02/25/10 to 02/28/10 @Sea East of French Polynesia

Trip Start Feb 11, 2010
Trip End Apr 04, 2010

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Sunday, February 28, 2010

022510 @Sea: Having a great time with new friends.  Days are going by quickly.  It is surreal to be on the open Pacific in huge swells and lots of warm wind.  It is difficult to walk the ship with such big waves.  Makes everyone look (more) intoxicated as they try to maneuver.  One hand on the ship at all times!  One huge wave enveloped the bowsprit.  Luckily, the widows' net was off limits at the time.  No land in sight now for at least 18 days.  Not sure how we are going to make it to Panama by 3/20.  Only going 4 knots into the 26 knot winds.  It is about 3,800 miles from the Marquesas to Cocos Island and we need to be doing 8 knots.  Gail says not to worry about it so I won’t.  Ha!  Keep seeing lots of flying fish.  Never knew they could be out of the water for such long distances flying.  Butch crew boys have 5 fishing lines tied to the stern trying to catch tuna.  The 27 yr. old British Columbia boy Dickson caught a tuna that the crew devoured raw.  They promised me a piece with the next catch and say nothing is better than fresh tuna (perhaps a language translations problem?).  They cannot serve it to passengers but will on the sly.  

022610 @Sea:  The ship food is unlimited and delicious.  We have buffet breakfasts & lunches with sit down, multi-course dinners.  The super Chef Darwin (from Manila) is present at every meal, where he makes breakfast eggs anyway you want them, carves meat or creates fancy desserts on the spot.  There is no assigned seating.  There are many themed meals, like Polynesian, Chinese, Greek, Turkish etc.  Seems like we sleep, eat, party, eat, and eat, party, repeat.  Lots of totally sinful cream desserts (thanks Gail)!  Lots of French influence.  Wonderful pastries & breads.  Tons of garlic in main courses!  Love it!  Sure beats doing the buying, prepping, cooking and cleanup.  Many types of raw fish and other raw meats are served.  I tried raw octopus, if you can believe it.  Not bad, but not something I would eat on a regular basis.  Had to pull a tentacle off the roof of my mouth.  ;)  Had a difficult time with raw lamb.  The salmon was easier.  Trying to be adventurous! 

I am so glad to have met folks on the Internet prior to boarding…and of course, new friends are easy to make on-board.  Never a dull moment.  Never have to eat alone, even when I try.  We have been having fun together.  We are now only 4.5 hours difference and will keep narrowing that as we approach Panama, which is on EST.  I am supposed to have satellite Internet access until 3/5 and hopefully again around 3/20 near Panama.  They had trouble with it yesterday but got it fixed.  No guarantees.

022710 @Sea:  Had to again adjust clocks ahead 1/2 hour, so now only 4 hours behind Panama EST.  Seas are rough everyday and the warm trade winds relentless in my ears.  The ship is alive with sounds of wind through the sails & lines and there is the ever present clanking & creaking throughout.  At noon, 84 degrees air, 81 degrees water temp.  They have a desalination plant on-board so cold water is probably 81 degrees.  I usually take "cold" water showers.  And taking a shower is an art on this small, constantly rolling ship.  I have not fallen yet, but close.  It is a marine bathroom so the floor gets wet with sloshing water.  Thankfully, there are grab rails in the bathroom and I am constantly leaning on walls.  My cabin is very small by any standard, but I love it.  It is convenient next to the stairs.  My 4 inch thick inter-spring mattress is rather firm but I have gotten used to it.  My Clipper Deck (closest to sea level) porthole is on the starboard side and often looks like a front-loading Maytag washer.  It turns the most beautiful deep blue when totally engulfed by a wave and looks like I can see miles below.  The ship is listing to the port side due to wind in the sails as we head NE into the easterly winds.  The port portholes on my deck level are probably underwater during much of this part of the voyage.  Glad to have a starboard cabin!  Absolutely love having a cabin at sea level in amidships.  The view is spectacular with the raging sea and the ride not so rocky-rolling lower down.

Gossip travels fast around this ship.  Heard of an earthquake in Chile today with hundreds killed.  We had a moment of silence for the victims.  Any tidal wave would not even be noticed out in mid-Pacific with 2 1/2 miles of water below us.  Captain Brunon said there was nothing to be worried about.  Heard the Marquesas had several 5 feet waves hit shore at 12-minute intervals.  We got out of there just in time!  (Bone, I received your email about everyone’s concern for the Star Flyer & me.  And I appreciate your concerns but luckily am totally safe & sound!  The Star Flyer Purser Yulia asked me to tell you to please put my full name and cabin number 110 when addressing to me, as she had no idea who you were writing to.  She had to check the passenger list for a Walt or Powell and hoped I was the right one.  That might explain why only one of of the emails from Bill made it to my cabin.)

Had a wonderful dinner with world travelers Gail (George W, TX), the always wild Claudia (Buenos Aires, Argentina) and Joel (Tucson, Arizona, Princeton grad & much younger looking than 80, BTW Joel says Hi to wife Elaine on the mainland).  Had the delicious, very rare Chateaubriand, which was thinly sliced, basically raw, filet mignon, along with many courses I can never pronounce and always have to ask what they are.  The carrot/grapefruit soup was also very good as was the watermelon sorbet.

Used my Starry Night software to help locate stars, constellations (Southern Cross) & planets (Mars & Saturn) during Star Gazing Night this evening.  The Milky Way & heavens are remarkable in mid-Pacific.  Most southern constellations are new to me and without Greek names (since the Greeks did not know about them either).  Big Dipper & Polaris (N. Star) are not visible now in the southern hemisphere. 

022810 @Sea:  4th @Sea day since last sighting land, two more weeks to Cocos Island, Costa Rica.  The ever-present flying fish are fun to watch.  The crew had hits on all 5 stern fishing lines.  They caught two 4 feet long, dark colored King Fish (3 got away).  Supposed to be very mild to eat with large flakes of flesh.  It is fun to lazily sit at the stern watching the lines and the ups & downs of the ship.  The rush feels like an amusement ride.  Have seen two tunas hit the lines so far, both bending the hooks and being released.  Their graceful, sleek pectoral fins giving them away as they jumped into the air with big splashes.

Seems like I am becoming somewhat popular on ship and word has gotten around.  Have given away two Scop seasick patches so far, tutored a few on Internet access & Apple computers, have given out my travel blog info to several passengers so that their relatives & friends can follow our voyage, plus the continuing astronomy lessons.  With so many reading this, I constantly have to control myself to not embellish too much or to give out too much juice.  Actually, I am having the time of my life.  Gail said to live in the moment.  So I am.  The Secret is working, too!!  I continue to attract all of this fun stuff to me and love it!  Living the dream!
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boneleone on

Walt, It was unexpected to get the updates from open sea in the Pacific. Great to hear the details and what a wonderful time you are having. I am actively packing and revising what to bring. Nice to see you sailing closer to our time zone day by day. As you are watching the southern hemisphere constallations, I am watching a snowmobile crossing the frozen lake checking out their ice fishing shanty. It's great that the crew are trying to catch fish from the stern. Makes me want to bring a whale hook along. Take care and keep living your dreams wide awake! Bone

MzzzBrown on

It's wonderful to know that you're living your dream. As I read your entries, I reflect on the Secret and know that the laws are working. Enjoy reading your blog and sharing the excitement of your adventure.

Miss Rebecca on

Great blog, Walt... and I'm so glad to see that you're having as much fun as Gail does on these trips! You guys should make a pact and turn this into an annual event... a ship repositioning reunion. ;-) I'm a friend of Gail's in Austin, so tell her that she hasn't missed much this past month. We're getting ready for loads of fun stuff to do in March... Kite Flying Fest, Sunshine Gardens Plant sale (she'll laugh at that), Rodeo kickoff parties, Texas Independence Day celebrations, and the grand-daddy of them all, SXSW. It rained yesterday, and the sun is out today... but it's still cold. Hope ya'll send some warmer weather this way. The situation in Chile seems to be deteriorating... food and water are scarce and the roads are out so relief can't get to them easily. We're glad you all were in a safe place for the tsunami. Keep living the dream and don't let Gail work you too hard at the pilates classes.

Kiltless on

Just wondering if your new red lobster look is getting brighter or browner? What a nice cabin view you have -- any photos of it? I'm amazed at all the sushi meats you are eating. Have you tried the fresh tuna yet? Some of our card players catch tuna off the CA coast, and bring it to our parties with Wasabi (green horseradish type sauce) -- it's the best! I sent you an email of my life story about our cow milking days -- it was a hit in our class. Do you NOT get our emails directly onboard?

Rhena Smith on

Enjoying your travel blog immensely... Kind of like traveling vicariously - but as soon as I look out my window the dream is shattered. I am a good friend and travel companion of Gail's (We did the Tahiti cruise back in Nov 08 together) and I see she is up to her usual - get to know everybody and make your own fun antics. Hard to have a bad time when she is on board. Tell her I said Hi if you still have internet access and that I didn't get the private emails she thought she had sent .

Sue Scanlan on

damn! I'd LOVE to be in next year. this looks amazing!

Rhena Smith on

You may have lost connection by now -but if not and you get this - tell Gail I sent her a private e-mail. I actually did get a private one from her now as I recall just after y'all left the Marquesas. Hope she got the two or three I sent via the ship.

Thanks Walt for being our go between!

Have fun ( How could you not?)

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