March 01, 2016

World Cruise 2016 Day 56

Day 56 – At Sea. It's hard to believe, but the cruise is almost half over. Tomorrow will be the half way point. We are cruising off the coast of Vietnam headed North towards Hong Kong where we are scheduled to arrive at 10 AM tomorrow. The skies today are cloudy and with quite a bit of haze the visibility is probably less than 2 miles. The air temperature is a lovely 73 degrees. Quite a relief from the recent days in the 90's.

The gale force winds have shifted to the East with the 15 foot swells coming from the North making for choppy seas. The stabilizers do a good job minimizing any roll to the ship, but the pitch remains much the same or slightly more than it has been for the past several days. The bow spray frequently passes the fourth deck and occasionally with the right combination of ship motion, wind, swells, and waves, the bow spray reaches the windows of the Crow's Nest on deck 9. The pool games scheduled for today have been postponed for safety reasons, however several guests are in the pool despite water sloshing out on both ends.

Since yesterday we have picked up about 5 or 6 dozen non paying passengers. Birds that are using the air currents around the ship for a free ride. It can be mesmerizing to watch them glide with barely a wiggle of their wings for 5 minutes, and then when one of them sees something in the water they all turn in unison diving towards the same spot. Usually only one will dive into the water, the others turn away a few feet above the surface. They then fly back into the air currents and the cycle starts over.

The captain is forecasting that the seas will calm down some later tonight. The current forecast for Hong Kong is mostly sunny skies with a high temperature of 68. I might actually have to wear a jacket.

I spent much of the last several days organizing the pictures I have taken. My children reminded me several times to remember and take pictures, I have remembered, 2166 times. When I return home I expect them to look at every picture, twice.

Tonight I will do my usual happy hour, dinner in the Lido, and an hour with Debby. I am going to pass on the show as I want to be up early for our entrance into Honk Kong harbor. We will be late enough that the sun will be up, and the weather prediction is for good visibility. I have been told it is one of the more interesting harbors to enter.

In addition to a harbor pilot, several immigration officials will board the vessel before entering the harbor. Hopefully they will have completed their work by the time the gangway is in place and passengers will be able to disembark immediately.