Day 60 – 4th March 2020, At Sea

Viking Sun at anchor Komodo Is

The cruise from L/A to London is 119 days and this is day 60, so even though we still have almost 2 months before arrival Greenwich, we are over the hump and on the homeward stretch.

Yet again, another relaxing sea day aboard the magnificent Viking Sun, as we steam through the Java Sea at a very sedate 10 kts. Life is grand.

Temperature: 28C/83F

Wind/Weather: Partly cloudy, with occasional showers and light winds

Sunrise/Sunset: 06:13/18:35

Clox: No change (Z+8)

Navigation

We have steamed WxN’ly courses through the Java Sea, past the island of Bali and Surabaya at the Eastern end of Java. Since departure Komodo Island we have steamed 446 miles, at an average speed to 10.6 kts. We still have 175 miles to the pilot station, requiring only 9.3 kts for an 06:00 ETA.

Weather

Prior to sunrise, it was again overcast, with no stars visible. However, shortly after sunrise, the sun did burn off some of the high clouds, so we did see some patches of blue sky. Winds were fairly light from the Stbd bow, being NW’ly 8 to 10 kts early morning, which gave a light breeze over the deck. By Noon it freshened to NW 12 to 15 kts.

By evening, it was completely overcast, with some heavy rain showers.

Meals

No special meals were provided today. Regular readers may be surprised that the special meals have stopped, but it is for good reason. This is another casualty of the virus situation in SE Asia. A number of returning crew members were unable to join the ship; therefore, since Sydney the ship’s compliment is reduced. This has impacted the galley, with the Chef being more than a little short handed.

They may be unable to produce the little extras, to which we have become accustomed, but the exceptionally high standards have been maintained.

Afternoon tea goodies

Afternoon Tea sandwiches & cakes

We skipped lunch today and since we were eating later, we headed up to Wintergarden for afternoon tea. We met the couple who joined us on the Hunter Valley tour at the lift and they were also heading to Wintergarden, so we sat together enjoying tea, scones and conversation.

Crab bridie

Crab Turnover (Bridie) for appy

Dinner was in the MDR, where we shared our usual table with trivia team-mates Neil & Joanna. We were engrossed in conversation, when the main course arrived, so even with the camera sitting on the table, I forgot to get a photo. Memory is fading with age, so 2 days later, can’t even remember what the main course options were.

Activities

Completed my daily exercise and with no thunderstorms around, so I got a full 90 minutes of walking followed by stretching.

Unsung hero lecture

AM Lecture – Unknown Hero’s

The 10:00 lecture presented by Geoff Peters was titled, “Unknown Heroes”. Comprising 3 separate stories, it was a most interesting lecture:

  • Captain Thomas Cochrane RN – the most successful wartime naval Captain. This one was of interest, as the family currently resides close to St Andrews and I knew the younger son of the current Lord Cochrane. I was aware a Great, Great….. Grandfather was an Admiral, but didn’t know the specifics. Capt Cochrane developed amazing tactics, which he adjusted as the enemy changed their defenses. After an issue of alleged fraud he spent a number of years commanding the Navies of other countries, before returning to Britain
  • George Nares RN – Commanded the HMS Newport, which was the first ship to transit the Suez Canal. The first ship was meant to be the French Royal Yacht, but during the previous evening Capt Nares navigated his ship through the anchorage to the head of the queue. He is considered as the Captain who stole the Suez Canal
Loss of lifeboat 3

Coasting Vessel Union Star

  • Penlee Lifeboat Disaster – The Penlee RNLI Lifeboat (Solomon Browne) was based near Mousehole, Cornwall. A new ship (Union Star) experienced engine failure due to water in the fuel.
    Loss of lifeboat

    Lifeboat Solomon Browne

    In freshening winds, the Union Star Master was offered a tow using “Lloyds Open Form”, which is a salvage agreement where after successful completion, an independent group decide the payment due to the tug, her Master and crew. The Union Star Master declined to accept a tow under those conditions. However, the weather quickly worsened, reaching Hurricane Force 12, with 60 ft seas.

Loss of lifeboat 2

The lifeboat was launched and managed to remove 4 of the 8 persons on board, but sadly both the lifeboat and Union Star grounded, with the loss of all persons.

We attended trivia at Noon, scoring a dismal 5/15, for the 2nd day in a row. At least the winning total was only 10/15, so not too embarrassing.

During dinner, we heard the dreaded “Bing Bong” aka harbinger of not so good news. It was Beven advising of the Indonesian Government’s requirement that tomorrow morning, the ship must anchor until all crew and passengers have completed another temperature check. Only once the ship is cleared will we be permitted to dock alongside. This will delay the arrival and totally disrupt the tour schedule, with our 9 hour tour being cancelled. They also advised Indonesian Immigration forms are being sent to the cabins, which had to be completed.

Judi headed to the Beatles, while I headed down to determine tour options. As usual, the crew response was amazing, with Norbert (GM) Rob (Shore-ex Mgr) and the entire shore-ex staff supplementing the regular customer service staff. Rob explained he had ordered additional buses, so had sufficient spots for everyone on the included tour. He was also hoping to still include the Brodobur Tour, if we get alongside quickly and they can extend the departure time. An exceptional response to yet another change dictated by shore authorities.

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