Day 57 – 1st March 2020, At Sea

Blackened sirloin steakA new month starts today, so we have now been aboard this magnificent ship for most of January, all February and now into March. In fact, we are now just a couple of days from the mid-point, as we still have 2 months before arriving in London. Departing Australia yesterday, today we are steaming for Komodo Island, where tomorrow we will embark on a jungle walk, to see man-eating dragons.

Hot off the press – when going ashore tomorrow, the local authorities require everyone to wear a mask, at all time. We must protect the dragons from the virus.

Temperature: 28C/82F at sunrise, climbing to 30C by Noon

Wind/Weather: Overcast with thunderstorms, squalls and fresh breezes

Sunrise/Sunset: 06:36/19:08

Clox: Back 1/2 hour (Z+9)

Navigation

Since clearing Darwin Harbour we set WNW’ly courses across the Timor Sea towards Komodo Island. We have steamed 371 miles since departure, at an average speed of 16.6 kts. Our ETA Komodo Pilot Station is 11:00 tomorrow and we still have 386 miles to go, requiring an average speed of 16.1 kts.

Weather

NW’ly head winds of about 25 kts makes for blustery conditions on the outer decks, with the resultant wind on deck about 40 kts. In addition to wind waves, we also have a moderate swell of 4 to 6 feet.

Overcast throughout the day and I’ll discuss my early morning experiences with weather under activities.

Meals

Today’s special meal:

  • World Cafe (18:00 to 21:00) – Outback Aussie Dinner

Entering the MDR we said good morning to Neil, one of the chaps on our Trivia team. Zharko was leading us to a table further aft, but stopped and asked if we preferred to sit with Neil, as the next table was empty. Yet again, another example of how the crew on this ship go out of their way to make us happy.

I went to cooking class today, so Judi headed to the World Cafe for lunch. More about cooking class under Activities.

We arranged to enjoy dinner with fellow RV’ers and bloggers Steve & Mona Liza – Lowes Travels. Check out their blog here.

Andy Judi Mona Liza and Steve

Andy, Judi, Steve and Mona Liza

We were sat at our usual table # 153, with excellent waiters Erald and Andrian. Both Erald and I are in mourning today, based on the UK football results, as both Rangers and Liverpool got beat.

Waiters Erald and Andrian

Exceptional Waiters – Erald and Andrian 

Although we have been aboard for 2 months, it’s been a couple of weeks since we have seen Steve & Mona Liza, so it was great to get caught up. This is where this ship really excels, as it has so many quiet nooks & crannies, you can go for weeks without seeing other pax.

Fortunately, I remembered the camera, so enjoy some food photos.

Blackened sirloin steak

Judi’s Main Course – Blackened Sirloin Steak

Aussie Fish & Chips

Andy’s Main Course – Aussie Fish & Chips

Mona Liza triple fisting

Mona Liza at one point was triple fisting

Key Lime Pie

Mona Liza’s Key Lime Pie, with Macadamia Nut base

Peanut Butter sundae

Steve’s Peanut Butter Sundae

Great dinner and looking forward to enjoying a few more dinners with them before London.

Activities

Wow!! what a start to the day, as it really started with a bang and I mean that literally. Sitting at the desk working on photos, about 04:45, all around the curtains it erupted with light, which was instantly followed by a humongous clap of thunder. OMG, that must have been right above us. Headed up to Dk 8 about 05:30, and while walking I was treated to an almost continuous lightning show. However, this was mostly sheet lightning, so no more thunder. Just after 06:30, the sky turned really dark and angry, and on rounding the stern, I noted the horizon up ahead had disappeared and the wind had picked up – a squall approaches. Picked up the pace and barely made it to cover fwd of the pool before the heavens opened. Quite a combination of wind and rain. Headed up to Dk 9 for stretching, and on opening the outside door, I was assaulted by rain driving in sideways, so decided to retreat to the cabin for stretching this morning.

We headed down to the MDR for breakfast around 08:00 and I was relating my earlier experience with rain to Judi, who looked outside and noted the decks were already dry. Yes, the deck crew had already been around with squeegies, pushing the excess water off the decks.

Last night at Chef’s Table, the Chef was chatting with Allison and mentioned tomorrow’s class wasn’t full. So they convinced me to join them at Viking’s Cooking School, which is held every sea day in the Kitchen Table. The theme was Indonesian, as we made:

  • Soto Ayam Madura (Chicken Soup), and
  • Gule Kambing & Nasi Kuning (Lamb Stew)

We split into two groups of 5, with my group responsible for the soup. Everything required is provided on the table, so we started prep of all the vegetables, herbs, spices and meats. With direction from the Chef, we also did most of the cooking. When everything is ready, the Waiter sets the table and the Chef plates everything. Excellent lunch. Next time, I’ll take the camera for a few photos.

After lunch, I worked on Darwin photos and the last 2 blog posts, prior to attending the 16:00 lecture – Resident Astronomer Charles Armstrong presenting, “Exploring Pluto and Arrokoth” Another great lecture, as he discussed how Pluto was discovered, including a slide showing the photos from 2 consecutive days that show a tiny light that moved position relative to the others. Also discussed how they struck Pluto off the list of planets and why he still considers it a planet. He also discussed the US mission to Pluto, which took 10 years to reach the planet.

We left the MDR after 21:00, so it was probably too late to get a seat for Bevan’s show, so we headed to the cabin, for the evening. Another splendid day aboard the Viking Sun.

8 thoughts on “Day 57 – 1st March 2020, At Sea

  1. And I did finish those drinks! it was a lovely evening, and boy time flew by. That’s true, the ship may not be that big but still, we have lots of spaces roam around and see each other every day. Oh, by the way, you missed the best part of the concert last night 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Mona Liza – Was starting to nod off and without Judi to wake me, I thought it best to run. Much preferred the music up on deck the next night with Dancing under the Stars.

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    • Thanks Dad – brilliant dinner, which we thoroughly enjoyed. Liverpool lost 3 – 0 to Watford, caused by poor defending. Only saw highlight on Sky Sports as we don;t get any real football matches on the telly.

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  2. Erald was on Orion last year on our Auckland to Bali trip. Nice guy!
    Watch out for the dragons! Take lots of water! HOT!!!😁

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  3. By the way, Liverpool didn’t just get beaten but were schooled and out coached.
    Lovren was awful and Van Dyke looked like he was recovering from a long night out!
    I honestly don’t think we registered a meaningful strike on goal!
    Most distressing.
    They should be fed to the dragons!

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    • Only saw the highlights and the defending was terrible. Same with Rangers, after beating Braga Wednesday night, they didn’t show for the Cup match. Gerrard apparently was furious.

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