Day 83 – 27th March 2020, At Sea

Smooth sailing in Arabian Sea

View from our balcony

Our first full day at sea aboard our private yacht, with crew ratio of 57 crew members for each of the 8 passengers. What a totally unique situation. While Viking may unfortunately be unable to qualify for the longest World Cruise on record, they may qualify for the best passenger/crew ratio.

Temperature: mid 20’s C & mid 70’s F

Wind/Weather: Sunny, with clear skies & light airs

Clox: No change (Z+4)


We are sailing somewhere in the Arabian Sea. I note our speed is not consistent, so if tracking by AIS, unless you have a satellite position feed, the position shown will be inaccurate.  Most of the vessel tracking software, when the vessel is out of range of shore stations, extrapolate an Estimated Position (EP) based on probable route and course/speed, at the time the ship lost contact with the shore station.


Clear skies and light winds


A table for 10, is set in Manfredis each evening, for the 8 of us and 2 officers that join us for dinner. This evening we dined with Norbert (GM) and Annika (Financial Officer). Once he heard about the menu options, we also encouraged Beven (C/Director) to join us as well. With Tomahawk Steaks, it didn’t take much convincing.

Each of us selected an appy, and if not wanting steak, one of the other main course options. Three Tomahawks were prepared (2 M/Rare & 1 M/Well), with the meat sliced and served family style. Steaks were seasoned and cooked to perfection. As usual, no room for dessert.


Last evening during dinner, Anna (Executive Housekeeper) delivered our new name badges, which we are welcome to wear, but it is optional. Under the current circumstances, we consider this an excellent gesture, while the officers and crew are maintaining the Viking standard, they are also recognizing that we are in a totally different cruising situation.

Name badge

Andy’s Name Tag

Judi and I proudly wear our name tag and as soon as we left the cabin, the cabin stewards in the alleyway noticed them and had to check them out. They were all smiles and thanking us. This has been the normal reaction around this great ship and fabulous crew, as throughout the day, most of the crew we met stopped to chat and checked out our badges. It is incredible how such a small gesture can have such positive results.

Yesterday, with baggo, new cabins, unpacking, etc. none of us made it down to the Atrium, so the Bartender & Waiters were standing around waiting for us to arrive. So, after breakfast this morning, we made a point of heading to the Atrium, for tea and armed with the laptop to work on blog posts.

Due to mandatory crew temperature checks and crew drills, we didn’t have Baggo this morning, but Beven did set up the boards for some training/practice sessions.

After lunch, I spent an hour in the gym on the treadmill, but with the potential of making hard evasive manoeuvres, all pools and hot-tubs are empty until we clear the high risk area.

Returning to the cabin, I spotted a bird flying around the ship while hunting for flying fish.

Flying fish and reflection

Flying fish skimming over the surface

The above photo turned out better than I could of hoped for, as with the lack of wind, I also got the flying fish’s reflection on the surface.

Bird following flying fish 2

Masked Booby chasing the flying fish

This one also turned out rather well, also with reflections of both the bird and fish.

Bird following flying fish and missed

Masked Booby taking off after missing the fish

It took place a fair distance from the ship, so until I checked the photos, I didn’t know if the bird caught the fish or not.

Enjoy a few other photos of the bird flying around the bow.

Our resident bird expert Robin Petch disembarked in Dubai, but is now following our blog and sent a note confirming the bird is a Masked Booby. Thanks Robin.

21 thoughts on “Day 83 – 27th March 2020, At Sea

  1. Nice view, perhaps you will get that same suite in one of your future Viking cruises! The waters must have been calmed as the birds came and cruised with you as they hunt for the flying fish. Great pics of the masked booby and the flying fish. At least they entertained you and give you something to do 🙂


    • Thanks Steve – suite is great, but we will be happy returning to a DV on our next cruise. Too much movement up here for Judi, as she needs a patch even in smooth seas.


  2. Hi, “resident bird expert” Robin Petch here! I just learned about your blog from David Hammel, fabulous! Your bird is a Masked Booby and those are great photographs of the bird and Flying Fish. I’ll be happy to identify anything else you see as the voyage continues. Keep an eye out for Spinner Dolphins in the Red Sea and Common and Striped Dolphins in the Mediterranean. Other species are possible too, including Fin and Sperm Whales once through Suez. Give my love to all on board and safe travels!


      • Thanks and yes please! In particular, the two showing the Booby chasing, and just missing, the Flying Fish would be great. I hope you have more good sightings on the way to… wherever you are going!


  3. Hi Judy, “resident bird expert” Robin Petch here! David Hammel told me about the blog! Your bird is a Masked Booby. Lovely shots of the bird and the Flying Fish. I’ll be happy to identify anything else you photograph too and will follow your blog now I’ve discovered it. Watch out for Common and Striped Dolphins in the Med. and maybe Fin or Sperm Whales too depending on where exactly you sail! Give our love to all on board, safe travels!


    • Hi Robin – during the turmoil of disembarking and then changing cabins I have lost your card. Can you please send me an email to the address on the blog home page and I will send a link to the files on one drive.



  4. Hello Andy and Judy,
    Like you two, my wife and I joined the World Wonders Cruise in Los Angles. (We got off in Darwin). We have been following your blog and enjoying the updates. I forwarded today’s to Robin Petch thinking he would love the stunning photos, and could help with the Bird ID. Best of luck on the rest of your return. Travel Safe.
    David Hammel


  5. Thanks for the interesting blog. It must be quite an experience. We had a wonderful cruise a year ago from Puerto Rico to Barcelona. Is the bird a gannet? Possibly.


  6. Fantastic post! This is truly the BEST cruise blog. You unique position is a delight to read about and your expertise at all things nautical,writing and photography make it the first thing I look for every morning.

    Weather here is dreary, enjoy this special voyage.



  7. Just started following your blogs. Enjoy every minute, words, and photos. We wish we were with you. We were on the Sun last June-July from Bergen to London. Seems better than being confined to home with most everything closed.


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