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  • Writer's pictureRuth Mcbride

Where are we?

Day 52/138 2022/2023 Viking Neptune World Cruise. A sea day.

We slept in again this morning! After our big 12,500+ step day exploring Hobart, Tasmania yesterday, I guess we were entitled to a ‘lie’ in as my dad used to call it! Luckily we have breakfast food in our cabin, so it was no big deal to miss breakfast at the World Cafe and we enjoyed our morning watching two lectures on our stateroom tv. Dr Ngaire Douglas lectured about “Australia and New Zealand: Close Together but Far Apart“. It was very interesting for both of us who have not spent a lot of time ‘down under’ to get a good perspective on the differences between the two countries. In Australia for example their Prime Minister is voted in for 3 years and voting is mandatory by all citizens. Australia has a Senate and House of Representatives, much like we have in Canada. In New Zealand though, voting is not mandatory and there is only a House of Representatives and the Prime Minister is elected for 4 years. Australia is typically a lots drier and browner than New Zealand, and New Zealand is always lush and green because of the predictable weather patterns on each of the North and South Islands. I’m learning so much through visiting all of these new places and through attending these lectures too. Its like being in school, without the dreaded exams to cram for!

The 11am lecture was with Dr. Paul Scully-Power who talked about “Oceanography from Space” and how his pioneering research helped with navigation on the seas. Again another very interesting lecture with lots of photos too, which always keep my attention! A picture is worth a thousand words after all!

We got up to Trivia to save seats in The Explorer’s Lounge about 11:35 am for Trivia which happens at 12:15pm. Something happened today that I just have to write about. There is no holding back even though I’m a ‘nice Canadian’, People need to remember their manners and stop being so selfish, and entitled! So here is the situation:

Richard and me were putting together 6 chairs for our Team Trivia players. A older man came in about 2 minutes after us and says “I NEED 4 of THOSE CHAIRS!” The same chairs that we were putting together for our Team of 6. REALLY? So because we were putting together our chairs first, we don’t matter? We aren’t as IMPORTANT as you are? You own the chairs? You always sit here, but you got here after us, so we are supposed to move? Last time I looked you do not have your name on those chairs we were putting together. Luckily for this crotchety old guy I kept my mouth shut and Richard replied instead and he said “There are 4 chairs right there (next to us)“. The old guy put his back to us and put together his 4 chairs. Now I don’t know about you, but putting 900+ people together on a ship, all from diverse backgrounds, countries and cultures, is like a bad playground experiment where you will typically have: the bullies, the loudmouths, the kind people, the sharing people, the friendly people etc etc. I’m a bit fed up with some of the bad behaviour I’m seeing and so I am going to call it out here in the blog from now on. I‘ve been waiting over 50+ days to finally write about it. Everyone on this ship lived lives before they got on this ship, where they had to be nice and considerate to other people around them, so let’s all remember our manners, consider others and stop being so darn selfish and entitled! Let’s remember we all have to figure out how to get along until at least May 9th! Enough said for now.

Team Trivia was difficult today. We had a new guy sit in with us, but we still did not do well. We get killed whenever there are questions about Broadway musicals! UGH! Richard did well answering the question ”Name all of the countries that border France?” He got them all except for Switzerland. Considering the countries are: Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Monaco, Spain and Andorra, he did pretty well to just miss one country.

I didn’t notice in the Viking Daily that our afternoon Art Class got moved up by an hour, but luckily our friend Linda from our Canukus and Shipbuilding project emailed Richard to let him know, so he could tell me. That meant a quick bowl of Leek and Potato soup in MAMSEM’s after Trivia, so I could make it to Art Class on time.

I think I’m finished my Dot Art piece. I keep enhancing it and I’m not sure about this original creation, but I will enter it in the Art Exhibition on Valentine’s Day.

Original drawing and dot art creation. At least it’s colourful! Deb seemed to like it and suggested the enhancements to the lines and characters which I’ve now completed.

The seas today have been rocking and rolling. I keep having to ask ‘Where are we?” because I had never heard of ‘Bass Strait’ which is between Tasmania and the mainland of Australia. At noon today the wind gusts were up to 40 knots, and the water depth is only 230 feet in the strait. The scuttlebutt at Art Class today was everyone thought our Penguin Parade shore excursion which is taking place tonight at dusk on Phillip Island would be cancelled because of the sea swells. The shore operation today is a logistical nightmare for Viking with tenders starting at 5:30pm; 6pm, 6:30pm and 6:45pm with about 800 people to go on a 25-30 minute tender to the shore, then a bus ride, to the Wildlife Sanctuary, and then to the Penguin Viewing Platform. The penguins will all return together from fishing all day at dusk, and sunset this evening is 8:02pm. From the time we get on the tender to arrive at the Viewing Platform is supposed to take about an hour. Since we are on a 6:30pm tender, arriving at the View Platform at 7:30pm is not so bad, if sunset is 8:02pm. What is bad is that the order we arrive in, is also the order we return to the ship. So we will be the second last group to depart Phillip Island and we have been warned that the last groups to arrive back on the ship may be near midnight. Everyone is trying to determine what to wear as we will be sitting for a long time outside and the current temperature is 18C but overcast on Phillip Island and the temperature will drop to 16C after dark. I think the best thing is to bring lots of warm layers and hopefully we will be ok.

I can see land in the distance and the seas seem to be a bit calmer now and we have not had an announcement to cancel anything, so it looks like this Penguin Parade actually may happen. I love Penguins and I’ve always wanted to go and see them in Antarctica but if the seas to get to Antarctica are as bad or worse than what we’ve experienced so far on this cruise, then I’m out. I won’t be cruising to Antarctica to see the penguins, so I’ve got to make the most of seeing them here tonight!

Tomorrow is Super Bowl Sunday back home, but we won’t be able to watch it unfortunately. We will be in Geelong and taking a tour to Melbourne. Since Richard has never been to Melbourne, we didn’t want to be so close (1 hour 15 min drive) to the City and not have a chance to see and experience it. So if we are lucky we may see some of the Super Bowl in a bar in Melbourne, or not. There will be a Super Bowl next February and there will not be another Melbourne for us next February!

Fingers crossed we see lots of penguins tonight! Tomorrow hopefully I will be able to share any photos from the Penguin Parade as well as Melbourne depending on when we get back to the ship from our excursion. It will be a very full day with a 7 hour excursion of which 2.5 hours will be on the bus getting to and from Melbourne.

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John Fran Razmus
John Fran Razmus
Feb 12, 2023

I've been following your blog because we'll be on the WC in 23-24 but on the Viking Sky. I'm a quilter and I love your dot painting. I'm not an artist nor a painter but the work you're displaying has piqued my interest in doing some art work on board if it's offered. Fran


Allan Yoshimura
Allan Yoshimura
Feb 12, 2023

Too bad about running into the old geezer and "his" chairs. You are right, put 900 people together and you will inevitably find a few bad eggs. Fortunately, there are not many of those who do World Cruises! Looking forward to your penguin report. I was fortunate to visit Phillip Island during a drive in a rental car from Adelaide to Melbourne. The logistics from a cruise ship sound less than ideal, but the Phillip Island penguins are amazing!

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