Seals

Here is a post that was lost and is now found and published!  From the March 2016 time-frame!  enjoy

 

We had a pair of red tail hawks visit a few weeks ago.  They spent an hour in the back yard.

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Red Tail Hawk

We had some nice weather last week and drove down to Narragansett RI with Dave and Pat to see the seals.  A hike down to the shore and along the beach, and there they were; harbor seals grunting and calling on the rocks.  The photo was taken with my new camera on the PHD (point here dummy) setting, using the max (digital) zoom.

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Seals

On the way back Kevin and Dave found a “classic car”.

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Classic Car

We have a showing of Autumn Dream this weekend.  Kevin has been putting things back together- replacing hoses, adding anti-freeze, etc.  Pretty soon it will be time to take the cover off.  If she doesn’t sell, she will move to Florida with us.

We found the oven & cook top for the new kitchen – Blue Star.  Nice stuff!

 

M/V Autumn Dream Update 6/12/16

Since this Blog is suppose to be about our pilothouse trawler M/V Autumn Dream I thought I should do a short post about her.  Well as you know Autumn Dream was for sale.  Well she is now under contract.  So that means that we have basically sold her before the house sold.  Good that this happened but kind of unexpected.  The buyer is a great guy who knows boats and was looking for a “boat with soul”.  His words not mine.  Autumn Dream has a ton of soul.

Well this past Friday Autumn Dream had the “out of water” buyer’s survey.  She passed this with flying colors.  The surveyor like her so much and was so impressed with her condition that he wants to write a bad survey so that the current buyer won’t buy her-  so he can buy her  (LOL).   Just a joke but he was exceptionally impressed.  When Beth and I bought her we had difficulty finding a surveyor who would survey the boat because of her age.  Once we found a surveyor and had the survey done, that surveyor was also blown away.  The survey on Friday showed that her decks were dry and the bottom was in exceptional condition.

The surveyor made a very interesting comment => that he was not happy with his office assistant for setting up a survey for a boat this old on a Friday.  Old boats are always a pain!   Well, when he was done he told me that this was a much better survey than he has seen in years.  Most much newer boats (less than 3 years old) do not survey as well as Autumn Dream!  We knew she was special and we hate to let her go but it is time to do so!  The new owner will be a good steward to Autumn Dream and that makes us very happy.

So one more step before the transaction is complete, and that is the sea trial.  This should be a non-issue as she runs like a top and with her new damper plate, water pump, hoses and all the rest of our hard work this past winter I don’t see much chance for issues.  However she is still a BOAT and anything can happen!  If all goes well the deal should close by end of month and we can concentrate on the house!

April 9 2016, Cochin (Kochi) India (otherwise known as Incredible India)

On the morning of Saturday April 9 after cruising 1,529 nautical miles through the Bay of Bengal and the Laccadive Sea we arrived bright and early into our first port in India.  The sail in was stunning.  Thunder storms all around with extensive cloud to sea lightening strikes and tropical rains.  However as the sun came up and we got closer to land the skies cleared up and we left the nasty weather behind us in the Laccadive Sea.  The entrance to Cochin is pretty in its own right.  We were escorted into the harbor by 100s of dolphins and met by fisherman setting to sea and on the beach.  Once inside the harbor entrance we had a short cruise to the dock passing by the famous Chinese’s fishing nets.  Even from the comfort of our luxury cruise ship you could see the extreme poverty that is India.  The harbor was full of overloaded ferries that should have been put out of their misery 30 years ago.  I know this is part of the charm.  Also part of the charm was the filth of the waterway.  Did I say the waterway was full of trash and filthy, yup!   Not even sure what was in the water besides plastic, but as we saw later in the day I’m sure much of the brown floating stuff was human shit!  However this place was still very intriguing.   You could still see the old buildings and old Imperial British structures.  If you looked beyond the grime and the filth you could see some very beautiful things.  Since we have never been to India before we decided to do a shore excursion called “Tranquil Backwaters” in Alleppey located in the Kerala region of India (aka. the Venice of the east).  This excursion you cruised through canals by houses and had a nice lunch in a 5 star  (ok 2 star)  resort hotel.  You did get to see how folks live.  We had about a 2 hour bus ride to the boat boarding location.  This was eye opening.  Traffic rules do not apply in this part of India.  We also saw more people that I ever expected taking a shit or leak by the side of the road.  Rather disgusting if I say so.  Last time I saw this was several years ago in the Peruvian Andes.   Makes you watch where you take a step when you’re walking.  I was doing that anyway out of fear of stepping on a cobra but human excrement was more likely an issue than the cobra was.  The bus ride was also very interesting.  The actual bus was a trip.  The passenger space was air-conditioned and ok as far as comfort goes.  The bus driver however was in his own cabin that had 50-1 AC   (50 MPH and one open window!).  I felt sorry for him as after all this is India and it was 95 degrees F and 95% humidity.  Once we made it to the boat for the trip down the canals we had to board the boat.  To do this you had to cross the street from the parking lot.  Even though this is a side street as I mentioned earlier rules of the road are made up on the spot and pedestrians are a fair target.  They must get extra points for hitting white tourist!   So you dashed across the street and hopefully you made it to the gang plant to get on the boat.  Now in India I think there is strong penalty to the tour guides if you lose a guest, as they did try to get us all aboard safely.   Once aboard I was glad to see that they had something like a life preserver for every guest on the boat.  Now about these tourist boats.  Once again the USCG  (United States Coast Guard) would never allow them to be in the water never mind take paying passengers on board.  However shore was always nearby and I’m still a reasonable swimmer.   However I am not so sure about some of the other guest on board.  Fortunately everything went without any real problems.  The actual boat trip was nice.  You got to see how people actually live in this area.  Some very large nice houses could be found on the canal side and also some real hovels.  Once again the water quality left something to be desired.  Everyone who lives here goes to the canal to wash up and they also wash their clothes here.  Oh they also get their water for cooking from the canal and catch fish.  Guess what the canals are also used for?  Yup it is used as a bathroom.  Go figure!   You put it in the garbage you’re going to eat it someday!  Only approved bottle water for me thanks!   Once again this area is pretty but sanitation has a long way to go!  I and very surprised how long some of these people live.  Maybe we have it all wrong, maybe the dirtier the better???  Before we headed back to the ship we had a nice lunch and none got sick!  Back on the bus we returned to the city of Cochin.  In the city of Cochin we drove around to see some sights and ended up at the Chinese fishing nets.  These are basically enormous dip nets.  The best view was from the ship on our approach that morning.  So we did not get off the bus at this stop.  The people who got off the bus were quickly jumped upon by the local street vendors who were very very aggressive.  Everyone back on the bus said we made the best decision to wait on the bus.  From here it was a 20 min. ride back to the ship and our on-time 6:00 PM departure from Cochin.   As we were leaving the harbor the ship stopped.  We were informed that they had to evacuate a passenger for health reasons.  So a big harbor tug came by and the games began on how to get this person of the ship and onto the tug.   I felt so bad for the person in so many ways.  First just the fire drill to figure out how to get them off the ship onto the tug, and then I wondered about the quality of health care in this area?  All this said after about 1.5 hour delay for this activity we were off for Mumbai which we would reach after a sea day spent cruising the Arabian Sea.  More to come!

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Chinese Fishing Nets

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First Class Ferry

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Cool Building

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Sample of Trash by the river

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Stuck in traffic for a religious festival  These pop up without warning!

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Better tour boats than we had!

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Canal side wildlife!

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Dinner from the canal!

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Drying laundry that was washed in the canal (every house has a step down to the canal to use as a general purpose step)

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Rice Paddy watered with canal water  (think about that)

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Local boats and more trash!

Incredible India!  I think not!    Someday maybe if they can clean up their sanitation!

March 30 to April 3 or from Singapore to Phuket then Myanmar

Continuing on with the trip.   We set sail from Singapore at 8:00 PM Wednesday evening bound for Phuket Thailand.  To get to Phuket we would have a day at sea and we would be cruising through the Strait of Malacca.  Beth and I were having dinner in the main dining room Wednesday for the sail away from Singapore.  Singapore is an amazing port to sail into and out of.  Ships all around of all types and sizes, plus the cityscape all lit up, it was something to see.  Dinner like always great!  The next day at sea was relaxing or as busy as you want it to be.  As we were in the Straits of Malacca there were fishing boat everywhere.  Also as these are considered pirate waters so we had our first (and only) pirate drill.  Basically it is a get inside away from the windows and down low so you don’t get shot.  So we sat in the hallway while the crew did their anti pirate stuff.  Such as deploy water cannons and other exciting toys.  At 8:00 AM we were tied up in the harbor in Phuket.  Unfortunately we were not at the typical cruise ship dock but at the commercial shipping dock.  Not a big deal for us as we were going on a shore excursion to James Bond Island.  There were two James Bond movies shot at this location.  Very pretty area and I’ll let the photos tell the story.  We had a long bus ride, and an interesting boat ride to see this area.  Unfortunately this is a very big tourist area and it has in many ways been degraded with too many tour boats and trash in the water.  I know we were part of the problem, except I did not throw any trash into the water.  Still a stunning area, but long term tourism is going to kill this area.

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Sunrise on a Sea Day

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Now that’s an outboard motor!   (Chevy small block 454?)  Notice no silencer on the exhaust 🙂

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Local village on the water

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Stunning sights on the way to James Bond Island

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Another  village!

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Local boats  (love the engines)

 

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Tourist At JB Island

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Yea more tourist at JB

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Tourist boats at JB waiting for their guest.

 

 

On Saturday   April 2nd we had another sea day while we cruised on the Andaman Sea making passage to Burma.  On April3 we arrived in Burma at the early time of 10:00 AM.  Since we actually arrived at the scheduled time of 10:00 AM we had decided to stay on the ship this first day in Burma.  Our second day in Burma we went to the ancient Mon capital of Bago.  This excursion sounded good but was reasonably average.  We visited a WWII war memorial, a Buddhist temple, had a good local lunch, and went to another temple (Wat) and before returning to the ship visited the rundown Mon village.  Meha!

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WWII Cemetery 

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1 of thousands of Wats

Buddhist Monastery

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Ginormous reclining Buddha! 

Myanmar (Burma) has much potential but I think we did the wrong excursion, but we did get to see the countryside but had a ton of ass time on the bus.  Traffic is unbelievable.   It is so bad that we had a police escort for the busses.  Also I can only describe the area and how some of the folks live not as 3rd world but as 5th world.  Sanitation is relatively unknown; they just piss and shit where they are and throw their trash everywhere.  This we would see again in India.  If you throw it in the river you going to eat it someday!  The people are very friendly and want to engage the tourist but they need to pick up their trash!   Plastic Plastic everywhere you turn.  I can see the potential and I’m glad we came but……

Next Stop Kochi India, but not until we spend 3 days at sea cruising the Bay of Bengal and the Laccadive sea!  All very cool and part of Kevin’s bucket list!

Vietnam Revisited – Mekong River 3-28

Kevin didn’t take his camera on our tour of the Mekong River delta, so as promised, here are my impressions.  Firstly, as he mentioned, the “sit time” in a bus was much longer than expected due to the fact that we didn’t dock in the center of Saigon as hoped.

Our tour was described as “Oceania Exclusive – Mekong River Cruise”.  We paid extra for the exclusive part, which in the end meant that you did exactly the same things as the cheaper tour, except you would not have more than 16 people in your tour group.  This tour was also listed as “Strenuous”, requiring substantial walking, stair climbing and not recommended for those with physical limitations.  This tour requires the ability to board small boats and was NOT for people with mobility concerns.  Do you think this stopped people who could barely get out of a chair and needed canes to walk from going on it?  Of course not!

We drove for about 3 hours to the Mekong Delta port of My Tho – where all kinds of tours on boats were heading out.  We thought we were going for a “long” cruise, but instead it was about 30 minutes to a small island called Thoi Son, where we visited a “honey farm” – where we had honey tea, tasted royal jelly, and they tried to sell us products.  A short walk took us to a coconut candy “factory” (in an open hut) where they demonstrated the process, offered samples (we declined) and had many coconut based products for sale.  A further walk took us to a pavilion where we sampled local fruits including dragon fruit, bread fruit, papaya, mango, and longan (one of my favorites).  We were then (painfully) serenaded by a group of musicians, singers, and dancers who passed around a tip basket.

Mekong tour boat

Mekong delta tour boat

Mekong fruits

Fruits

Once this was over, we walked a short distance where we were picked up by our boat, then taken to another “port”, where we “embarked in smaller sampans for a scenic ride through the narrow, tree-lined canals”.  How to describe this?  Hmmm, imagine some Dali-esque, hallucinogenic, demented Disney ride.

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A Sampan near the canal

The “scenic canal” ran alongside a road and houses and was scattered with litter and plastic bottles, like most of Southeast Asia.  I think it existed solely for the purpose of taking tourists on a ride.  Watching people with mobility issues (and weight issues) attempting to climb in and out of these boats was frightening.  Add to that the condition of the boats – rotting inside and out, with a few extra boards dropped on the floor so you might not put your foot through the hull.  A woman sat on the forward deck and sort of paddled, and sort of pulled the boat thru the shallow water.  A man sat on the rear deck and steered – mostly by pushing away from the mangroves.  We felt bad for these folks, they worked really hard, with 4 passengers to a boat.

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the fine condition of the Sampans – how do they float?

At the end of this strange journey, we got off the sampans, and hoped we wouldn’t get dumped in the water by some of the folks who had no idea how to get in or out of boats.  Another walk – through some people’s back yards, apparently, eventually led to a very nice resort where we had a wonderful lunch.  The food was tasty, and each table had a person who prepared the plates for us.  For example she removed the heads and shells from the prawns before serving, made fish rolls with rice paper wrappers, etc.  There was soup, noodles, roasted pork, deep fried fish, and more.  It really was relaxing and pleasant and probably the best “tour” meal we ate one this trip.

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Prawns – YUM

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Some kind of spring rolls

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Whole fried fish

After lunch we made our way back to the ‘first’ tour boat, to take us back to the port.

Our final stop was a visit to the Vinh Trang Pagoda, a Buddhist temple built approximately 150 years ago, with a combination of Khmer and French architecture.  They had a reclining buddha and a sitting Buddha.  One thing about this overall trip, we saw LOTS of Buddhist temples…

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Just a tiny bit of the interesting mosaics at the Vinh Trang Pagoda.

After this hot walk in the sun, we then boarded for the toooooo looooong bus ride back to the ship.  We were hoping to see more of the Mekong river itself, but I guess the only way to really do this is by a land tour, not a cruise.

Vietnam has changed a great deal since our last visit in 2010.  More cars and motorcycles, replacing scooters and bicycles.  Hopefully the standard of living and quality of life are improving too.

Our Waterfront Home is for sale

Yes, our home in Somerset is for sale.

We created a special page here on the blog, just for this purpose https://mvautumndream.wordpress.com/waterfront-home-for-sale/

For more information, please contact Gil Diniz (508) 342-5579 at Prestige Realty – there is a link to his site on the page.

Wish us luck!

Singapore March 30

So after spending three days in Vietnam we were off again in route to Singapore.  As it is 614 nautical miles from Saigon to Singapore we had a day at sea again.  We love days at sea.  Time to relax and enjoy a good cup of coffee and a relaxing breakfast!  One great thing about Oceania is that included in your cruise fare is some of the simple things that other cruise lines charge you extra for.  Like a cappuccino, or espresso or even soft drinks.  This is all included with this company and not part of another cost center to make the company more money and to milk the customer dry!   Also they have a coffee bar staffed with an actual Italian Barista!  My new best friend Marco!   Marco was great!  We saw him almost every day and had some good laughs and generally great coffee.  He would see Beth and I coming and greet us in Italian.  Then ask us if we wanted dui cappuccino or Americano.  He would then hand craft our coffees with a smile and then try to push some wonderful pastries on us.  However in our quest to remain passengers and not become cargo, most of the time we just had a coffee or two and watch the world and water go by!  Did I mention that they have a wonderful English tea every afternoon with sandwiches, fresh pastries and off course tea (or coffee in our case).  This off course is served in 10 forward (deck 10 forward a lounge that they call Horizons, but being Star Trek fans and since it is on deck 10 and in the forward part of the ship Beth and I always referred to it as 10 forward).  It included serving staff with white gloves and rolling carts overloaded with yummy stuff.  Once again part of the cruise line subversive plan to turn us into cargo.  We mostly resisted the temptation but occasionally had a scone with clotted or whipped cream.  Had to take a few for the team so I could write about how good the food is!  So after tea it is happy hour!   That means two for one drinks.  So on the days that we did not go to tea you could find us in Martinis bar having a Bombay Sapphire Gin and tonic!   Then it was time for an early dinner.  Life at sea is good.  Also sea days give you much time to sit on your balcony and catch up on all those books you have been meaning to read and watch the other ships and sea life go by.  We did see a ton of sea life.   Birds, marine mammals, sea snakes, sharks, flying fish, trash (unfortunately).   All this time we have been sailing still in the South China Sea.  That would change the day out of Singapore!

So on Wednesday March 30 we arrived in Singapore, bright and early.  The approach to Singapore is great to see.  You will never see anywhere else in the world such a collection of ships of all shapes and sizes, waiting to go into the port.  Fascinating!  Also since Singapore sits only 4 degrees above the equator it is very hot there!  This day of our visit it was 99 degrees F with 99% relative humidity.  This is typical weather for this city.  Since Beth and I have been here before we decided to treat it as a sea day and hang out on the ship.  The other reason for this is that it is a pain in the ass to get off the ship.  You have to go through immigration getting off the ship and getting back on the ship.  Being on the ship on a port day has real advantages as you have the ship to yourself!  I’ll never own a 600+ foot ship but this give me a taste of what it would be like!  So another day to relax be for the intensive ports of Phuket Thailand and Myanmar that would be up next.

For your enjoyment here are a few photos of Singapore from our 2010 trip there!  Wow it has been 6 year almost to the day since we have been here!   Time passes quickly!

Promptly at 8:00 PM (during our dinner) we set sail for Thailand!   Next post Phuket!

Vietnam – March 26 – 28

Last time I left you we were in route to Nha Trang Vietnam via the South China Sea.  So having left Hong Kong Thursday evening March 24, we spent Friday at sea.  It was a great sea day for Beth and Kevin.  The seas were a little rough and we like that!  Also we were finally out of the rain and into warmer temperatures.  OK this is a cruise and everyone always ask about the food.  Well Oceania Cruises prides itself on their food.  Well I can confirm that the food was great!  Service was also very good.  I won’t get into specific meals as you can see example of the menus on their website.  I will say that if you love seafood you will not be disappointed.  Shrimp, lobster, scallops, squid, fish etc….   Also if your into red meat that was all good also.  As a little teaser, for lunch if you eat at the Waves Grill you can get great burgers.  Also you can get surf and turf, grilled lobster tail and sirloin steak on a chibata bun!   Also you can have a milk shake made with excellent ice cream to go along with your sandwich.  Oh and don’t forget the truffle French fries….    It goes on and on.   Safe to say you will not go hungry.  Safe to say that the food anywhere on the ship does not disappoint.    There are a total of 5 dining options on the ship.   Two special restaurants – a steak house and an Italian bistro.   Both excellent!   Also the main dining room (great service by our server Dragion from Serbia).  The buffet and waver grill.   Needless to say after 35 days on the ship it is easy to become cargo..   Fortunately, although we enjoyed ourselves and did put on some weight we were nowhere near the typical 10 pounds/week cruise weight gain! J    Actually we made out OK!

On Saturday March 26 we made port at Nha Trang Vietnam.  This was our second time to Vietnam but first time in Nha Trang.  Below are some photos take around town and at the port!

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Approaching Nha Trang Shipping Port 

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Nha Trang Cruise Terminal 🙂

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Nha Trang Budha (one of about 100,000)

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Nha Trang Market

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Customs Office 

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Stunning Hindu Temple in NhaTrang

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Nha Trang Fishing harbor

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Neighboring Ship.  Our ship was a bit nicer!

Leaving Nha Trang at 4:00 PM Saturday we were off to Saigon.  We were excited to go back to Saigon and cruise up the winding beautiful Saigon River to spend two day docked at the center of Saigon.  But alas do to earlier recent heavy rains in the region the cruise up to the city was not going to happen.  I think we had a pussy for a captain.  We ended up docking 2 hours outside the city at the commercial port.  This port is in the middle of nowhere….   Suck city!  So the first day we did not plan any shore excursions so we just hung around the ship and relaxed and read.  Not a bad way to spend the day but being in the city center and watching the life on the river like our last cruise was not to be this time.  Day two in “Saigon” we had an excursion to the Mekong River.  This was supposed to be about a 6 hour trip including lunch.   However because of where we ended up docking this was now a 10 hour trip with mostly ass time on a bus.  The actual excursion was OK but not exactly as advertised.  However the lunch as very good and we enjoyed the Vietnamese food very much!   Beth will post some photos of this excursion a bit latter.

At 4:00 PM on Monday March 28 we left Vietnam for a passage to Singapore, where we would arrive on Wednesday March 30th.    More to come.

 

19- March- 2016

19- March- 2016

Beth told you this was coming!  So enjoy!

We left Boston at around 6:45PM on 19-March-2016 starting essentially a 40 day circumnavigation of the earth.  The first flight was on American Airlines bound for LAX.  This first flight was a 7 hour non-stop flight that would get us into LAX at around 10:30 PM LAX time (1:30AM our body time).  When we decided to do this trip we also decided to take advantage of the business class upgrade that Oceania Cruises lines was offering.  As it turned out this was an excellent idea.  So the first leg was in AA First Class which actually for a US based airline is not bad.  Food was good, seat was comfortable and they have an excellent audio video system with a good sized screen in first class.

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Beth in First Class on AA

Upon arrival in LAX after a smooth flight we had our first real pleasant surprise at LAX.  As international flights leave from a different terminal than the domestic terminal you use to have to leave the secure area of the terminal and trot about a half mile to get to the international terminal.  Not a problem in the typical California weather and actually a good thing to get the blood flowing again, but since you have left the secure area of the terminal you have to go through security all over again.  This is a pain but for the flights going to the pacific region they all leave between 11:30 PM and 1:30 AM.  So this being LAX there are a lot of flights and the lines are very long!  I have experienced this twice in the last two years.  Once going to Australia and once going to Fiji.  These lines can take 3 hours, so the chance to miss you flight is very real!  However since we were flying business class there is a expedited line and this shorten the wait to about 1 hour.  Well LAX has finally joined the 21st century and built a link that allows you to stay in the terminals secure area, eliminating a additional security screen and a potential 3 hours in line.  So after a 15 minute walk we were ensconced in Cathy Pacific’s business class lounge with food and drink and comfortable seating a plenty for our 2 and a half hour layover.  Life is good.   At about 1:00 AM we walked to the gate and boarded our 15 hour flight to Hong Kong.  Now let me tell you Cathy Pacific’s business class is excellent!  Great seats- for sleeping and relaxing, good food and attentive staff.

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Beth in Business Class Cathy Pacific  –  see legroom does exist!

In all my travels my rating of airlines business class  places Singapore Airlines at #1, Cathy Pacific at #2, Qantas at # 3, Air Tahiti Nui #4, Fiji Airlines #5, Delta #10.

Well after 22 hours of flying we arrived in Hong Kong and had our second nice surprise.  Once we cleared Immigration, got all our bags, cleared Customs we were suppose to meet our pre-arranged hotel transport.  Coming out of the customs hall there was a guy with a sign that had out name on it.   Good start….  gets better- we were whisked out of the terminal into a waiting luxury van for our private transport to the hotel.  This was a bonus, as typically on a cruise you have to hang around the airport till everyone going to the pre-cruise hotel arrives.  In this case just us!

After a 25 minute drive from the airport we arrived at the beautiful Shangri-La hotel for our 3 night pre-cruise stay in Hong Kong.    So after travel for 5 days and losing a day somewhere in the Pacific Ocean we really needed a coffee and since our room was not ready yet (it was 8 AM after all), well go figure across the street was you guessed it was a Starbucks!

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Beth with first Starbucks coffee as you can see by the photo quality kevin really needed a coffee

So we dragged our jet lagged assess across the wet soggy street (did I mention it was raining very hard) and had a coffee and some breakfast!   Coffee always tastes better after traveling for days and days.  Then back to the hotel where Beth managed to convince the hotel staff to take pity on us and get us into a room so we could take a nap in a bead that was not moving.  Now the Shangri-La hotel in Kowloon is a stunning hotel.  Because we managed to get into a room before ours was ready we may have received a downgraded (not harbor view) room but it was a great room and had a great bed!  No complaints!

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Very comfortable room in Hong Kong

So we took a 2 hour nap and a shower then set out to see a soggy Hong Kong.  We came 3 day early because we wanted to spend some quality time in Hong Kong.  We have been here before and always wanted to return.  However our 3 day pre-cruise was going to be a wet and cold visit.   Most of what we were looking to do was outside.  So we changed plans and adapted to the wet weather!  All I’ll say is that we had have our share of high end shopping malls like nothing I have ever seen elsewhere in the world!  We did get some interesting good meals and recovered from jet lag in before getting on the ship.

Thursday March 24  –  Transfer to ship day!  So we showed up in the lobby at the appointed time and 600 or so of us were transfer to the ship by bus.  This took 15 minutes and we were aboard the Oceania Nautica in another 15 minutes.  Time for lunch in buffet.  Wow is all I can say!     At 4:30 we had the lifeboat drill then at 5:00 PM we set sail from Hong Kong China for 35 days till we arrived in Athens Greece!  So the sail away out of Hong Kong was spectacular if wet and cold.  But as we had a balcony cabin we could enjoy the passing city.  Next stop after a day at sea is Nha Trang, Vietnam.  I’ll do the next blog posting about our few days in Vietnam, so stay tuned!

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Foggy Hong Kong sky-line

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Foggy sail boat race start and a junk

Around the world in 40 Days

If you were wondering why we had no posts…  it is because we were off on another adventure; this time a circumnavigation of the globe…

We flew from Boston – LA – Hong Kong, spend 3 days in HK, then boarded the Oceania Nautica for a 35 day cruise from Hong Kong to Athens, before flying home Athens-Munich-Boston.  Wow.  Around the world in 40 days.

Ports visited:  Hong Kong, Nha Trang Viet Nam, Saigon Viet Nam, Phuket Thailand, Singapore, Yangon Burma, Cochin India, Mumbai India, Salalah Oman, Aqaba Jordan, Safaga Egypt, Haifa Israel, Rhodes Greece, Santorini Greece, Piraeus Athens.

Bodies of water transited (many on Kevin’s bucket list): South China Sea, Strait of Malacca, Andaman Sea, Bay of Bengal, Laccadive Sea, Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden, Red Sea, Gulf of Suez, Suez Canal, Mediterranean Sea.

We saw many interesting places, some extremely DIRTY places, and some amazing places.  Lots of photos (over 1600 between the two of us) and lots of memories to jot down…

Here are a few teaser photos for you (from Beth)

Burma-Monk

Monk with mobile phone in Burma (Myanmar) Monastery

Petra-Camels

Camels for Hire at Petra, Jordan

Petra-Treasury

First view of the Treasury, Petra Jordan