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  • Writer's pictureRuth Mcbride

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Day 31/138 2022/2023 Viking Neptune World Cruise. Day 5/5 sea days. Bora Bora tomorrow!

Last night we enjoyed another wonderful cello concert with guest artist Wendy Law who played selections from her movie ‘Wanderlust’. I particularly enjoyed the operatic medley which closed out her 45 minute set last evening, featuring the classic ‘Nessum Dorma‘, from the opera Turandot by Puccini.

Wendy allowed us to record her playing ‘Paint it Black’ by the Rolling Stones, but unfortunately if I try to upload the video, the blog will crash as we are still experiencing extremely slow internet service. I will see if I can post the video of Wendy playing to Facebook later tonight. I really enjoy being able to watch the live performances from the comfort of our cabin, rather than go to the Star Theatre, especially since I’m still feeling a bit under the weather.

We arrived at Team Trivia later than we normally do this morning, to try to reserve 6 spots to sit and we found that Gene and Margaret were already upstairs on 8 in the Explorer’s Lounge watching the K.C./ Jacksonville game on the big tv, so we played trivia from upstairs. The upstairs area of the Explorer‘s lounge has some very comfortable couches with chaise lounges, blankets and an amazing selection of hardcover books which can be borrowed while onboard the Neptune.

I think the change of scenery by being upstairs in Explorers did a world of good for us, as we were only 1 point off tying for the lead today with 21 points! And K.C. and Mahomes won too, so that’s a good thing. Unfortunately we won’t be able to watch the games that matter to us tomorrow (Dallas and Buffalo) as we will be out on our shore excursion. Oh well, they will just have to win without us watching! And let’s hope the Dallas kicker gets over his ‘yips’ from last week’s game!

Art class was back to water colours today and we were to do a tropical beach scene or a pair of dancers. I chose to draw my dancers as Bollywood dancers, which are definitely not finished yet, so I’m not posting a photo of them. We were able to finish up our jewellery box lids though and at the end of the class I varnished mine and brought it to our cabin to dry. Richard is really thrilled with turning our stateroom into my art gallery, but he’s humouring me!

I decided to double dot the top of the box and then add some dots onto the side of the box to cover up a ‘happy accident’ I had with my wet fingers touching the box.

This project was fun and different, but I prefer the water colour painting projects. We are hoping that when art teacher Deb gets off in Auckland that we have another art teacher board the Neptune, since the art classes are so popular! Going to art class definitely fills a void on long sea days and now that I have my own water colour paints and markers, I can finish up the projects in my cabin, rather than being rushed in only the 60 minutes we have allotted to art class.

When I say ‘French Polynesia’ what do you think of? Turquoise waters with white sand beaches? Beautiful Coral reefs? Colourful tropical fish? Tahitian Black Pearls? I know those are all of the things one would expect to see in French Polynesia. For me though, what I expect to see in French Polynesia is the ‘overwater bungalow’- those thatched roof wooden huts which are synonymous with romantic hideaways!

Did you know that the first overwater bungalows were built in 1967 by 3 Americans in French Polynesia. When the new airport, the first, was built in 1960 in Pape’ete, Tahiti; Life Magazine featured an article in 1962 on island living in Tahiti as Robinson Crusoe-meets-Hugh Hefner, which put the Tahitian islands on the map as mystical and beautiful. Since there was a lack of a beach on the Island of Ra’iatea where the 3 Americans were building a hotel, they creatively drew inspiration from ramshackle perches that local fisherman cobbled together in the water, makeshift but shaded from the sun and a perfect place to fish. The overwater bungalows were intended to be stable and permanent featuring a plexiglass panel in the floor with lights beneath it to attract marine life. The bungalows were basic, but well appointed and cost $30 per day per couple, including all meals. The overwater bungalows were an instant hit, so the 3 guys cloned them on the Island of Moorea. After they had their overwater bungalows built, other hoteliers began copying the design. There are now about 170 resorts around the world with overwater bungalows. The 3 guys never patented their design but its kind of neat to know that the original overwater bungalow actually originated in the islands of Tahiti where we will be for the next 3 days!

The Captain announced today that the pilot would be boarding at 9:45am tomorrow and we would be dropping anchor at 11am, with the first tenders to shore set to go at about 11:45am. Our excursion tomorrow which is from 2:30pm-4:30pm is a very exciting one! We are doing the ‘Aqua Safari’ excursion where we will be about 10 feet underwater, with a big helmet on, that we can breath freely through, while being able to see the fish and the coral close up. When I was choosing this optional 2 hour excursion which cost $168USD each, I was really captivated by being able to go underwater, and see fish etc, without having to snorkel or hold our breath. I have my GoPro camera which I am going to bring with me and also re-familiarize myself with how to use it this evening. I understand that the tour operator will probably take a photo of us underwater, which we can purchase, but I also want to try and get my own photos too.

I hope to have a similar picture of the two of us for tomorrow’s blog!

Now I think we are going to order room service tonight, since I’m still not up to snuff and the menu at the World Cafe tonight is definitely not appealing to me. I do not feel like ‘Lumache con Carciofi e Pomodoro Secco’. or ‘Osso Buco Milanese & Lemon Gamolata‘ or ‘Seared Duck Magret‘or ‘Roasted Pepper and Eggplant Mille-Feuille’. All great foods I’m sure, but right now I feel like a good old Chicken soup, homemade macaroni and cheese or a grilled cheese sandwich. Comfort food. Let’s see what we can order ‘off menu’ to our stateroom tonight. I know that ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ is playing at 8:30pm tonight on the Pool Deck as a ‘Movie under the Stars’, but since we’ve seen it, I think we will find a movie instead to watch on our stateroom tv. We need to be rested for our 3 big upcoming days of exciting excursions, in the exotic location of French Polynesia!

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John Fran Razmus
John Fran Razmus
Jan 22, 2023

Like the others reading your blog, I appreciate the time and effort you put into your writing. It also encouraged me to keep a notebook of the locations and some of your suggestions for our upcoming 2023-24 WC. Fran


Jan 22, 2023

I am loving your blog and really appreciate the information about the excursions and their costs. Thank you so very much for taking the time to write. Hope you are feeling back to normal when you reach dry land.


Jan 22, 2023

We did the helmet dive in Bermuda years ago! Great fun! Enjoy, and feel better.

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