25-26 February, 2019 – Tasman Sea to Sydney

Whoa – seas as rough as the Captain predicted. The Tasman Sea around New Zealand is notoriously rough, and with a southeasterly wind at 50-60 knots and mixed waves, the sea is really churned up. Decks closed, fewer people out of their rooms for fear of falling.

Meanwhile a group gathers in the Winter Garden room to watch the Oscars live. Because it is being broadcast as a special event on the ship, there are no commercials. So you can imagine how boring it is to watch – announce a category, announce a winner, winner speaks forever, no commercial so up pops a screen with the word “Oscars,” and really boring music playing at full volume. Rather than sitting there and watching, I just waited for the winners to be announced later in our day (we are still 17 hours ahead of Eastern Time).

Our favorite lecturer, Dr. Denny Whitford, spoke about Seafaring Lore. A fun talk about how words ended up in our vocabulary from the sailors travels and beliefs. He also talked about his experiences in the U.S. Navy – quite interesting.

Dinner at The Verandah – the steakhouse on board – on a Gala night. The offering of steaks is really good (can you identify them below) and they let you pick your knife preference, something different from home steak restaurants.

With two days at sea, we started discussing our musings and some things we forgot to report in our blog for ports gone by. An example – Zane Grey stayed in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand and loved the marlin fishing so much that he wrote about it. He accordingly promoted New Zealand as a place people should do sport fishing, which resulted in clubs for fishing folks to stay at. There was a Swordfish Club in Russell, which unfortunately wasn’t opening until 4 on our day ashore, too close to our departure time for us to dine at. A great memory tickler anyway since we had a beautiful and romantic sunset dinner at the Zane Grey restaurant at Islamorada Florida, down in the Keys, several years ago.

Another tidbit we learned was that radio astronomy was invented using the cliffs in Piha near Auckland.

The albatross birds joined our ship yesterday doing their constant circling of the ship.

Aborigine means ab = from and origine = the beginning. These indigenous people were on the continent of Australia at least 51,000 years ago. Like the Maori everything is told by oral traditions – nothing writing down except as expressed in their art.

Tasman Sea is named for the Dutch explorer Abel Janszoon Tasman who is the first European to record New Zealand and Tasmania in 1642.

This segment or sector of our world cruise – San Francisco to Sydney – ends tomorrow. A lot of people disembark in Sydney. The lecturers will be changing and so will the music.

And finally…..before we reach Sydney……