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  • Writer's pictureRuth Mcbride


Day 21/138 2022/2023 Viking Neptune World Cruise, Day 3 of 6 sea days.

I’m not sure about you but there are days when I just want to be lazy, not having to ‘adult’, get up, get showered and get to breakfast, and get to my first activity by 9am. I swear its the rebel in me who lived 37.5 years in a corporate working environment in a suit when I really wanted to wear my jeans and flip flops to work and show up at noon and work til midnight instead of 8:30-5pmish (and the ‘ish‘ was often until 10:30pm-11pm at night)….

So this morning we gave ourselves permission to lollygag, order room service, and watch the 9:30 lecture on Viking Today Live TV in our stateroom. I had a hankering for a pancake since I had not had pancakes since boarding the ship on December 22nd, so I ordered pancakes and maple syrup. We have Skippy peanut butter that we purchased in L.A., in our cabin, which is how I like my pancakes. Yum! The maple syrup is not real like the kind we make with our good friends at their sugar shack in Beaver Valley, Ontario, Canada, so I kind of wish I had brought a bottle of “Dougie’s Own” maple syrup with us on this trip!

Richard also had pancakes and bacon for his breakfast and we settled in to watch the lecture by Bruce M. Petty, Writer/Historian. Bruce served for 2 years on the U.S.S. Yorktown during the Vietnam War. His articles and oral histories have been published in The Pacific Daily News. among other publications and he lives in New Plymouth, New Zealand now. I believe he will be getting off in Auckland, so we wanted to see his first lecture today entitled:

A photo of Bruce as his younger self.

Bruce definitely had some interesting statistics on WW2. For example in Germany in 1940, 10% of the population were in the military or 6.8 million men; 136 divisions and the U.S. by contrast only had 0.5% of the population or 504,000 men; 5 divisions. The U.S. was not planning on joining WW2 of course until the bombing of Pearl Harbour happened on December 7, 1941 in Hawaii. Many forget that Hawaii was still not a U.S. state at the time it was bombed, but the U.S. did have a naval base in Hawaii to ward off Japan and their great military expansion in Asia and the Pacific. Some more interesting tidbits from Bruce were: the average time to deliver a U.S. built ship in 1940 was: 355 days; 1941 was 194 days and by 1942 the U.S. was delivering a ship in 60 days! Wow! What an advancement in technology and production in such a very short period of time. By 1943 the U.S. war production was twice that of Germany & Japan combined and in early 1944 an airplane was being delivered every 5 minutes; 8 aircraft carriers a month were being constructed and 50 Liberty cargo ships with stern mounted deck guns used against submarines and anti aircraft guns) a day at a cost of $2million each were being made. Super WOW! It is fascinating for me to understand how in wartime the pace and uber hyper focus on production was able to deliver so much in such little time. Fascinating facts!

After the 45 minute lecture I decided to try and finish the book I had been reading by Jodi Picoult called “Wish you Were Here”. I was drawn into the book very quickly and it did not take me long to read it. On my Kindle it shows my progress and I thought I still had 14% of the book to read, but the book actually ended at 86%, so it did not take long to finish this morning. I really loved this line in the book that I took a photo of this morning while I was reading. ”You can’t plan your life…Because then you have a plan. Not a life.” Interesting. Some would argue you need to plan everything and that is how they live, or their are others who serendipitously live their lives, not planning and letting life come their way. I don’t think either is wrong and sometimes its finding a balance between planning and living. So today that’s what I am doing! I also set my reading challenge goal on Goodreads for 2023. My goal this year is to read 65 books. 1 down, 64 to go. Last year I read 72, but I think I will be busier somehow this year with this little adventure called the Viking Neptune World Cruise!

After finally abandoning me to my own devices for the pool deck, Richard went to relax and see if he could enjoy the aft infinity pool area on Deck 7 commonly known as the Aquavit terrace. He is trying to get through a book on Magellan and now that Magellan is dead (in the book), he’s finding it a struggle to finish.

I managed to get down to the computers on Deck 1 which are printer enabled as I wanted to do some internet research on tours in Honolulu, Hawaii for January 16 which is our second day on Oahu. We will be golfing on Day 1 on January 15th, but since a second day was added yesterday on Oahu and we don’t like any of the Included or Optional tours, its up to me to figure something out for Day 2. I was struggling with the internet in our cabin on both my iphone and ipad, so I was hoping for a better connection on Viking’s desktops. I found a “Recommended self guided tour with electric bikes around Waikiki” website so I printed out their recommendations for doing a tour. Then I was researching e-bike tours, but many were already sold out on VIATOR and Trip Advisor and any local tour company websites were not detailed enough and I didn’t want to be sending emails and waiting for a response, with a ship full of people now all looking for a Day 2 tour option. I finally found an E-Bike company a short drive away from the port in Honululu and rented us e-bikes for 4 hours, along with helmets, phone holders and e-bike locks for the batteries. I signed the waiver online and sent the waiver to Richard to sign and now we are all set to try out e-bikes in Hawaii. My next step is to plan our route to some of the spots suggested in the self guided tour and also find some local food spots to try out. Richard will eat seafood poke, but I will not, so we have to find somewhere for me to eat as well and we will definitely go to a highly recommended shaved ice spot in Honolulu. Sometimes planning is as much fun as living it! And we all know the famous Ben Franklin saying ”If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”

I made it to Team Trivia today and we missed Richard today who stayed on the pool deck. We decided to change our seating arrangements today, moving over to a sitting area in ‘Mamsens‘ in the Explorer’s lounge on 7. Our thinking was if we change our scenery, and our scribe, maybe that would help our poor performance. Unfortunately today was not a good day at Team Trivia either, scoring only a 50% grade. I’m not sure where these trivia questions come from but they sure are tough! I did get one tough one today which was who wrote the ‘Wedding March’? Being a piano player I knew the answer was Felix Mendelssohn, but unfortunately we just don’t have the breadth of knowledge for all of the categories being asked.

I promised you a photo of the finished watercolour coral reef that I was working on since yesterday. And drum roll please….

My coral reef! My paint leaked through the tape on the corners unfortunately, so I had to try and salvage it by making the corner extend out into the frame area. I’ll know better to properly tape my project next time! And tomorrow we are making ’Doodle Art’ bookmarks in art class, which will be laminated. Thankfully Deb the instructor has taken over the sign up process for art classes because Guest Services had one Excel spreadsheet they were using for signups. If you’ve worked in Excel before you know that you cannot work on a spreadsheet someone else is working on, so imagine a lineup at Guest Services after each art class with 35 women and a few men, looking to sign up for the next class. It was not a good experience, so thankfully, Deb has taken it over.

So much for a lazy day! I’m glad we’re sort of planned out for Day 2 on Oahu. I always like to leave some time for the “this looks interesting, let’s stop“ moments, or we would never experience surprising interesting sites, sounds and food that we stumble upon. We feel more comfortable of course exploring this way in countries where we know we are fairly ‘safe’. Now I’m off to plan our e-bike route and find some cool spots to eat while we’re off biking in Hawaii!

And as I sign off on my ‘lazy’ day on the Viking Neptune please enjoy the sunset we are watching on our Viking Live TV Bridge Cam. The sun is starting to glow on the horizon as we journey on towards day 4 at sea; and our arrival into Oahu on January 15th.

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