Day 15 – 18th January 2020, Cruising South Pacific

03 Altered onto final approach with fresh beam wind

Judi wishes the seas were this smooth out here

Today we were scheduled to anchor off the Cook Islands, participating in the included excursion and an optional excursion. However, the deep depression currently passing through the area dictated we head directly to Tonga, so today is another relaxing sea day.

Temperature: 28 C/83 F

Wind/Weather: Freshening winds and seas, with overcast and showers

Sunrise/Sunset:  05:29/18:39

Clox: Back 1 hr (Z-11)

Navigation

Throughout the day we steered W’ly courses avoiding the worst of the weather and then altered SW’ly towards Tonga. We have steamed 699 miles since departure Bora Bora at an average speed to 15.7 kts. Still have 747 miles to Tonga.

Weather

The weather started well, then deteriorated rapidly prior to Noon. At 06:00, we had following E’ly winds at about 20 kts, giving light breezes over the deck. With a low NE’ly swell it provided gentle rolling and pitching. By Noon it was completely overcast, with the wind backing to NW’ly at 25 – 30 kts and an increasing swell. Ship started with increased rolling, pitching and slamming into waves. Judi had to apply a new patch, which takes a few hours to work.

Meals

Today’s special meals:

  • Aquavit Terrace (18:00 – 21:00) – Grilled fresh Mahi Mahi

Since the AM lecture started at 09:30, we headed to the buffet for a quick breakfast. We enjoyed luch in the MDR with Trivia team mates Dennis & Lanei, with me having the grilled Hoki fillets, for the first time. Very tasty.

Dinner was again in the MDR, where we joined Alison & Ron again with another couple. Another 3.5 hr dinner with excellent food and conversation. I remained with the fish theme, having bacon wrapped Mahi Mahi followed by poached Salmon. OMG! the salmon was huge and cooked to perfection.

Activities

The AM lecture started at 09:30 – Warbirds of WW2 – The Carrier War in the Pacific, presented by the resident historian Wing Commander William Simpson. Another excellent presentation and historical content. This is a series of lectures, with additional lectures prior to Sydney.

Following the lecture was a new activity – Great Viking Cook-Off. Two teams comprising Cruise Staff and Hotel Managers competed against each other to make a dish from a mystery basket of ingredients. We were provided cards to vote for what we thought was the winning team. The entire performance was a great laugh, being more comedy act than serious cooking. The Bar Manager disconnected the other teams hot plate and added various additions to their sauce. He never actually participated in the cooking, spending the entire show bribing the audience with champagne and cheese plates. His strategy worked perfectly, as his team won. Will definitely be back, if they repeat this on another segment.

At Trivia this afternoon, we bombed, scoring a measly 8/15, with the winners getting a respectable 13/15.

After Lunch Judi joined the white wine tasting, enjoying 5 premium wines, which included La Crema, one of her favourites from Sonoma. I sat in the Living Room, working on photos. As Judi was a little under the weather with the ship movement, we headed back to the cabin until dinner.

We planned to attend the show, but with dinner lasting 3.5 hrs, by the time we left the table, the show was almost finished.

As another day closes, we bid you farewell, till tomorrow and hope for fair skies and following seas.

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