Wednesday, 5 February 2014
05.02.2014 - 05.02.2014
The weather was hot and humid but the sea was totally calm as we entered the De la Havannah Channel on our approach to the container wharf in Noumea. The storm clouds blocked the sunrise as they have done on a number of occasions. Breakfast and collected our gear for the Shore Excursion. We were on Deck 7 as the ship inched up to her berth where we were welcomed by a troupe of local musicians and dancers.
By 09:00 we were assembled in the theatre for our Shore Excursion and shortly afterwards taken to a very well appointed coach. Our local guide spoke excellent English and guided us through the history and culture of New Caledonia. We visited the first Catholic Church built on the island and the top of a hill overlooking the city. Next stop a beach-front hotel for coffee, pastries and some retail therapy. The temperature continued to climb and there was a hint of rain in the air. It was a relief to be back aboard the air-conditioned coach.
By just after 12:30 we were back aboard the ship and indulged in 'home-made' pies again. Tried out the afternoon movie "The Way Way Back", lasted about 20 minutes and walked out again. I wonder how they justify spending money on making some of these flicks.
There was an announcement from the bridge as we are about to depart at 17:00. A tropical depression North of New Caledonia has been upgraded to a cyclone and is heading towards Noumea. The Captain intends to track to the North West to put as much distance as possible between us and the storm. He warned us of increasing seas during the night and advised caution when moving about the ship. Could get interesting.
Lovely dinner as always and then to the theatre for the crew's show- always a riot. Thirty minutes before start time the place was packed and people were turned away. They brought out balloons and the crowd reverted to childhood and bounced them all over the auditorium. There were the usual magnificent voices from unexpected quarters. Cabin stewards, housekeeper, cook and even a carpenter all carried off songs in a most professional manner.
After the show we ducked up to Deck 14 for a quick drink, I finished off this blurb and will post it tonight. The ship is decidedly lively as I write this.
A sea day tomorrow as we try to beat the cyclone on our way to Sydney.
This link should take you to today's images on my 365 Project http://365project.org/tonydebont/365/2014-02-05
Cheers .. Tony