Nawiliwili, Kuaui, Hawaii

5/6/19 – Monday

By 8:30 am we were meeting with our tour guide for Holland America’s “Wailua River Cruise and Fern Grotto” Tour.


As we waited to get onto our boat, some others left in kayaks

On our way, you can see that most of our sights along the river were mostly of thick mangrove, no creatures visible.

On our way, you can see that most of our sights along the river were mostly of thick mangrove, no creatures visible.

e did see some of those kayakers

Walking the Wailua River State Park Fern Grotto Trail

We saw gorgeous flowers. This is a Red Torch Ginger

Pink Ginger

Ginger bud?
Ginger bud?

Sights at the Grotto – according to Judy many ferns have died because of Hurricanes: Iwa in 1982 and Iniki in 1992. This is considered a great romantic place where many have had their weddings.

Fern Grotto
Fern Grotto
Fern Grotto
Fern Grotto
Fern Grotto

Hawaiians danced and sang for us on the boat ride as well as at the grotto. They even encouraged us to join in the hula. Naturally I did, feeling confident with all my experience from our cruise lessons. These really helped make the tour special.

Back to our dock. Our bus driver then proceeded to take us to some more sites! Bonus!

Opaekaa Falls Lookout (we’d been here previously, yet it’s still a lovely experience.

A fascinating tree (palm?) I saw there.
Wonder what that fruit is.

Across from these falls (you get to take your life in your hands crossing a road) is a far more beautiful place, a landscape that includes a river,

kayakers,
water boarders,

and best of all a number of Long Tailed Tropic Birds! I’d never seen them in real life before. I learned about them in the guide books by Andrew Doughty, with blue covers and titles like “The Ultimate Kuaui Guidebook” or “Maui Revealed”. We highly recommend them. Wizard Publications.

Back on the ship I took pictures of the bay where we were “parked” at Nawiliwili.

Something special happened at our dinner. One of the crew members, Louise, from the United Kingdom, who works in the “Shops” was hosting our meal. That meant we all got free wine and learned lots about her as well as her job with selling jewelry and perfume. We had a great time visiting and dinner was superb. I don’t THINK it was because of that lovely wine.

The theater show was by the group “ABBA FAB”. John’s not a big lover of Abba music so was not that happy, but I enjoyed it. Early to bed because we’ll lose an hour tonight.

Posted in Hawaii | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii

5/5/19 – Sunday

You think we’ve been getting up early for our exercises, THIS morning we were up on a top deck at 6 am to watch the sunrise over Honolulu Bay. Our Polynesian Ambassadors celebrated a traditional “Welcome to Hawaii, Oli Aloha” as we admired and took photos:


Keoni, our main Ambassador, running the show. He’s also the creator of “Polyfit” exercise dance classes held in Hawaii but available elsewhere. Those classes were a HUGE hit.

Honolulu Bay at sunrise
Honolulu Bay at sunrise
Honolulu Bay at sunrise
Honolulu Bay at sunrise
Honolulu Bay workers, ready for us
Honolulu Bay at sunrise

After breakfast our group was called to see the US Customs and Border Protection group. All they needed was for us US citizens to show our ship key card and Passports, then we walked off the ship.

We caught a free Hilo Hattie shuttle to the Ala Moana Shopping Center (which included a food court and entertainment) where I found a lovely Kukui Nut (real) necklace and Mu’u Mu’u dress (thin and light) at an ABC Store. These stores are all over the Hawaiian Islands, providing all the basics a tourist might need at very reasonable prices, for Hawaii. Now that I was happy we walked a short distance to Ala Moana Beach Park at the back end of the shopping center.


Here we relaxed on a bench to views of paddle boarders, swimmers and a ukulele player.

We walked to another spot on the beach to watch beach people.

On to a third spot (with a bench).

It took a total of 1.5 hours for us to reach the ship from Ala Moana, walking. Here are some sights we enjoyed as we made our way back:


Building
Building

Row of rental bikes

Spotted Dove

Myna Bird

Red Plumeria flower, traditionally used in leis. The red ones are actually rather rare, they use white ones most of the time. Plumeria also have a wonderful perfume.

Hibiscus. The state flower is the Yellow Hibiscus

Orange Canna Lily

As we arrived at the ship we wondered where to enter the terminal we’d left. We came to find out that the ship wouldn’t allow arrivals until 1:30 pm. Since it was 11:30 am, we walked to ‘Iolani Palace and the Justice Center (seen at beginning footage of Hawaii Five O TV series which John watches). They’re just a few blocks away.


Gazebo as you approach the palace

‘Iolani Palace – Closed on Sundays, but the grounds are open

Beautiful lamps at the front steps of the palace

‘Iolani Palace – Normally you could tour the inside

Gate to the grounds of the Palace

Judiciary History Center, Hawaii Supreme Court, across the street from that gate into the palace grounds.

Close up of King Kamehameha, who conquered all the islands to make Hawaii one.

Near ‘Iolani Palace John and I started across an unprotected (no lights) crosswalk just as another couple started across from the other side. I looked to my right, noting that there were parked cars along that curb, so I kept looking only to see a car speeding toward me. I stopped instantly and backed up. He couldn’t stop until he was in the middle of the crosswalk. He would have hit me if I hadn’t gotten back in time. He (older Asian man) looked just as shocked as I. That sure got my heart pumping. I think he didn’t see John and I because of those parked cars, but did see the other couple and thought he’d get through that crosswalk before that couple made it far enough that he’d have to stop. Can you imagine the logistics of getting hit by a car in the midst of a cruise? Later, on our ship, I ran into Rosalie and shared my story. She had a similar situation in Honolulu, where she’d just gotten out of a cab, turned around and felt something come up against the back of her legs so she tried to move ahead of “it”. It turned out to be the cab, backing up into her! She’s in her 80’s. She said couldn’t sleep that night.

Onward to the Aloha Center Marketplace (close to the ship’s terminal), where you see the Aloha Tower. It was visible in my original Honolulu Bay photos too. Besides taking photos, we called our sons back in Spokane since US cell phone calls from Hawaii don’t carry any extra charges. They were doing just fine.


Aloha Tower
Aloha Tower

Aloha Center Marketplace

Egret wandering in the Aloha Center Marketplace which, incidentally used to have lots of shops but no longer. It is also where the Hawaii Pacific University is as well.

Around 1 pm we went to the terminal only to see there was a really long line. Oh well. Then got talking to others around us. Many were angry because most of us had gotten off just to visit Honolulu and normally we could just show our ship key card to get on. This time we had to go through all the rigmarole that you have when initially embarking on a cruise ship, including the security people checking your things and body. They were having a very difficult time getting items through the security belt. Remember that Ken and Gail (tablemates) were getting off altogether here. Many others (500?) got off as well and so about that many were getting on now, as this was a new trip for them. THAT’S why all the check in business. The good thing is this incident helped me realize that lots of people fly to Hawaii (a pleasant daytime trip), spend their week or more there, then take a cruise back to the US (or Vancouver, BC) to avoid that long 5 hour nighttime flight back. Sounds like a great idea to me. SO I’m okay with the struggle getting back on the ship because I learned a good tip.

After lunch I watched “On The Basis Of Sex”, a movie about Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Supreme Court Justice). It was excellent, so amazing what she accomplished, the struggles she overcame for her family, her husband and women’s rights. Well worth watching. John spent that time in the hot tub because he thought it was the documentary “RBG” that we’d both seen on our flight to Australia. Granted, that movie wasn’t as enjoyable as this one. For dinner I wore my new Hawaiian Mu’u Mu’u and Kukui nut necklace, as well as my own made Kukui nut bracelet. Fun! Our evening entertainment was a show by “Aloha Polynesians”. Lovely.

As we were going back to our cabin for the night we decided to check out the tours the ship had available for our next stop, Kuaui. We saw “Fern Grotto Shore Excursion” and remembered how much our cousin Judy enjoyed that tour when we all were there in 2015. So we did something highly unusual for us, we spontaneously signed up for that tour!


Lastly, John got some photos of Honolulu Bay at night.
John got some photos of Honolulu at night too.
Posted in Hawaii | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Five Days At Sea

4/30/19 – Tuesday until 5/4/19 – Saturday

Now 5 days at sea may seem like a boring proposition. Believe it or not, we were crazy busy and struck that we didn’t have time for all that we wanted to do. I do believe that you would feel pretty bored reading about our days on ship, day by day, though. So I’ll try to compile what we did.

Besides various exercise classes I took another Polyfit dance class and several hula dance lessons until May 3rd when our group of 44 along with 25 ukulele players (cruise passengers also) performed for other passengers on the ship. I wore my Hawaiian shirt, shorts, my Kukui bracelet along with Shirley’s (dinner tablemate) Kukui necklace with flowers in my hair. I really wished I’d had a real Hawaiian dress (thin and light) and my own Kukui necklace so when we landed in Honolulu I bought both.

We went to every Judson Croft class on the Pacific Ocean we could make. You can skip this section if nothing appeals to you.

Argos Drones/Robots: They look like torpedoes, using an external bladder and light oil to enable the drone to go up or down in the ocean. Argos Gliders also have wings and a rudder to guide them into angles. They also have a battery set on ‘tracks’ to give weight forward or backward thus getting the nose to tilt up or down. Then the drone can travel in a wavelike pattern. Both have GPS and robotics built in. The oceans are filled with them.

Internet at Sea: MARSEC (MARitime SECurity) communicates with the US Coast Guard using satellites stationed above the equator. Their orbit is always at the same spot above the Earth. They are set at 23,000 miles above Earth which is similar to the diameter around Earth (Equator). They’re used by ships at sea. If you look at images/videos of below the ocean in Google Earth you’ll see sometimes what looks like tracks in the sand. These are where a survey ship has passed over a path using a high resolution camera to take images of the sea floor in preparation for laying a cable. The detail shows all those indentations that aren’t visible in other areas recorded with less resolution. When a passenger sends a message from our ship it’s split into “packets” which then travel through several (5?) systems before they reach the device of the person they’re sending the message to. Then they endure that very complicated process to travel back to you, the sender. That’s why the internet on a ship is far slower than what you have at home, it’s not the ships’ fault.

Containers: Unfortunately I seem to have lost my notes so this is what I remember: A US gentleman figured out that if you put boxes, all of the same dimensions that would then fit to completely fill a large space (eventually trucks, then container ships), you could pack things more efficiently. Soon trucks beds were given standard dimensions to work with these boxes. Businesses caught on with how they packaged their items. In time this concept grew throughout the US, then the world. Container ships were built, enlarging this idea beyond trucks. Each container has locking mechanisms at each corner so they stay “attached” to the container above and below as well as become attached to the floor of the ship. All this pretty much ended the very back breaking work of dock workers since they invented cranes to lift the containers onto waiting trucks or trains at the dock.

Tsunamis and Rogue Waves: Most waves are cause by wind. A sea shows little waves in all directions. Swells are larger waves from remote locations. The longer a wind blows in the same direction the water becomes organized into swells. Waves are not water flowing forward. They are moving more like a row of dominoes sent dropping or a sports crowd doing the “wave”. Only energy moves along, not water.

Plastic Pollution: What was most devastating was what we learned about drift nets. These are set out by fisherman with buoyant balls holding them up at the top of the water. That’s okay if the fishermen gather up their nets with fish when its time but when they can’t find their nets or just drop them into the sea because the nets are old or torn. Then as more fish get caught and die the net drifts lower until it reaches the predators like sharks who have a feast on the dead fish but then get caught themselves and die. When the fish eventually no longer weigh down the net it floats back up to start the process all over again. This is besides the times when these nets get caught in a ship’s propeller

(like a Holland America ship experienced (not the one we were on) even as we were sailing) or caught disabling some creature of the sea.

Ship Engines: Most large ships have a big bulb under the bow to lessen the bow wave which creates a drag for a ship. Ships can also have thrusters (little engines that push water away, thus moving the ship in a certain direction like away from a dock). Stabilizers are set back in the starboard and port sides of a ship. They are like airplane wings (small) when they’re sent out into the water to help the ship not rock so badly in rough seas. Diesel engines power the generators that provide electricity to run the “hotel” elements and the engines. Thus they don’t need a long shaft connecting the motors to the propellers.

Magnificent Albatross: These birds have a total wing span of 12 feet. They are designed to glide although they can fly enough to get off the ground. They use their large feet to brake for landing and as their landing gear. They can “fly”/glide for months using very little energy, never landing in that time. They use the wind and an “S” path to incorporate the wind that happens over waves. They turn fish they eat into energy that is equivalent to diesel fuel, very efficient.

We had our laundry done for the 2nd time on April 30th, figuring we could last just washing underwear until we got home. We did fine.

May 1st we’d crossed the Equator so the ship has a ceremony to celebrate that. The King Neptune Ceremony entails various crew members being required by “King Neptune” to swim across the pool and “kiss the fish”. It was just an ugly metal fish, so not so terrible. We all got certificates to mark the occasion as well.

We had an agreement to meet with Jamie and Beth to play cards in the afternoon. Eventually we decided that I didn’t need to learn Canasta because John didn’t want to play it and the ladies I play games with at home (9) would need to split into 2 groups/tables. I’m sure they don’t want to do that. Sometimes Beth and Jamie couldn’t make it so we played with Ken and Gail (dinner tablemates). Speaking of tablemates, during this time Ross and Rosalie decided to try Open Dining, leaving our number at 6. Ken and Gail would be leaving the ship at Honolulu (shorter plane ride to home from there than Vancouver, BC), so our numbers dropped to 4: Larry/Shirley and us so we got to sit at a smaller table after Honolulu.

There were talks on Honolulu and Kuaui as well, our next stops.

We enjoyed most of the evening entertainment adding some time listening to the quartet playing at our “Lincoln Center Stage”.

A fun incident: John told our cabin steward that we had a fly in the room (true). I figured this would not help our situation. Ha! The next day the fly was gone. I asked Dhana how he got the fly. He‘d sucked it up with his vacuum. Why didn’t I think of that?

Also interesting: I would ask for 1 fried egg every morning for breakfast. The buffet attendant would get a cup of 4 eggs that had been broken out of their shells and placed in a small bowl. then drop just one onto the griddle. I asked how he could possibly do that. First he joked that he’d had 10 years experience. Then he explained that every egg has a thin string across its diameter with air pockets at the ends, thus they would remain separate from other eggs broken into a bowl even though they seemed to huddle there as one. If the egg is older it gets more air at the ends and then floats – not a good sign.

Posted in American Samoa, Hawaii | Tagged | 2 Comments

Pago Pago, American Samoa and American Samoa National Park

4/29/19 – Monday

After our exercises and breakfast we could actually walk off the ship at this dock. Boy, was it hot and steamy, that’s why my first photo was like this:

Steamy Photo- this place was HOT and HUMID!

After waiting awhile and wiping my lens, this is the scene.

The souvenir booths which we perused when we returned.

On the way, guess what we saw…way out here in American Samoa.

We continued on for about a couple miles to the American Samoa National Park Visitor’s Center. The actual park was a cab distance away and mostly hiking in dense forest, so we figured we were okay just getting information and my Passport stamp here. Once we arrived we were most impressed with the Air Conditioning!!! Ah, sooo refreshing..


On the way back I loved this view of a place to play.

Here was a house of some really well off citizen

A longer view of the roadway we walked.

Apparently, Sadie Thompson was a real person whose life was shared in a movie . Rita Hayworth appears as Sadie Thompson in this poster.
Miss Sadie Thompson’s

Back at the ship I took these shots of the park:


American Samoa National Park
American Samoa National Park

For the afternoon we played cards (“13”) with Jamie and Beth, watched a movie “Marwen”, and enjoyed Dinner. I ate the Feijoa (fruit) that I’d seen at the public market in Wellington, NZ and Trina bought for me in Napier, NZ. She said almost everyone has this tree in their back yard. I’d even seen one with fruit at Hobbiton. Well, I was not so thrilled with that fruit. So there’s my word on it.

We went up on the top deck of our ship to check out the stars when it was dark. There was still a lot of ambient light on the ship so we just didn’t get the beautiful sky view that you would in the desert. Darn.

Posted in American Samoa, National Parks (NPS) | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Savusavu, Fiji

4/28/19 – Sunday Savusavu Camera Vacation

Since we had no tours scheduled for this very small island, we did our exercises, then left at 9 on a tender (boat) to walk along a sidewalk of souvenir tables, then we found a nice concrete boardwalk on the rocky shore. We discovered lots of lovely fish in a certain spot, so we settled on a bench in the shade (still very hot and humid) to admire them: blue jewel fish, yellow tailed fish with horizontal black lines on their bodies. Other fish had vertical black lines on their yellow bodies. I especially loved the completely black ones with fancy fins. No photos because I thought it would be nice to just “take a vacation” from picture taking and just absorb the beauty of the place. It was wonderfully relaxing.

We returned in a really hot and humid tender filled with the hot bodies of cruisers. On the ship I played Sudoku while John enjoyed fun in the hot tub and swim pool. John wanted to swim at the beach on Savusavu, but since there was no sandy beach available he was happy to enjoy the water on the ship.

We chose the taco bar for lunch, simple and quick, then on to one of the card rooms for cards and Sudoku. At 2 we saw the movie “Free Solo”. Amazing, to watch one man’s preparations and actual climb up El Capitan in Yosemite with NO safety lines, just his fingers and feet. His climb started in the dark and lasted for 4 hours. Alone. The cameras were set at points along the way and run remotely.

Dinner, then the theater show; Harmonica by Bernie Fields. I was surprised at how interesting it was.

Posted in Fiji | Tagged | Leave a comment

Lautoka, Fiji

4/27/19 – Saturday Thermal Mudpool Tour

This was another Vacations to Go tour (Thermal Mudpool) and one of my favorites, right next to Hobbiton and the Glow Worm Cave/Kauri Trees tours. Only John and I and two sisters were on this tour. Our van driver was most accommodating. Thank heavens we had air conditioning. All their public transportation had open windows for air conditioning. We’re even closer to the equator here.

I’m mentioning some things we learned about Fiji on our way to the Mudpool. Note, I struggle to remember all they tell us until I can get back to the ship and write down notes.

Fiji makes its income from sugar cane farms and factories, fishing, farming and tourism. Their minimum wage is $2.60/hr. For cutting sugar cane (really hard work) they get $30/ton. They grow a lot of tapioca/cassava for it’s roots. For them, I think it’s like how they use the taro plant in Hawaii for it’s roots to make poi. They have public schools and three universities, one on each major island. The schools teach all these languages: Hindi, Fijian and English. The first peoples to come here were from a tribe in Tanzania, Africa. The British arrived in the 1700’s, starting the sugar cane industry. The British brought Indians over (from India) to cut and process the sugar cane. I think, similar to the Hawaiians, the Fijians weren’t so interested is back breaking work. Now the people there are about ½ African (curly hair) and ½ Indian (straight hair). There are many religions here. If there’s a red flag in the yard, that indicates an Indian place of prayer. Each village has their own chief, their own church. They live as a community, sharing everything. A favorite drink is Kava. To drink it they gather around a common bowl and share the drink as they relax together.

Horses and cows roam free. If a rope is tied to a horse (or a cow is tied to a stake) then they have an owner. Travel throughout the rural areas is by horse and free. You can catch a wild horse or ask the owner’s permission to ride. In town you can ride the local buses. Kahn’s buses are owned by Kahn. “Classic” buses are owned by another man. Houses of concrete were built to survive cyclones.

Best time to visit: June through October because October to May is the rainy season).


While on our way to the “Tifajek Mudpool and Hotspring” we saw some lovely scenery.
More lovely scenery

John and I ready for our big mudpool adventure. There are changing rooms so we changed into our “bathers” and bare feet there. Our mudpool guide was so helpful she took everyone’s cameras to take our pictures while she explained the history of the pools as well as when we moved from one pool to another.

We put the black mud from a bucket onto all exposed skin. I felt just like a child doing this. Such wicked fun. I also forgot to cover many parts of my face.
Kind of like applying sunscreen, but not so oily.

Close ups. Our guide introduced us to all the upcoming pools while our mud was able to dry. It felt so good – cool in that very hot humid place.
My guy.

History: At the end of World War II the soldiers came to keep the peace in Fiji. They were English, Australian and American. They noticed the warm earth so they sought and found the source, near a tree.

At the mud pool (very warm) where you sink up to your knees in the mucky smooth mud.

I swam to a rock at a warm spot. There we slowly wiped/washed the mud off, returning it to where it’d come from.

The second pool of hot springs where there was gravel and grass at the bottom. We got to clean off more here.
Feeling good!
On our way to massages

Before our 3rd pool, John and I got massages ($10 for 10 minutes each). Wonderful massages. Note the lovely fresh flowers below to look at.
John getting his massage. These ladies do this for their church. All their money goes to the village church.

Our final pool, called the Thermal Pool, which had the hot springs water pouring in at one corner but was generally cooler than the others – more like bath water. Excellent spa experience.

As we were leaving in our van our driver noted that the men just ahead were gathered to drink their Kava. I mentioned that I’d love to take their picture but that I knew I needed to ask their permission. Our driver said he’d ask them. They said yes! Not only that, they offered me some. I asked if it was spicy. No, they assured me. I took a taste. It was a lot like watered down tea with milk in it. Definitely not spicy. So sweet of them. Our driver had said that they could drink beer but this is much cheaper.


Kava gathering

On our way back to the ship we saw an Islamic mosque.

Back on the ship, we were playing cards (“13”) in a card room when we got to know the couple nearby. They play “Canasta”. I asked if they would help me learn. Sure, they also wanted to learn “13 from us. Deal. So we all played “13”. They are Beth and Jamie from England, but they’d recently moved to France. We had great fun sharing the game and stories.

That night, instead of the theater show we got a DVD from the front desk to watch in our cabin: “Black Panther”. Very good show.

Posted in Fiji | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Sea Day – heading to Fiji

4/26/19 – Friday

Again we got in our exercising. I also added a Stretch and Release class while John went to a talk on Hawaii and Vancouver. We both enjoyed the Test Kitchen project “Flavors of the Mediterranean” with special hints for olive oil in vinaigrette. We got to attend a special Indonesian Brunch because we were part of the “Discovery Collection” guests (those who were traveling the 2 cruises of New Zealand and crossing the Pacific Ocean). We watched another movie in the theater: “6 Days and 7 Nights”. It was entertaining, light. The show after dinner was Patrick McMahon (an Australian) again. Lots of John’s favorite music. I enjoyed it as well.

Posted in Fiji | Leave a comment

Easo, Lifou, New Caledonia

4/25/19 – Thursday

Another Holland America tour today (the other was of the Glow Worm Cave and Kauri Trees): Cliffs of Jokin. As we continue getting closer to the equator, it’s getting really hot and humid.

Whereas we loved and felt our money was very well spent on the Glow Worm Cave, we weren’t as impressed with the Cliffs of Jokin tour.


The first part was lovely, a tour of a Vanilla Farm/Botanical Garden

This is a palm tree and it appears to have fruits but I can’t figure out what they are, certainly not coconuts or dates. If anyone knows, I’d love your comments.

Anthurium

Pink Quill Bromeliad

Vanilla Plant

All new vanilla plants are begun as a plant cutting, planted in the dirt next to a dead tree stump. They grow vertically up an old tree stand (dead stump). It takes 3 years to produce a flower, another year for the first fruit. There are 10 fruits per flower. Each flower is a hermaphrodite – it includes both the male and female parts. The fruit (pods) are picked by hand and “cooked” in 60-80 Celsius water (140 degrees Fahrenheit to 176 degrees F), not really boiling (212 degrees F), for 3 minutes. This is done 3 times. Next they are covered with a cloth, then dried in the sun. Then it’s dried in the shade. It’s then placed in a small box with special paper. Later it’s placed in a larger box. This continues until it smells like vanilla. This was clearly VERY labor intensive, so you can understand why it costs so much. Now, once the pods are picked they are sent to a factory for the remainder of their treatment. 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) results in $56 income. No vanilla was available for purchase at the farm.


The star of our day – the vanilla plant growing on tree stump. Can you spot it? Nice recycling idea, yes?

Luecila Beach

Our treat of tea or coffee with vanilla flavoring. Very good idea.

Cliffs of Jokin

Before we were told where to walk to get our photos the ladies offered us palm crowns with flowers inserted. They also pointed out the toilets. Then they gave us coconuts with straws so we could have the coconut water. Not something either of us enjoyed all that much, although it was refreshing in the heat. I was also grateful all this was presented under a roof/shade.

There may have been a story connected to these cliffs, but we don’t remember it. Where we could take pictures had a lot of trees in the way. I imagine 50 years ago this would have been a lot easier to photograph. Or if you approached by boat. This is the shot I got.


Cliffs of Jokin

There was a chief’s hut we could also inspect.
Inside the chief’s hut.
The roof inside the chief’s hut.

Luecila Beach. We took a few minutes here under the welcome tree shade to enjoy the view. Good place for swimming, not so much for snorkeling.

Tender back to the ship
Posted in New Caledonia | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Tadine, Mare, New Caledonia

4/24/19 – Wednesday

Because we don’t have to get off early for a scheduled tour today, we got our exercises in. I also added an Abs class. Whoa, that truly was a challenge for my abs!

We took a tender (small boat) from the ship to shore at Mare, the little town where we’d docked.



We were greeted with bright colored cloths …
and band music. In their culture you need to ask permission to take their photo so I think that’s why none of them are looking at the camera.

We strolled along the rocky shore, stopping for photos and to just sit and embrace the place. It was pretty warm and humid, so that encouraged our slow enjoy-the-moment attitude.

Tadine, Mare, New Caledonia
We even happened to sit near a local fisherman.
Nice frame for our Holland America Noordam, yes?
Here’s part of that frame.

We returned in time for lunch then saw another movie “Wilder People”, another New Zealand produced movie. This was also a great movie with lots of New Zealand realities.

Posted in New Caledonia | Tagged | Leave a comment

Sea Day – heading to New Caledonia

4/23/19 – Tuesday

Again we faithfully exercised. Then I went to a “Polyfit” class, taught by one of the Polynesian Ambassadors, (Keoni). I loved how fun it was yet how hard I worked, sweating by the end. Great music, great moves. If you want to know more about the program check out Keoni’s website (he invented these dance moves): https://hotlavadancefit.com/ .

Later I took a class on a hula dance. I even bought a USB/flash drive from the Holland America photo people to have Keoni (Kay O nee) record his Hula dance music, played on the ukulele, as well as get the Windows 10 lessons on it. John went to a talk on Lautoka and SavuSavu, Fiji. He also attended a class on speaking Hawaiian. I listened to the string quartet play Brahms pieces. Not a big fan – a lot of high pitched violin parts in them. We both watched a New Zealand produced movie “Pork Pie”. Just excellent. This movie also showed parts of New Zealand that we hadn’t seen on our prior visits. Then dinner with our 6 table mates, then the Show: Patrick McMahon. He sang Neil Diamond, John Cash, Kenny Rogers songs very well. John’s a big fan now.

Posted in New Caledonia | Tagged | Leave a comment