I received an email from my son, Brendon, who in part said…”Dad, you have been married long enough to know you have to let them win sometimes”
Advice taken, Brendon – score is now tied at 13, and I’m off the awkward, lumpy couch and back in a warm, comfortable bed! Thank you, son!
Weather is miserable – strong southeasterly tail wind, so much smoother sailing as we head west but heavy rains continue. We have approximately 56 hours to go before reaching New Zealand. We crossed the International Date Line last night – so it’s Super Bowl Sunday on the ship, but still Saturday in New Orleans! The ‘date line’ follows the meridian of 180 degree longitude roughly down the middle of the Pacific Ocean, although deviates to pass around the far east of Russia and various island groups in the Pacific. It mostly corresponds to the time zone boundary separating +/- 12 hours Greenwich Mean Time.
As this will be our first visit to New Zealand, we have attended several lectures on the 5 scheduled ports. I’ll be sharing a lot of that information with you as we go. We are very fortunate to have a travel expert onboard who lectures frequently – those of you who sailed last year will recognize her as Barbara – she’s been around the world 14 times and is intimately familiar with every port, every country, every city & even small villages. She can speak fluently about local currency, local laws, local transportation, and can even tell you where the nearest post office is – amazing lady! I’ve yet to ask a question she’s unable to answer. At one point last year, I asked her where I could buy a pair of dress shoes at a reasonable price in Hong Kong and sure enough, she had the answer for me! Her lectures are typically held mid-mornings in the main theater a few days before we arrive in each port – attendance at times is standing room only, then replayed on the ships TV several times before arrival. If I miss a few notes during her lectures I can always watch a replay and catch up. We’re very excited about New Zealand, and even greater, with our cancellation of Roratonga, we will arrive in Auckland 12 hours early (5pm on Tuesday) and will now spend 45 hours there vs. 33 – more than enough time to tour what is said to be one of the greatest cities in the world. If it’s any indication, the passengers onboard from Auckland are truly some of the most wonderful people we’ve met. The sail in is advertised as being one of the most beautiful, so we’ll capture & post as many photos as we can for you.