Day 90 – Pitcairn Island Lecture – August 19th, 2015

Pitcairn Island 10:00 to 14:00

A visit to Pitcairn Island on a cruise ship can best be described as a day of role reversal. In all other ports, the passengers and crew head ashore, but on Pitcairn, the locals come out to visit us aboard the ship. In my almost 40 years at sea, this was most definitely a unique experience. Shortly after boarding the vessel, via the pilot ladder, one of the resident was designated to conduct a presentation about island life in the Princess Theatre. Please note all photographs are taken from the powerpoint slides, which are the property of Pitcairn Island.

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Day 91 – At Sea – August 20th, 2015

Pitcairn Island to Tahiti, French Polynesia

While the storm force winds of yesterday have abated, the swell certainly hasn’t, resulting in a rather uncomfortable ride throughout a rainy and overcast day in the South Pacific. The Cruise Director has finally produced a unique daily schedule, with some new and interesting activities, rather than the usual dross. Therefore, I had a busy day with at least 4 activities of interest, and bonus, they were all at different times. Unfortunately, the weather resulted in Judi’s sea legs being misplaced, so she wasn’t able to attend some of the activities.

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Day 90 – Pitcairn Island – August 19th, 2015

Pitcairn Island – 10:00 to 14:00

With another hour back last night, our consistency with Vancouver time was short lived, lasting a mere 24 hours, as we spent today on Alaska time. However, the highlight today was the spectacular visit to Pitcairn Island. No, we didn’t go ashore, but even in 35 to 55 kt winds, almost the entire island came out to visit us. Only the oldsters stayed ashore, avoiding the trip out to the ship, which most definitely would be deemed a white knuckle adventure.

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Day 87 – Easter Island Tour II – August 16th, 2015

Returning from our ship’s tour about 14:15, we still had 4 hours until the last tender was scheduled to depart the dock, so lots of time for some additional exploring. Judi didn’t want to go for a hike, so she spent some time browsing the ample supply of local junk on display around the harbour. With no interest in the looking at the same stuff we saw a few days ago, I set off along the waterfront road, with no plan other than walking for a couple of hours to wherever the road took me.

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Day 89 – At Sea – August 18th, 2015

Easter Island, Chile to Pitcairn Island

With another set of clox last night we finally returned to Vancouver time (Z-7), but only for 24 hours, as I anticipate a further hour back tonight. We also passed through Longitude 123W, which means we also passed due south of Vancouver, at a distance of about 5,000 miles. As we wind our way sedately across the South Pacific, we enjoyed yet another fine day at sea, aboard the aptly named Sea Princess.

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Day 87 – Easter Island Tour – August 16th, 2015

Easter Island 09:00 to 17:00

Yes, we beat the odds, as the weather cooperated. In the almost initial millpond, Sea Princess anchored just offshore, transporting everyone ashore to Easter Island, using the ship’s tender service. We booked one of the sold out tours that visited Vinapu, a Moai site still awaiting restoration, Ahu Akivi with 7 standing Moai and Orongo Village, the ceremonial village that hosted the birdman contest with the winner’s tribe ruling the island for the next year. With getting ashore a very remote possibility, this was one of the highlights for both of us and it certainly didn’t disappoint.

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Day 88 – At Sea – August 17th, 2015

Easter Island, Chile to Pitcairn Island

Thrilled that we managed to make the call at Easter Island yesterday, we are tootling along on a very dull, completely overcast and rainy day in the South Pacific. On the bright side, the wind and seas have abated, making it a more comfortable passage, without the rolling and pitching previously experienced. With Easter Island now behind us, we can start correcting the clox to our time zone, so we had the first  hour back last night since before Cartagena. However, still steaming west, it will take a few days to get back to normal sunrise/sunset times, with meridian altitude at high noon.

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Day 87 – Easter Island, Chile – August 16th, 2015

Easter Island – 09:00 to 19:00

Yes, we finally beat the odds, as the frequently inclement winter weather relented, permitting us to visit Easter Island. This is a common port on the World Cruise, but we are the first ship in about 5 years to succeed in getting passengers ashore. With the poor success rate you would think the government officials and local businesses would be welcoming us with open arms. Alas, local officialdom threw up roadblocks and made frequent changes, sometimes less than hourly. Being a Sunday, most businesses, other than a couple of restaurants were closed. Regardless, we thoroughly enjoyed the experience and actually seeing the Moai statues was amazing.

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Day 87 – Easter Island – August 16th, 2015

Easter Island – Approaching the Anchorage

This morning on checking out on the balcony we were amazed to be welcomed by a sky full of twinkling stars, a good omen for today’s visit to Easter Island. As I write this update, it is now 08:25 and we are on our final approach to the anchorage at the west end of the island. Currently about 1/2 mile from shore we have no wind and a very low swell. We have slowly passed the town and a small coaster lying at anchor and are now manoeuvring into position.  Basically, it is as close as you will ever get to a mill pond, on a remote island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

No guarantees until the ship is brought up to the anchor, after the splash, and rumble and the tenders are actually in the water. However, at the present moment I would say it looks good for getting ashore at Easter Island. Still with fingers crossed, as only about 1 in 7 ships actually manage to put people ashore.

Day 86 – At Sea – August 15th, 2015

San Martin, Peru to Easter Island, Chile

We are all hoping this will be our final sea day and the weather will permit us to anchor and safely tender ashore at Easter Island tomorrow morning. Unfortunately, as the day progresses the weather is deteriorating, with initial wind being about 15 knots, increasing to 25 knots by late afternoon. We also experienced a fair bit of rain and by late afternoon the visibility closed in. However, today’s schedule was a pleasant departure from the usual serving of carpet bowls, water volleyball, etc. Rather than Sunday Brunch, this morning we had a delicious Saturday Brunch and once suitably nourished I spent an enjoyable 3 hours in the Princess Theatre.

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