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Seattle

Port of call on a 2010 South Pacific Cruise from Vancouver to Auckland aboard the Volendam

Sept 23, 2010 – Thursday – Volendam in Seattle, Washington, USA

We arrive in Seattle on time at 7am. I discover my cabin is near a big noisy winch motor, which starts up as the ship approaches the dock. I rest in bed for another half hour before getting up and join my friends for breakfast in the Lido. Lots of passengers are disembarking in Seattle, so it is pretty busy this morning. I plan to walk to the Space Needle, so I wear a raincoat and leave the ship a bit after 9am. There is a mist coming down, but it isn’t too bad. I find out where the entrance to the corridor park is located, and start off. In true Seattle fashion, the mist soon turns to light rain, and then it really settles in and I am starting to get wet. I pull my camera bag’s raincoat over it, and put up my hood, and then decide to wait it out under a tree. No such luck – it looks like the rain is here to stay for the day, so I head back to Pier 91 and re-board the Volendam.

JoeTourist: Food &emdash; Chris Paris behind the Explorations Espresso BarAfter drying off, I find the Explorations Café and Lounge, order a cappuccino (US$2.10), and settle in with my notebook computer. I think this will be my usual haunt, since it is quiet here, the view is great, and it is an Internet hotspot. I experiment with the ship’s Wi-Fi, ensuring auto login is off. I’m in good shape for staying connected while crossing the Pacific Ocean.

My friends and I go to the Rotterdam Dining Room for dinner at 7pm this evening, however all the open seating is taken until 8pm. We sit in the Explorer’s Lounge until then. Dinner is served on the upper deck of the Rotterdam Dining Room, which is normally reserved for fixed seating, so essentially we are in the 8pm fixed seating. It is a very elegant dining room, and needless to say, it is huge. Service is excellent, the food is very nice, and probably what surprised us all…the portions are not too big. We all have Scallop Ceviche for an appetizer and Alaska King Crab Legs for our main course. I have a tiny Caesar Salad and an equally tiny chocolate cake for dessert, with a cappuccino to finish. All in all, everyone agrees it is a very satisfying meal.

By the time we leave the dining room at 10pm, the ship has cleared Cape Flattery and is taking a 10-15 mph wind from the south. We are currently on a westerly heading, however I expect we will soon swing around to a SW heading, since my handheld GPS tells me that is the direction to Lahaina, Maui – our first stop in Hawaii. Distance to Lahaina is 2,253 nmi or 4,157 km. Our speed is 16kts, so that means it will take us 5 days, 21 hours to arrive. By 11:20pm, the ship has changed heading to 223° (SW) and the wind has increased to 23mph still from the SW. I tried to connect to the onboard Internet, but no go. There is no cellular service either, so I suspect the satellite link is being disrupted by the pitching of the ship.

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