Today should have been a half sea day, followed by 6 hours ashore in Napier, where we planned to go sample some local wines. You would think we get sufficient wine aboard, but no, we paid for an optional excursion to drink more wine. We only considered ship’s tours for this port, due to the high chance of not docking due to weather.
However, mother nature decided we really didn’t need to see Napier, so we enjoyed another relaxing sea day. Within minutes of the Captain’s announcement, our onboard account received the tour credit.
Starting with a sea day, it was the perfect opportunity to catch up with some laundry, so we started bright and early, a little before 07:00. Perfect timing, as we scored 3 of the 4 machines, so got everything in the washers, while others were still sleeping. Returning 45 minutes later, it was almost WW3, as 1 couple were almost guarding the machines, with the husband blocking access to all machines and his wife hovering at the machines. It was almost comical. Had to explain that he could stand there all day blocking access, but if he wanted one of them, he might want to let us in to move stuff to the driers. Once he departed, it reverted to the more pleasant ambiance we have learned to expect in the Viking laundry.
With the driers taking about 45 mins, we ran up to the World Cafe, meeting Munro and Deb, so enjoyed a quick breakfast with them.
As soon as we opened the curtains, I noted a healthy sea running and winds of 30 to 35 kts, with higher gusts. Knowing that Napier is a very exposed and confined port, with a narrow entrance, I mentioned to Judi that most likely we will be spending the entire day a sea today.
Judi went to the spa for the application of war paint on her toe nails and mentioned to the lady that we might not dock, due to the weather. They hadn’t heard, stating the they always hear first.
Shortly before 11:00, the pilots boarded and we continued towards the port, with the wind still about 35 kts, so we headed down to daily trivia. Scoring 13/15 we were repeat winners, so that is now 5 wins for our team. One of the questions was – “What is the distance between Bora Bora and Cook Islands”. The Cook Islands being the previous port we missed, so we never actually completed the voyage. I did a quick steaming time and speed calculation, based on departure time, planned arrival time and using 15 kts, came up with 540 miles. The correct answer is 538 miles, so we were well within the +/- 50 miles.
Shortly after trivia, we heard the dreaded “Bing bong” followed by “This is the Captain”. Sure enough, he confirmed the wind speeds, I had estimated from the waves, advising that the winds were in excess of the safe limits to enter the harbour. He planned to steam outside the harbour waiting for the winds to abate. About 45 minutes later he advised the winds were freshening and he had made the decision to cancel Napier and proceed to Wellington.
Judi and I spent the day down in the Living Room on Dk 1, where I worked on the 250+ photos I took yesterday and completed the Tauranga blog post. Literally got it posted just before 18:00, so headed back to the cabin for a quick change, then off to dinner. Back at table 153, with Spike and Andrian, we shared it with a great couple from NE Pennsylvania. Great conversation, which we had to cut short, as we all wanted to watch the evening show, featuring Bethan, one of the vocalists. Brilliant show, as she is an excellent singer.