Saturday, April 27, 2013


Today was a 2nd call day that felt much like a 1st call day. 

I didn't get off the ship.  Sarah and the boys did, but only for a short time and they didn't bring the camera because we were all going to go out later.  Didn't turn out that way.  So Sarah went off and got a few pictures of things around the harbor that I asked her to, she is sweet like that.

Tomorrow is a sea day and I am first call.  Next day I am off in Nuku Hiva.  Then we are back at sea and headed back to the US.  I am looking forward to being back around familiar things for a while.  It will be nice. 

So, not much to report today. I haven't even looked at the pictures Sarah took yet.  Maybe there will be a picture post later. 

4/26/13 Mo'orea

What a day.  Wait, what a night and day.  Yesterday just never seemed to want to stop.  I got the emergency call at 1900 that lasted 2 hours plus cleanup. Then I got the 0030 call that lasted two hours plus cleanup.  Then I got the 0630 call that lasted...wait for it,  just about two hours. Which meant that I left the seat warm for the Laura, who took the call and clinic over at 0800.  Ok, so the last one was only 86 minutes or so. 

Then, back to the room to wake up with Sarah and the kids.  After a weary and bleary breakfast, it was open tenders and away. 

We hit shor right around 1000 and picked up our rental car.  We decided first to go up to Belvedere, which they say is French for 'lookout'.  It is pretty scenic.

Of course, we all aim and crop and try really hard to get this picture...

When what you are really dealing with is this...

Tour busses and crowds and cars.  This is the most public viewpoint and the most easily accessible.  So, it gets a lot of traffic.  Desiring to leave that traffic, we took the Annana Road (Pineapple Road)  It is a dirt backroad usually reserved for 4 wheel drives.  Our Citroen was more than up to taking us through farmland so we could see scenic vistas.

Back on the main road, we found a scenic turnout over the Sofitel Resort.  Across the straight there is Tahiti.

Not too much further up the road, we stopped at a grocery store for baguettes and mixed nuts, lunch snack of champions.  We sat on an oceanside bench to eat.

Then we drove down what we hoped was the right road for a, wait for it, waterfall hike.  It was the right road and where the road stopped, we got out and walked.  At first the trail was easy and still almost a road.

Then it got tougher and much more awesome. 

It kicked us out at the plunge pool for a tall, but not too voluminous waterfall.  I can't recall the name right now, no sleep will do that to you.  There was a middle school class there doing an art project. 

I like waterfalls. 

We all had a great time.  Michael and Max waded about the pool exploring the life there and found ghost shrimp, crawfish and...

This guy.  He was an eel that was very curious about us and kept creeping closer and closer. 

Then we began the trek back to the car.  Michael and Max loved tromping through the forest this time and it was all we could do to keep them slowed down for safety.

Then we found a passion fruit that had dropped from a tree, perfectly ripe.  We enjoyed it and headed back to the car. 

We finished the circle drive around the island and took tons of pictures, but they will have to wait for another day.  Tonight we are in Pape'ete, Tahiti.  More to come tomorrow. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

4/25/13 Bora Bora pt2

Just a quick note tonight. 

I was first call, and at 9pm am still working.  So, Sarah and the boys went to the beach and snorkled and had a good time.  Then Michael got caught by a sea urchin.  He's just fine.  No worries there. 

I did manage to get up to watch some of the sail away, which was pretty.  Too bad I was getting interrupted by questions every minute or two.  Oh well.

Tomorrow is Mo'orea and I am going to do my best to have a good time.

Maybe more pictures then.

4/24/2013 Bora Bora

Or, as we like to call it, the island of Banga...Boonga.  Thanks Hoops and Yo Yo. 

First, I want to clear something up.  After looking today at the mountain on Bora Bora, there is no way our climb yesterday was that high.  Maybe 1600 feet.  Still a pretty solid climb. 

Today I was 2nd call and had to negotiate for time with the doctor.  It turned out that I didn't even use all the time I bargained for.  Bora Bora is expensive.  I don't think it is better than any of the other islands, but it is certainly more famous.  Therefore, more touristy and expensive.  So, we wandered the port area for a bit, then gravitated toward the seawall so the boys could look for crabs and snails and fish.  Turns out that more people = more litter as well.  Bags and broken bottles littered the landscape. 

Our only real option was to climb the mountain, but alas, we didn't have enough time. So we goofed off and then headed back to the ship for lunch.  Sarah took the kids to the pool while I did the afternoon clinic and we wrapped it up by watching The Amazing Spiderman on TV. 

And after looking at the wreck of pictures I took today, I really should just let Sarah always carry the camera. 

Of course, despite all the natural beauty, we are entranced by small lizards and watching how bananas and flowers grow.

Max hanging out with his Gnomie homie. 

So we end up in the rocks looking for crabs and fish among the bottles, and trash.  Sometimes the problem with traveling on a cruise ship is that, wherever you go, you bring a cruise ship full of people with you.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Raiatea, Society Islands and 300th post

Yeah for me!  300 posts in the life of this blog.  I had no idea at post 1 what post 300 would bring. 

So, on with it.  Enough self congratulatory twaddle. 

Today was one of those days with everything I like about this job mixed right in with everything I don't like.  Well, most everything. 

I was third call and yesterday was ridiculously busy.  I ate lunch at the desk in the infirmary so I could watch this morning's disembark and catch up on the paperwork from the morning clinic.  So, we woke up this morning, I set the alarm for 0630 because Sarah wanted to get up and watch us pull in because it was supposed to be really pretty.  She did and it was, I slept.  Then up for breakfast and in to the clinic to check and make sure all was well.  Called down during breakfast to do cabin calls.  Do a couple of cabin calls and then off to a presentation on environmental stewardship in the upcoming Alaska season. 

Then time for a boat drill for Sarah and the kids. 

Then we checked back in with the clinic.  Of course, there was something they needed me to do with the disembarking patient that would keep me around for a while.  I helped out and then we finally got cleared to hightail it out at around 11.  So, we get off and Sarah looks at some shops and the kids and I wander around looking for lizards and exloring a park.  Then we get hungry.  Of course, none of the food looks very good and 500pf sounds like a lot to pay for some questionable looking food. We have a Lido deck full of free food right there, so we decide to head back aboard and eat lunch before we head back ashore.  Ooops.

Because of course another seriously ill patient has come along since then and I will be asked to stick around and help with the disembark.  Because I just had to walk right in front of medical on the way to the dining area.  So, I was stuck. 

It took a couple of hours to get everything done that needed to be done to get the patient stable and paperwork in shape enough that I could leave.  By this time is was around 2.  All aboard was 4:30.  So, again, we left the ship and decided to hike up the nearest mountain.  Of course we did. 

Along the climb we were met with a variety of exotic birds, horses (they spoke french), cows, chickens, dogs and pigs.  They didn't seem to even notice we were there for the most part, but they lent a certain pastoral air to the day.

It was hot, we had to stop for rest, even though we were tight on time.

The mysterious 'Hill Cow', reclusive by nature.

It's not safe to go alone, take this...

On the way up, a couple coming down offered to take out picture.  Max did get a ride up the last 1/4- 1/5 of the way.  Sarah and I took turns.  In his defense, his legs are awful short.  Also, we were so short of time, he could have done it all himself had we had another 45 minutes or so.

Finally, at the top.  It was beautiful up there and there was a nice, cool breeze.  We could see Taa'ha and Bora Bora. 

Of course I have to be me. 

We shared a quick smooch and headed back down.  The ship was leaving in less than 90 minutes. 

Back down to sea level, we looked back on our trip.  2600 feet up and then back again in just 2.5 hours.  It was a nice visit, if short.  Then back on the ship to sail away for Bora Bora tomorrow. 

And a beautiful sail away it was.  Of course, Sarah took the last picture because I was down in the infirmary taking care of some paperwork.  Tomorrow I am second call and splitting time with the doctor.  I don't know what that will end up being. 

Not bad for 300 posts.  I wonder if I will get another 300.  Wish me luck, 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Raratonga, Cook Islands

So, I was second call, like I mentioned in the previous post.  I stayed onbaord the ship today.  I went to the gym, watched a movie and worked.  Sarah took the boys out and checked out the island.

I stayed on the ship.  This is a picture from the bow I took while Sarah and the boys were waiting for open tenders so they could go ashore.

Mountain gnome is a gnome of strength.

Sarah and the boys taking the tender away.

On the island, with the Westerdam in the background.

Sarah's pretty picture from the island.

The boys just wanted to swim and play and snorkel all day. 

Tomorrow is a sea day and then Raietea. 

Sunday, April 21, 2013


Today we arrived in Raratonga, Cook Islands.  I'm not sure if I will get off. 

You see, it is a tender port and a short day.  We are here from 0800 until 1600 or so.  As crew members, we are obliged to wait until the passengers are off, or at least most of them.  At some point after most have left, they call 'open tenders' and crew can leave.  That will likely happen around 11.  If we leave at 4, the last tender is scheduled for 3:30.  There will be a line of approximately 30 minutes to an hour to get aboard.  So, if it takes 15-20 minutes to get ashore on the tender that leave....let's see, carry the one...Oh wait, I forgot, I'm second call today too, which means that I have to split time with the doctor, so cut that time in half and then double the travel time,(once for each of us) and if we both go ashore there is barely time to stand up and say, "I'm in Raratonga!" before you have to go stand in line to get back aboard the tender. 

We shall see, but it doesn't look good.  Sarah and the boys, however, can go ashore as soon as open tenders is called and see the sights.  Maybe she will take some pictures.