Day 21 – 25th January 2020, Cruising S_Pacific

Viking Sun alongside Nukualofa 2

Having completed our final South Pacific island, we are now steaming towards New Zealand, where we have 8 port days in a row, including an overnight in Auckland. Today is the first of 2 sea days, before arrival in the magnificent Bay of Islands.

Temperature: 27C/81F

Wind/Weather: Wind SE’ly at 17 to 20 kts. Partly cloudy becoming overcast with rain showers

Sunrise/Sunset:  05:48/19:05

Clox: 1 hour Ahead (Z+13) Boo!!, we lost an hour of beauty sleep.


Since departure Suva we have maintained SxW’ly courses at a speed of about 17 kts. Distance covered is 343 miles at an average speed of 16.4 kts. We require to make 16.7 kts to arrive in Bay of Islands on time.

Celestial Navigation was a critical tool of every Navigator, before the days of SatNav and subsequently GPS. These days the integrated Bridge systems, on multiple monitors, provide continuous positions, but in my day we used sun sights. So how did the Captain know the position at Noon, when making the Noon announcement. The secret was taking multiple sunsights – about every half hour. At the start of the 8-12 watch we calculated a “DR” position for Noon, then pre-calculated sights at 09:00, 09:30, 10:00 and 10:30. We took the sight at precisely the correct time, so it was only a few seconds to determine the position line, once we had the sun’s altitude. By drawing a position line for each sight, which is called a “Running Fix” we received a “Cocked Hat” where they all joined. We then made an educated guess, as to the Noon position. With the Noon position known before 11:00, we had time to calculate speed/distance since departure and distance/speed to arrival.


We are experiencing SE’ly winds on the Port beam, with a short SSE’ly swell, which maintains the constant rolling and pitching almost since departure L/A. Winds were about 15 kts early in the morning, freshening to 20+ kts by the afternoon. Initial partly cloudy skies became overcast, with rain showers in the evening.


Today’s special meals:

  • Pool Grill (11:30 to 14:30) – German

The MDR also had a very German menu for lunch, so I enjoyed a couple of German sausages and Sauerkraut.

For dinner, we enjoyed the company of couples from Olympia (WA) and Virginia. We initially waited about 20 minutes to fill the table, but it was worth the wait. I did have my point and shoot with me, but was so engrossed in conversation, I forgot to get a photo.


With the ship rocking and a rolling, and also, it didn’t look too pleasant outside, I made the executive decision to skip my walk and work on photos from the Fiji tour.

After breakfast, I headed to the Theatre for a 3-hour stint, starting with the history of New Zealand lecture from our excellent resident historian.

Resident historian history of NZ

Another well presented lecture, which assisted us in the Trivia tie-breaker the following day. More on this tomorrow.

History of NZ lecture

Bill Simpson presenting the history of New Zealand

Starting at 11:00, we had the final presentation from Roger McGuinn, Songs of the Sea – A tribute to the golden age of sail. While Roger sang a couple of songs, it was mostly sea shanties that he had recorded on his laptop, accompanied by films. This was a great show, with ample opportunities to sign along.

At Noon trivia, our team rebounded well from the miserable 6/15 yesterday, scoring a respectable 13/15, but sadly we missed the bragging rights, as a team scored 14/15. Still only 3 wins for our team, hopefully we can do better tomorrow.

After lunch Judi had a nap, while I got caught up with photos and blog posts.

Bevan introducing Sharon

Bevan introducing Sharon

The show this evening was a repeat performance from Sharon Calabro, who performed a variety of 60’s and 70’s music. Excellent show.

Sharon Calabro show 2

Sharon Calabro

I guess we have been on the ship too long already, as the waiters already know our preferred refreshments. In the Theatre, we waved at Von, who gave us the thumbs up, delivering Judi a Grand Marnier and me a Porter. Just as the show was starting, I had barely drank 1/2 glass and he delivered more drinks, without having to order.

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

4 thoughts on “Day 21 – 25th January 2020, Cruising S_Pacific

  1. Fascinating commentary about Navigation! I really appreciate the info. Your posts are well-rounded, giving a feel that I’m there, too. Glad you are enjoying Viking: it seems a very good fit for a WC. Looking forward to your posts NZ, as we will be there for the first time in April. I will be taking notes!


  2. Andrew, Another excellent post of all the places you had visited and things done. Your mention of Auckland brought back a memory of a photo I have of you and several fellow cadets on the quay in Auckland. on your first voyage on the Otoia ?.


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