteration to almost East would place the winds and seas almost astern. This reduces the effectiveness of the stabalisers and also results in the stern being thrown around by the elements.
Shortly after 23:00, when the ship had taken a couple of decent rolls, we received a further update from Captain Kent. He advised they are constantly making adjustments to ease the passage, but with such wind and seas astern he had few options, so recommended everyone use the handrails while moving around the ship.
Due to the rain coming in through the door and the balcony being awash, I couldn’t get a photograph at the height of the wind. All wind speeds are my estimates, confirmed by the ship’s weather log on the TV. I note the weather log generally posts wind speeds at the top end of my estimates.
Since Judi isn’t too comfortable with the ship’s motion and I am fighting a chest infection and cold, we have no plans for today. We will simply see how the day unfolds.
In deference to fighting a cold and chest infection, I decided to take a break from Zumba and walking this morning, and with the ship’s movement the best thing for Judi is to let her sleep. Therefore, we didn’t head down to breakfast until about 09:00. Our dinner table and all breakfast and lunch tables have been excellent, but this morning we got stuck. We had the lady who felt it necessary to regale everyone on how little she paid for the cruise. Supposedly she booked the Sydney to Dubai sector only 3 days before through a website, she wouldn’t name. Then we get the drama of, “I don’t want to upset you by telling you how great a deal I got”. However, she found i necessary to quote a figure anyway. Fortunately, with the cold my ears were plugged and I was on the opposite end of the table, otherwise I would have said, I really don’t care. Almost every cruise and flight you find one like her.
While we tried the pub lunch, meeting our friend Dean, for the remainder of the day, we had a quiet day. We even skipped dinner, which was the Captain’s dinner with Lobster and Beef Wellington, 2 of my favourite dishes.
As another day closes, we bid you farewell, till tomorrow and hope for fair skies and following seas.