Friday, 6 April 2012
06.04.2012 - 06.04.2012
The ship is exhibiting a gentle swaying motion as we continue to head in a South-South-Easterly direction. The dawn is not spectacular but highlights the buildup of cumulous clouds along the Eastern horizon. We were about 9º North of the equator at 1400 hrs.
Passports are being collected along with the entry and exit cards for our day in Rabaul. The PNG immigration officials are aboard and will process all that paper-work while we're underway. It appears we'll be paying a US$50 each entry visa fee.
Heather's lecture covered the US Military deployment in area and included the arrival of the US Marines in Darwin. This deployment and other mutual defence treaties being negotiated are largely symbolic but have raised some concerns in the region.
William Roberts continued his series by covering the push North by the US and Australian forces going as far as yesterday's island of Guam. Many of the minor atolls and islands were bypassed while others capable of landing aircraft were taken at considerable cost. The island of Saipan was particularly costly.
We had lunch with two ladies we'd met in the first few days and had seen around the ship. They are a very funny pair who keep in touch via Skype. Henny is from WA and originally from Holland, Maddy hails from the North East USA. Jenny had bought each of them some small Easter eggs and they were both thrilled to receive them.
Dropped in on Lindsay the port lecturer to give her some feedback on our experiences in Guam. I wasn't too surprised to hear that she'd been given a hard time for any and everything that beset the people ashore. She always starts her lectures with a warning that the information is the best available at the time. She doesn't get paid, spends a lot of her time preparing and there ungrateful individuals blame her when they don't listen or don't ask.
Dinner was a new experience tonight. I asked Jeffrey to make recommendations so all three courses were a complete surprise. He thought it was a great joke. Max, the other guy at the table, had his birthday today so we had a cake and sang the song.
Tonight's entertainment was a repeat performance from Michael Young on the banjo. The act was a lot more lively than before and he incorporated a jam session with the individuals in the band. One of the better efforts.
Our position is now 9º 34' North of the equator so we have a bit to go before we are in the Southern hemisphere again. All down-hill from her.