March 21, 2020, Fremantle, Australia We were lolling along at 12 knots toward Fremantle when all of a sudden Amsterdam picked up speed and started racing along at 22 knots. Captain Mercer came on the horn saying that we were … Continue reading Waiting
February 9. 2020, Puerto Montt, Chile Muerto Montt, Dead Montt, that is what Lonely Planet says the locals call Puerto Montt, our latest port of call. Lonely planet is not impressed. It claims there’s not much to see here. Generally, … Continue reading Muerto Montt
February 6, 2020 Punta Arenas and the Straits of Magellan, Chile Sunset, Sunrise, Abandon Ship orBells and Whistles Redux. We didn’t get enough sleep last night. We stayed up to watch the sunset as we entered the Pacific from Beagle … Continue reading Sunset, Sunrise, Abandon Ship
February 2, 2020, in a fog bank off of Antarctic Sound. Someone cried out. “A cruise ship! What’s cruise ship doing here?” Of course, we all laughed because we’re ON a cruise ship, it’s just that you don’t expect to … Continue reading A Wonderful Deception
February 1, 2020, Off the Antarctic Peninsula Actually, it’s called brack, it’s the slushy remains of sea ice melting with bits of glacier ice, growlers, thrown in. As the ship passes through it makes a sound like “slush”. Growlers are … Continue reading Driving Through Slush, Blocked by Ice
January 28, 2020, Off of Port Stanley, Falkland Islands There’s no sleeping in on port days in this stateroom. The tender hangs right outside our window and as soon as the ship anchors we hear the whine of the engines … Continue reading Looking for the Vicar of Bray
January 19. 2020, Rio In San Francisco an earthquake brought down the Embarcadero freeway giving the city a chance to revitalize its waterfront making it more pleasant for pedestrians, streetcars and allowing a vibrant waterfront district to emerge. Seattle is … Continue reading Planned Graffiti
Getting off Amsterdam in Roseau, Dominica, a steel band played calypso to the counterpoint groaning and rasping of the ship rising and falling against its fenders. Beyond the harborside soundscape you plunge into the real thing. A rich mix of … Continue reading Riding Out the Storm, Dominica
Pop and “Uncle” Ed, one of those honorary uncles who had been one of pop’s army buddies, built a cabin cruiser in Ed’s garage. It was a 16-footer made from a kit. They proudly trailered “The Laurel” to a marina … Continue reading Which Amsterdam?
Sandwich Harbor was surveyed by the Royal Navy, which rejected it as a port. But fishermen and whalers used the harbor because it had a fresh water lagoon. It still has a lagoon but it is now brackish. The terrain … Continue reading Artifacts at Sandwich Harbor.
This is a picture post showing some Maputo street scenes from our walk through the city. The Botanical garden was filled with strolling bridal parties having their pictures taken. The entry portal is an example of Manueline revival architecture. You … Continue reading Maputo at Walk Level.
I had a tough choice. I could either wander about an interesting city where I had never been or I could take a train ride, two hours out and two hours back, to the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. The city was … Continue reading The Viceroy, Almost To Kandy.
As the sun rose through the pollution haze I knew there was something I was supposed to do in Saigon, but I didn’t know what it was. We had nothing really planned for the day except to take the hour … Continue reading Good Morning Viet Nam
Other cruise mates had specific things they wanted to do in Hong Kong, visit this temple or that particular shopping street. A surprising number of these, mostly senior citizens, wanted to visit the Hong Kong Disneyland. (All of Hong Kong … Continue reading Hong Kong Memories
Shanghai is noted for its modern transportation infrastructure, the mag-lev trains and high speed rail. Hong Kong is noted for its 19th century transportation infrastructure, the Peak Tram, the rattling old double decker trams on Hong Kong Island and the … Continue reading Star Ferry — Hong Kong.
I love hotels of a certain era. The ones built by railway and steamship companies as way points in the Orient Express or wharf side outposts of empire. We’ve stayed in several, usually at a time when it was a … Continue reading Douglas MacArthur Had Dessert Here – The Manila Hotel
The Captain’s announcement was not encouraging. “The temperature tomorrow in Manila will be, wait for it, 95 degrees Fahrenheit, that’s 35 degrees Celsius.” With 88% humidity it was just plain hot. Suzi does not function well in high heat and … Continue reading Defensive Driver — Manila
Albany, Western Australia has monuments dedicated to two slaughters. You get a hint at the first slaughter when you sail into Princess Royal Harbor through the Ataturk Entrance. It was named after the Turkish General who pushed back of members … Continue reading A Town Reflecting on Slaughter.
To my dad Hobart was a kind of heaven. He had been on a troop ship, the Washington, for a long time out of San Francisco. The Japanese had reported sinking her but she zig zagged safely through the North … Continue reading Fulfilling Pop’s Dream – Cruising into Hobart.
Bondi Beach is the closest beach to Sydney, only 7 km (5 miles) from the center and on public transport. It’s a 1.5 KM long crescent of sand between two headlands. Bondi is an aboriginal word for “water breaking.” Rebellious … Continue reading Working Man’s Beach — Bondi
My main goal in Dunedin was to ride the Taieri Gorge Railroad. The narrow gauge line was built from Dunedin to the gold fields at Cromwell. It carried supplies to the gold fields an on the back haul brought agricultural … Continue reading Taieri Gorge Railroad.
Dunedin (Edinburgh in Gaelic) is a university city. We arrived on Waitangi Day, New Zealand’s National Day. The University of Otago would get underway seriously the next day. It was built as a “little Scotland” by immigrants but it grew … Continue reading A Railway Station and its city – Dunedin
When we went to bed in Tahiti we expected to wake up anchored in Cook’s Bay, Moorea. Instead we woke up to a PA announcement telling us that plans had changed and we were not quite anchored in Opunohu Bay. … Continue reading Surprise, Surprise, Surprise – Moorea.
The search for earthly paradise is one of the recurring themes of the lectures on Amsterdam. The Polynesian cultural center representatives and the Astronomy professor have given lectures and held discussions on this topic. They have reviewed literature, paintings, film … Continue reading Looking for Bali Hi — in the Marquesas