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  • Writer's pictureRuth Mcbride

Catching on…

Day 19/138 2022/2023 Viking Neptune World Cruise

We are definitely on the move on this cruise and not living life in one place, and of course the Neptune is definitely on the move!

As I was furiously trying to finish yesterday’s blog of the exciting day we experienced on the Viking Neptune at the Naming Ceremony, I thought I felt some motion. It’s uncanny how subtle the motion needs to be, to think “Are we moving?” I looked at the scheduled departure time and we were supposed to leave San Pedro Terminal Island (Port of L.A.) at midnight, but it was only 11:05pm and we had started to move.

When I noticed we were moving I immediately grabbed my Fuji XT-4 mirrorless camera which has the ability to shoot in very low light at 12,000 ISO. I was able to shoot this image at only a 6,400 ISO, so while the image is a bit grainy, it is still not too bad. The port was busy last night with lots of trucks on the right of the ship, hauling away containers from the Evergreen ship. Imagine how many tractor trailers it takes to unload one ship, when the containers are stacked so very high on top of one another! Fascinating to watch, but we were not sitting still to be able to watch the port for very long.

A 24/7 port in L.A.!

The pilot boat with its flashing blue lights was guiding us safely out of the port. I could see in the distance open seas, so I knew that must be where we were heading.

We’re getting closer to the gap in the action where the pilot boat spun off to the left and let the Neptune get on her way. It was quite cold standing out on the deck with just my pj’s and a robe and slippers, so I abandoned the watch and returned to finishing the blog. I wanted to document the last land we will see for six days because this will be my longest consecutive days at sea! Let’s see how that works out for us!

Waking up this morning the first thing I did was to check the temperature and the position of the ship.

We are heading south west in the Pacific and the temperature is not very warm at 59F! The swells are almost 10 feet and I’m just wearing my sea bands, but no sea sick patches behind my ears. I do not feel any nausea either which is great!

The photo is straight. The ocean is not! The photo is on our stateroom tv which gives us the bridgecam. We will be crossing the Pacific Ocean for many, many days. Last night our Viking Daily updated us about the Pacific Ocean which covers 64 million square miles; it is twice the size of the Atlantic ocean, and its waters comprise around one-third of the planet’s surface, which is a larger area than all of the land regions of the world combined. 25,000 islands rise up from the Pacific , which is more than half of the total islands on the planet. Wow! I had never really thought about how big the Pacific Ocean was before. Having lived my whole life in Central Canada, and having a home in Florida we tend to be more tied to the Atlantic Ocean than the Pacific. These were some real ‘eye-opening’ facts for me!

After finally getting the blog put to bed last night, I slept soundly on my new pillow that we had picked up in L.A. Viking and our wonderful cabin steward Ayu, was more than helpful to accommodate my pillow requests, but I still needed to find my own pillow, specifically for side sleepers.

To try and get into some kind of routine now that we are on sea days, this morning I wanted to get up and go to the World Cafe for breakfast. As I was walking up the stairs to the 7th deck with Richard one of the new people who arrived in L.A yesterday saw me and said “I’ve been reading your blog and it has been very helpful!”. Cool.

Its been kind of interesting observing people today as many new people who boarded yesterday try to find their way around the ship. We feel like we are ‘old hats’ at it now after 18 days onboard, but we still get turned around from time to time. I had one lady ask me in the spa if the medical centre was close by. Someone had told her to ‘go downstairs’ but the spa is on Deck 1 and the Medical Centre is on Deck a, which is one below Deck 1. I also stopped another lady from going into the Men’s locker room who was looking for the elevator! I’m sure in a few weeks everyone will know their way around the ship like we do now too!

Today I finally went back to Mah Jong! One of the fellow Mah Jong players had asked me when she saw me if I was going to return to Mah Jong so since I was up and about early enough for Mah Jong which now starts at 9am, I went to Manfredi‘s hoping for the best.

And in the first round I made my first Mah Jong on the ship!

And in the second round, I made my 2nd Mah Jong! Wow! Those are the first two Mah Jong’s I have ever made playing with 4 people. Maybe the break from Mah Jong was good for me. Now I’m starting to feel like I know what I’m doing….sort of! The reason some of the tiles are upside down is so that soother people can see what hand has been made instead of expecting them to look upside down and look at the hand that has just been laid. It is a courtesy to the other players, to lay the tiles some one way, and some the other.

Yesterday we got news that a new health practitioner would be boarding in L.A. for 6 weeks. An Osteopath/Acupuncturist/Reflexologist! YEAH! Richard immediately signed me up for an osteopathic session today and I was thrilled that he not only did acupuncture, but muscle stimulation and manual manipulation. I feel great now, after not having seen my osteopath in Canada since October. I’ve also signed up for another session on January 17th. Having broken my femur in June 2020, things easily get ‘out of whack’ and it is great to see a professional to get back in balance.

Now that the World Cruise has started we have some timing changes happening to our regularly scheduled itinerary’s. Trivia today was at 12:15pm but starting tomorrow sea day trivia sessions will be held at 11:30am. Our team of Canadians, plus our buddies from New Hampshire, were 1 off winning today. We are now called ’Club Med‘, because we are always mediocre, so ‘MED’ from Mediocre is now our new name!

Wow! Sea days are busy. After trivia we grabbed a table out on the pool deck at the aft of the ship outside the World Cafe on Deck 7. It was quite chilly eating lunch outside and I’m glad we were not out there for very long!

The deck chairs are all strapped together by the pool because of the close to 10 foot swells and bad weather which we are expecting later in the day.

The water in the infinity pool was sloshing from side to side as we ate our lunch ‘Al fresco’ today.

After a brief visit to our cabin it was time for me to go to my next activity today while Richard had his afternoon nap!

Art Workshop with Deborah Ayres “Playtime with Paint”. My creation is still drying so once I take the tape off it, it will look better. We were learning techniques with water colours today that we will use for future art classes which start tomorrow. From top left to bottom right:

  1. dry paper, drop a dab of paint on the paper, and then a short puff of air through a straw onto the paper creates these paint streaks

  2. two different colours of blue paint on the paper, drop some salt on the paper to attract the paint to the salt, and then take a qtip with alcohol on it to repel the paint. This square is meant to look like waves in the ocean.

  3. Square 3 is still drying but we took paint and then crinkled up some plastic wrap and it is meant to create a background look.

  4. blending of different colours of paint to see how they run into each other

  5. wet the square with paint and then we dropped alcohol from droppers to create the big circles and dabbed with qtips to create the small circles

  6. wet the square and then immediately drop salt of different sizes onto the paper.

I think the techniques turned out quite well actually. I can see in the bottom right that the salt has created what looks like coral reefs. Neat! For the next two days we will be creating out own coral reef painting, so I have signed up for tomorrow’s art class to see if I can finally further develop my self taught water colour skills! It is fun to try something ‘outside the box’ so to speak while we spend long days at sea.

We are really enjoying the Guest Lecturers too on the Viking Neptune. Yesterday a new bunch of lecturers boarded the ship, so today we tuned in to hear Mr Geoff Peters “Great Circumnavigations” lecture.

What a great way to spend time at sea by learning about who else has circumnavigated the world before us!

We learned that Jeanne Baret, from France, a woman, disguised as a man in 1766-1769 is recognized as the first woman to have completed a circumnavigation of the globe, which she did via maritime transport. She called herself Jean Baret while onboard the ship and when she arrived on Tahiti she was confronted by the Tahitians who called her out as a woman! How very interesting to learn this tidbit of history. I had always thought it was men who had circumnavigated the globe way back when.

I’m sure the ‘newbies’ onboard will soon catch on to their new surroundings onboard the Neptune, just like I feel I’m finally catching on to playing MahJong and hopefully with catch on with watercolours too. The days are definitely busy at sea and I still have more research to do on upcoming shore excursions, but I think we have settled into a nice, comfortable routine on the ship and we’re excited for what we will see on this grand voyage around the world over the next 4 months! The Captain has us at 18 knots which is the fastest we have gone on the Neptune since we boarded and here is a picture of why we are speeding along.

We are at the bottom of the blue finger and it is raining outside now, so it looks like the Captain wants to get us out of the bad weather and into calmer seas. We are all for that frankly since the Neptune’s swells seem to have picked up a bit in the past 30 minutes.

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Cathy Vee Volpe-Paul
Cathy Vee Volpe-Paul
Jan 10, 2023

Wow, those swells! Are you in a midship stateroom? Does it make any significant difference as to mid or aft and lower versus higher level deck?

Cathy Vee Volpe-Paul
Cathy Vee Volpe-Paul
Jan 21, 2023
Replying to

Thank you, Don.

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