Day one was overcast and choppy (20 foot swells and 45 knot winds) due to a building low pressure area north of our position. We are sailing in more of a southerly direction in order to try to avoid as much of it as possible. Because of the larger ship, the rocking and rolling under even these conditions was much less than it was on the Pacific Princess with calmer waters.
Sea days are largely trivia games; morning, noon, and afternoon. The noon trivia is the progressive version; the other two just standard trivia games. While I picked anytime dining for this trip I’ve eaten most of my meals in the buffet which is on deck 14 at the front of the ship. Not too much to see with the weather but the selection of foods is greater and I can control what portions I want and the combinations I want much easier than I could in the dining room.
You may want to look in on the ship, where it is, and what I would see as look out from the buffet. Thanks to the Internet you can. We have a bridge camera we can watch on TV (channel 36 on the ship). But, you can watch images from that same camera from your computer anywhere.
As the fronts have moved we have changed course to try to stay out of the worst of the weather but it’s difficult. Our course as shown on the TV here looks pretty much like a zig-zag with North and South deviations from a great circle route between destinations. Despite this the ship has been in an almost continuous state of rocking and rolling motions; some quite sudden and hard. Makes carrying food in the buffet a challenge some time.
Heading in a generally west direction this high up on the Earth makes us pass through time zones much faster. Virtually every night we’ve set the clocks back an hour. October 1st we passed the International Date Line and both had to set the clocks back TWO hours but also had to set the day and date one ahead. Basically, we went from October 1st to October 3rd and lost Tuesday of this week. We’ll have a “Groundhog Day” [movie reference] on the way back where we will relive the same day twice to regain the lost day in this direction.
We did get some bad weather news today. Due to the fact that the weather on the way to Kushiro is predicted to get worse and the zig-zagging has caused a delay we will not be stopping in Kushiro. Instead we will be keeping to the schedule with our first Japan stop now being Yokohama. I have an excursion there to see Tokyo. So, our five day crossing of the North Pacific has now become a seven day crossing. I’m starting to think I’m a weather jinx as every trip I go on seems to be affected by bad weather. But, of course, it’s hard to predict the weather as far out as these trips get planned.
Saturday, October 6th, the day before we get to Yokohama I hope the weather is better and the seas smoother. I signed for for the “Ultimate Ship Tour” which is a tour of no more than 14 people taking a 3.5 hour trip through the guts of the ship from the bridge to the laundry and everywhere in between. I did not see a way to get a semi-private tour like I did on the Pacific Princess so I decided to go on the paid tour. Will certainly see more that way. There is one down side however…no photos or video allowed. A ship’s photographer will be along to take periodic photos of the group which we will get copies of so those will be the best I’ll be able to get of the ship guts. Sometime after that tour will likely be my next post.