Day 4, Wednesday, Feb 2, Rarotonga, Casual

Trip Start Jan 26, 2011
Trip End Feb 13, 2011

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Flag of Cook Islands  , Southern Cook Islands,
Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I must say today was not one of my better days.  It started out positively with a good 5 miles on the Promenade deck.  There were a few light showers but the inside of Serenity's promenade deck has cover all the way around including being under the cover of verandas front to back.  At the end of my walk I sat out at an outside table with skim milk and coffee, pleasant at first but a driving rainstorm came up suddenly.

Rarotonga really has no major harbor so we the ship waits in the open ocean fully exposed to the elements.  I am following a blog from Holland America's Amsterdam; they arrived here and were told "only able bodied passengers would be permitted ashore".  We had somewhat better weather and no such restrictions.

I had been booked for an afternoon Rainforest Tour and waitlisted for the morning.  Nothing had been said but when I looked at my ticket mid-morning it was for the morning tour and it had already departed.  I tendered to shore and some local merchants were offering a bus tour around the island so I opted for that. The island of Roratonga is about 7 miles in diameter and has a population of 5445 spread among 7 small towns.  The island was not terribly interesting but there were a number of very nice beaches and hotels.  Many if not most of the residents here become buried in crypts on the surface.  There is also an airport with weekly service to Los Angeles.  At the end of the tour we were dropped at the center of town, about a kilometer from the tender pier.  After a bit of shopping I took a spill on my return to the ship, leaving one quite well scraped knee.  The tender ride back to the ship was starting to get wild with waves crashing over the tender windows and at the ship the tender was bobbing in a 2-foot circle both up and down and back and forth, requiring precise timing in stepping off the tender.

After lunch in the main dining room I returned to town for a bit more shopping and exploration.  As the day went on tendering was becoming more difficult.  I also learned that the ship was not anchored; that it was floating freely with occasional pauses for repositioning required.  On my final return to the tenders, the ship had drifted a bit close to shore and tendering had to stop for the necessary ship movement.  While we were waiting another rainstorm came up requiring waiting on the tender.

My afternoon concluded with tea in Palm Court.  Our dinner was concluded with a wonderful Cherries Jubilee prepared by our Headwaiter Augusto and 5 of us agreed to meet on Thursday for poolside dining.  The evening entertainment was a soprano and an exhibition by the dance team, neither really being my cup of tea.  I spent some time in the Avenue Saloon enjoying the music of Marcie Castro and got to bed a bit early.

Not all days are perfect but life goes on.  While events on Rarotonga had some unfortuante effects and my Thursday morning walk was cut from 5 miles to 3, the walk did loosen up my banged-up knee and the walk went pretty well, all things considered.

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