12-13 February, 2019 – At sea in the South Pacific

The ship is cruising smoothly at 21 knots through the Pacific Ocean with sunny and warmer weather on Tuesday. Happy Birthday to our son Geoff!! 🎉🎂❤️

There is a Casino on board – small but lots of slot machines and gaming tables that we walk by every day. Haven’t stopped yet except for this picture.

New lecturers arrived in Honolulu to expand our knowledge on topics we would normally not be studying.

Lecture series “Aspects of Empire” by Peter Beckingham. He starts by telling the story of Captain Cook’s explorations. Did you know he was clubbed to death on the Hawaiian island of Kauai on February 14, 1779? Neither did we. A marker is there to note this historical event that occurred 240 years ago. Also, did you know, Captain Cook made three journeys spanning the North and South Pacific region, including Antarctica mapping and researching the culture as well as claiming the land for Britain? Each journey lasted over three years for a total of over 200,000 miles on a boat 100 feet long 30 feet wide with approximately 100 crew. Glad we are enjoying the same path he took on this luxury cruise ship. Cook’s Endeavor would fit in Victoria’s Lido Buffet, many times over.

The next lecture, by Dr. Denny Whiford who is currently a Professor at the University of Maryland, is titled “Ocean Waves from Cat Paws to Perfect Storm.” The presenter is a retired navy Captain who obtained two PhDs – oceanography and meteorology – while in the Navy. He used his knowledge to create Navy processes for measuring and reporting not only weather but wave periodicity. Since all day, we have the pleasure of looking out to sea, it was interesting to hear how waves form, why the sea looks as it does, how to read the waves and how they are measured. He showed us the weather/wave map from the night we had the rough seas sailing toward Honolulu and explained how a storm hundreds of miles away from where we were was causing all the wave action. Largest wave ever recorded and survived by a ship (there is a photograph in the Smithsonian) was 112 Feet in 1933 by the USS Ramapo. The largest wave ever surfed was 78 feet just off of Portugal. Did you know surf has a beat? Waves come in packets and always an odd-number. Yes, there are rogue waves and he even explained why. Also there are potholes in the ocean!

And the last lecture was Christopher Kelly – this time talking about famous Italians who invaded various countries around the world. Lots of historical facts about people and places – Christopher Columbus (invaded USA), Machiavelli (Philosopher of Invasion ;)), Leonardo da Vinci (invented parachute, submarine, tank, etc), Garibaldi Guard of NY 39th at Gettysburg, Giovanni Martini only survivor of Little Big Horn because he was sent by Custer with a message.

Also, I watched a chef create creatures from fruit. Entertaining and unusual – a rat (or did he say cat?), a penguin and out of a watermelon a swan.

Spending our day today reading and discussing the same book, not something we do often enough. The crew has a fire and rescue drill at 10 AM so no lecturers until 12:15 today. Lots of maintenance of the ship is also happening. New Captain, new rules. This Captain’s reports at Noon everyday are data based – we are 1900 miles from Samoa, 800 miles west of Mexico City, the sea is 5800 meters, the temperature is 75 degrees, etc. Remember Dragnet? “Just the facts, ma’am….”

This morning, the sky is cloudy and the Brown Booby birds are back flying around the ship. Enjoying a latte in the Chart Room and watch the waves go by.