2014 Hawai’i-French Polynesia cruise
Cruising from Hawaii to Fanning Island aboard ms Statendam
February 25, 2014 – Tuesday – Hawaii to Fanning Island – Day 1 at sea
We have cloudy skies this morning but a tropical rain shower comes down while I’m having breakfast in the Rotterdam Dining Room. By the afternoon, the skies mostly clear, with a few clouds along the horizon. This is our first day at sea after leaving Hawaii, so we have a full slate of speakers to choose from today, all presenting in the large Showroom at Sea:
- 10AM – South Pacific Highlights – Kainoa & Sophie (Excursions) – I follow along with Sophie to get any tips for the excursions I have already booked for French Polynesia.
- 11AM – Animal Communication and Language – Clive Catchpole – It is often said that language is the difference between us and other animals. Clive presents many ways animals communicate and yet they don’t use ‘language’, as we know it. As usual, it is a superb presentation.
- 2PM – The “Stories” of Mutiny on The Bounty – Charlie Urbanowicz – Charlie describes the events leading up to the “Mutiny on the Bounty” and what became of the crew after the 1789 mutiny. I hadn’t realized that the Bounty failed to sail around Cape Horn due to extremely bad weather, and ended up sailing to South Africa and the Cape of Good Hope, and onward through the Indian Ocean, around the southern shore of Australia, and then to Tahiti. No wonder the crew mutinied, since it took them well over a year to sail “the long way” from England to Tahiti!
I received my certificate from the captain for crossing the International Date Line. At midnight tonight, the ship’s clock jumps ahead 24 hours, so tomorrow will be February 27. We lose Wednesday, February 26. After we leave Kiribati and head to French Polynesia, we sail back across the International Date Line, so we will get to live February 28 twice!
February 27, 2014 – Thursday – Hawaii to Fanning Island – Day 2 at sea
The Republic of Kiribati modified the International Date Line eastward to include all their islands in one time zone (and day) in the mid-1990s. We crossed the International Date Line last night on our way to Fanning Island so we lost February 26th (arriving tomorrow).
The captain announces that we are currently in the Inter-tropical Conversion Zone, which means grey skies and showers. He says that our arrival at Fanning Island tomorrow will be challenging, since the charts in the area are out-of-date, and there will be 1.5 metre swells, so he plans to seek shelter to make tendering possible. He cautions us that it might take awhile to start transferring passengers ashore.
I have just spent the last half hour taking photos of the rain clouds surrounding us, mainly using my in-camera HDR with the Canon 6D to catch the subtleties of the scene (see banner image above). I return to my cabin at 5:00PM and observe a Frigate bird heading straight for the ship, and then the rainstorm begins! Kainoa just finished telling us in his Fanning Island presentation today that Frigates will fall out of the sky if they get wet, because they lack the oils in their feathers to repel water. I assume the Frigate bird found a place to roost on the ship.
I go to the Showroom this evening to see Band Artistique, two performers from Montreal who have performed with Cirque de Soleil. The man (Emile) and woman (Marie-Claude) combine comedy, juggling, magic, and physical humour in a superb way. It is very funny, and quite amazing too! France’s Got Talent 2014 video