Today was another great day for us – beautiful weather (still mid-70’s) and at one point after lunch, the ocean was so calm in looked like a mirror – absolutely amazing! Not a ship in sight now for 3 days.
The only potential bad news we received was that the weather on Easter Island is deteriorating and rain is expected when we arrive tomorrow morning. A special announcement was broadcast around 10am that basically said we now have 3 plans or locations in place once we get close to Easter Island – depending on the height of the sea swells, that will determine where we try to drop anchor – there IS a possibility that if the entire island is too turbulent, we’ll be forced to sail beyond without stopping. There are many upset passengers, but primarily those who don’t understand how Easter Island is set up and the dangers of trying to anchor 100,000 tons of steel in shallow, very turbulent waters – the weight of the ship only makes it worse. Last year they said we were very fortunate to get in at all – in years past the ship has been forced to cancel the stop. We’ll see what happens – with 3 plans in place, the odds are that one of them will work.
Earlier this evening we held the “Flower Power Formal Night” – throughout the day, music from the 60’s & 70’s could be heard around the ship, and everyone was wearing some form of clothing from those same periods. We didn’t plan well for this event – we were dressed appropriately throughout the day, but all we could muster for dinner tonight was simple formal dress – some of the guys had bow ties & cumberbuns with flowers, headbands, tuxedo pants with bell-bottoms – very creative & well done.
Entertainment this evening was spectacular – an impressionist from Las Vegas – standing ovation!
Have not updated any photos for several days because of the poor satellite reception – they tell us it should improve as we get closer to Easter Island, but at one point today, we completely lost CNN & Fox News for several hours – nothing on TV except internal commercials – we may miss the football games entirely on Sunday! Satellite TV (at sea) is different than internet. In order to run efficiently and conserve as much energy as possible, satellites beaming television signals are only directed towards huge land masses where folks live. Said differently, it doesn’t make economic sense to beam a costly TV transmission to the middle of the Pacific Ocean. We have a 3.5 meter satellite dish on deck #9 (top deck) that is on a gyro to constantly hold the signal from the satellite no matter the direction or movement of the ship. However, as we’ve learned, there are still variables that sometimes hinder our reception. If we’re sailing from far land, such as we currently are, we tend to lose the signal. Also, sailing between two continents can cause interruption because the satellite usually beams in one language for one continent, and then another satellite must be tuned in to acquire the same language in another continent. Most satellites are directly over the equator, so right now we must beam our dishes toward the northeast – however, the dishes are located directly behind the ships smokestacks to protect them from the wind & elements. It’s really quite a challenge out here. The internet is slightly different, in that we beam directly to the nearest satellite & return – it all depends where we are, weather conditions, and the biggest variable, the number of people trying to use the system – that’s one of the reasons I’m up so early each day…trying to use the system before other folks jump on to do their morning mail. I’ve found that trying to use the system between 6am – 9pm is absolutely miserable, and it’s much more costly because everything takes so much longer. Downloading photos is expensive regardless of time of day, so we try to keep those to a minimum until we’re in a large metro area with free Wi-Fi, such as Sydney or Hong Kong.