Day 19 – 23rd January 2020, Cruising South Pacific

Viking Sun Flag State Ensign

Another sea day routine, as we steamed at a very sedate 11 kts across the South Pacific between Tonga and Fiji. Today we had a lecture on ocean liners of the past and an excellent evening show, which was a tribute to Karen Carpenter.

Temperature: 27C/81F

Wind/Weather: Light winds and partly cloudy skies

Sunrise/Sunset:  05:28/18:43

Clox: No Change (Z+12)

Navigation

Throughout the day we steered WNW’ly courses at 11 kts, which is the speed required to reach Suva tomorrow by 07:00. Distance to Suva at Noon was 210 miles.

The ship’s Latitude in relation to the sun’s declination dictates how high (Altitude) the Sun reaches at Noon, or Meridian Altitude. Since our Latitude of 19 S is very close to the current Declination of the sun, today the sun attained a maximum altitude of 89.9 degrees, at Meridian Altitude. On a daily basis we took a sighting of the sun at Meridian Altitude and it was especially challenging when it was directly overhead. With a few corrections, the ship’s latitude is determined from the sun’s altitude at Meridian Altitude. This was the easiest task in Celestial Navigation.

Weather

After head winds the day before Tonga, we returned to following winds, with ESE’ly winds at about 10 kts, which freshened to about 15 to 20 kts throughout the day. This provided minimal winds over the deck. A low SE’ly swell resulted in a gentle rolling and pitching. Partly cloudy skies throughout the day.

Meals

Today’s special meals:

  • Pool Grill (11:30 to 14:30) – Turkey Sandwich Bar
  • Aquavit Terrace (18:00 to 21:00) – Grilled Tandoori Prawns

For dinner we headed to the MDR, enjoying another dinner with 245-day Ultimate cruisers Alison & Ron and a couple from Rochester NY. Following on from the lunch special, they had Turkey and the trimmings on the menu for dinner – sold!!!

Turkey and trimmings for dinner

Activities

My day started at 05:45, up on Deck 8/9, where I met my distance goal of completing 20 laps before arrival New Zealand. A few more days of 20 laps and I will start adding in the after stairs down to Deck 7.

Dk 8 and 9 walking track

Gk 8 and 9 walking track on Stbd side

After breakfast in the MDR, it was down to Star Theatre for the 10:00 lecture from Dr Robyn Woodward titled Ocean Liners – The Great Age of Ocean Travel. The opening screen show 3 Cunard ships, so my excuse for not getting a photo is the camera baulked at photographing Cunarders. As a P&O Deck Officer, Cunard were our biggest competition, as during some races with the old QE 2, we routinely left her in our wake. Great lecture with lots of nostalgic photos of the great liners.

At Trivia, we scored a very respectable 13/15, but it wasn’t enough for another win, as one of the teams scored an incredible 14/15.

From 15:00, we spent the rest of the afternoon in the Theatre, attending lectures and the Suva port talk.

Marine Corp in S_Pacific 1

This is the latest in the War in the Pacific series of lectures from resident historian Wing Commander Bill Simpson. These are the battles he covered.

Marine Corp in S_Pacific 2

Another well presented and informative lecture. I am always amazed that Bill appears to have memorised the script for each lecture. Most of the others read from the laptop, but Bill has no apparent prompts. He stands away from the lectern and rarely gets a word wrong.

We weren’t overly interested in the next lecture, but since the popular port talk was next, we elected to stay. lest we not get a seat. The Viking Port Talks are excellent, unlike those on Princess and other cruise lines that focus on shopping, especially with those vendors paying the cruise line.

Bevan at Fiji Port Talk

Bevan at Suva Port Talk

Bevan starts off the talk by providing some local information about the port and country we are visiting. Once complete, he hands over to the Shore-ex Manager, who reviews each of the tours. This is not a sales presentation, as bookings are already closed. It is to re-familiarise us with the tour and provide additional photos and facts that weren’t included on the Viking description. Once he finishes, he hands it back to Bevan to provide some local facts and words in the local language.

After dinner, we attended the evening show with Sharon Calabro. Born in Australia with an Italian heritage, she sings in both English and Italian, dances and plays the drums. She is a regular performer on P&O/Princess ships and has completed a European tour as a song/dance act. Her latest specialty is starring as Karen Carpenter, both signing and playing the drums.

Sharon Calabro as Karen Carpenter

Sharon Calabro as Karen Carpenter

Sharon Calabro on drums

Sharon Calabro playing drums

Cruise Director Bevan on drums

Bevan on the drums

This was an excellent show, great music and at the end we received a quick demonstration of Bevan’s percussion talents.

 

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

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