Friday, April 19, 2013

Fanning Island

We arrived on Fanning Island.  The whole island is this narrow ring, around 100 yards wide that runs for 10 miles or so.  Inside is a beautiful turquoise lagoon.  This lady was walking along with her baby and I just liked the picture. 

This is the one that should have started, but the order is messed up and I am too tired to fix it.  Here you can see the "English Channel"  It is a channel blasted into the circle to let ships inside the lagoon.  We anchored out and had the tenders take us in. 

A scenic shipwreck around which you can dive.

These are some kids that were performing a hula type dance for cash donations.  I have a video that I will post when I can. 

Michael and Max were big news on the island.  They were bombarded with declarations of love and at one point even had a stalker.  It was cute. 

Of course, they were just interested in going swimming.  Gotta play it cool.

We had fresh, and I do mean fresh, coconut water and coconut.  They were bringing them down and breaking them open to order.

The kids all lined up to watch the passengers depart.  It was a unique place and experience. 

These were some of Michael and Max's admirers.  They said they loved them.  I'm sure they say that to all the boys. 

More pictures later when I can.

Thursday, April 18, 2013


So, to answer the date question.  I turns out that the international date line takes a jog east to encompass Fanning Island because it is a part of Kiribati, which is on the west side of the line.  So, today is the 19th and tomorrow will be too.  Got it?

We did, however, cross the equator around 0530 this morning.  I felt the bump.  We aren't going to have a Neptune ceremony until the return trip for some scheduling reason beyond my pay grade.  So, it's hot. 

So, yesterday was Fanning island, and by a stroke of good fortune, I managed to get off the ship for a couple of hours.  I am going to put some pictures up later.  I can't right now for various clinical reasons.

Did I mention the heat? 

It's a sea day.  I finally got in a run.  It was the first since Colombia.  I know.  I know.  Something happened to my knee on the trip and it is just now feeling better.  So, I got two miles in on the treadmill and some various random other excercises.  Man that's boring.  How about the kids...  They discovered ping pong up on the Lido deck.  Well, not really ping pong so much as serve and chase.  One of them manages to hit the ball on the serve after a few tries.  The ball flies right past the other who chases it down and returns to repeat the process.  Good fun. 

I should stick with the pictures.  I hope to get them updated later. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


Nope, I'm not crazy.  We ostensibly crossed the international date line.  There is debate about if we actually crossed it or not, but I have been too busy to settle it.

I'm giddy like a schoolgirl.  We got a new mattress.  Our old one was thin and had a lovely feature I called the chasm.  It was a three inch (out of a four inch thick mattress) deep, 8 inch wide and 2 foot long depression into which I fell every night.  Sleeping was not pleasant. 

Now if I can only get the calls to stop long enough to go enjoy it. 

Next stop Fanning Island. 

I don't think I will be able to get off.  A little trade off for being off in Hawaii so much.  It was worth it.

Now, another attempt at this sleep thing.

Monday, April 15, 2013


Lahaina on the island of Maui.  I offered to stay onboard on my third call day so someone else could get off.  I offered multiple times even, but no one took me up on it.  So, when I realized I was just going to be standing around, I left.  It was a tender port and the seas were 6-8 feet.  So the Sarah and the kids got a taste of small boats on the sea. 

We didn't do much, just tooled around the wharf area.  The largest banyan tree in the U.S. is there and it is magnificent.  I am such a tree hugger.  It takes up an acre of space on its own.  They have a market set up under its branches. 

Enough talkie talk.  Time for the pictures.  Some from yesterday and some from today.

Scene 1: Hawaii Volcanos National Park on the big island of Hawaii. 

Title Shot:

The family standing inside a crater looking at a crater inside another crater. 

It was awesome.  There are lots more pictures than I have bandwidth to upload right now, so this will have to suffice. 

So, I'm a tree hugger.  Look at this thing.  And it isn't a 'special' tree.  It was just next to the drive up coffee kiosk.  Yes, the little yellow thing at the bottom is me. 

Title shot for the second adventure of the day.

We came around a bend in the trail and caught site of the waterfall for the first time and I managed to catch Michael's reaction.  He isn't shading his eyes, but protecting his glasses from the light rain which had begun to fall.

The waterfall in question.  Yup, I'm a sucker for a good waterfall.

As you can imagine, there were plenty of photographer types there.  We coerced one into taking this picture. 

Just a cute little waterfall back off the trail a bit.

Michael at his party in the medical center.  No, the biohazard box wasn't a present. 

The trunk of the largest banyan tree in the US. 

More pictures when bandwidth permits. 

Sunday, April 14, 2013


Happy birthday Michael.

We got up and I opened the clinic.  Nothing much happening, so Laura came in a let me go just before 0900 so we could go pick up the rental car.  Then it was off to Volcano National Park.  We drove out of Hilo and into the country.  It was beautiful.  30 miles away we entered the park.  I guess I should have expected it to remind me a bit of Yellowstone, but it caught me by surprise.  We visited some steam vents and then hike out to the crater rim.  Well, we were in the caldera of one crater looking over the rim of another crater and at the edge of another crater.  It makes more sense when you see it.  Speaking of which, no picturs today, maybe tomorrow.  I just can't stomach another 30 minute upload for 4 pictures episode. 

We hung out and went to a visitor center and generally oohed and ahhhhed.  Looking down into a crater that was very obviously crusted over lava, we could see the orange glow shining out from a hole near a steam vent.  It was pretty cool.

Then we headed back into Hilo for a lunch of Hawaiin style pizza from Big Island Pizza.  Michael checked out the geckos on the patio while we ate.  Then across the street for some Kona coffee and to gawk at an amazing tree.  Man, some of the banyon trees are just incredible.  This one wasn't like the banyon tree in the International Market, but it was just as amazing. 

We were trying to decide whether to drive up Mauna Loa or to drive around and see some waterfalls when the weather made the decision for us.  It was cloudy and threatening rain so we figured it was pointless to drive up a mountain when we couldn't see the summit for the clouds.   So we went chasing waterfalls. 

More scenic driving led us to Akkaka Falls.  There is a circle trail that leads through a gorgeous and lush rainforest area to an overlook of Kahuna falls and then right up to the front of Akkaka falls.  I will upload pictures, it was very cool.  Then, we went to WalMart.

Yup, WalMart two days in a Hawaii.  Michael had some birthday money he just had to spend.  To his credit he didn't spend it all.  he bought some Star Wars legos that he and Max could share and build.  He even let Max have some input into which one to buy.  Sweet kid.

Then we returned the rental car and made it back to the ship in time for me to finish the last hour of clinic. Turns out they disembarked two people while I was gone.  15 minutes before we left, we sent off another one.  Dang.

After dinner we came back down to medical where Susan had cake delivered and everyone on the medical team bought Michael presents and sang him happy birthday. It was awesome.  Michael said it was a great birthday.  He also said Kiluea was the coolest place he had ever been.  Awesome. 

I will try to get some pictures up either tomorrow or the next day.  Promise.