A Travellerspoint blog

Sharks and Rangiroa

St. Francis we are not

storm 80 °F
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We are at Rangiroa, a huge atoll in the Tuamotus in French Polynesia in a very big ocean. The lagoon is 50 x 15 miles in size and we got here by sailing into a single cut in the atoll and anchoring there. Then we took a tender (which holds 80) to a small pier where 14 of us moved to 2 motor boats for an hour long ride across to the other side of the lagoon. Our little boats anchored outside another lagoon within the lagoon and we walked about 1/4 mile through warm shallow water to a motu (islet).

While the boat men gathered coconuts, made a fire, and cooked fish, a dozen folks walked through the lagoon to explore a neighboring motu. And then the skies darkened and a strong wind arose and a fierce storm blew across Tua’ai (the motu). The rain drove sideways and stung our legs as huge waves crashed against the reef. Because Rangiroa is so flat, the weather passes over quickly, but we were very wet for lunch.

Now it was time to return. The boatmen led us back out to the lagoon where the water was quite roiled and FILLED with sharks. They told us that the sharks were safe unless we had fish smell on our hands, so we were to hold our hands up and walk through SHARK INFESTED WATERS to reboard the boat. We did, and climbed quickly aboard. We are now dry and warm and very grateful to be on Deck Seven. The photo of the sharks below is of black tip fin sharks; there were also large grey ones with big teeth, but we didn’t stop to photograph them.5D0B62012219AC6817F28509DEF039AE.jpgIMG_0159.jpgIMG_0163.jpgIMG_0176.jpgIMG_0152.jpg

Posted by HopeEakins 20:40 Archived in French Polynesia Comments (5)

Nuku Hiva

Our first port

sunny 95 °F
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Well, after almost seven days (5 pm Saturday to noon the next Saturday) we spotted land and felt like Christopher Columbus! Nuku Hiva is the capital of the Marquesa Islands which are a group of islands in French Polynesia. It has quite a few chickens, horses, and cattle, and 1200 very very nice people and cute kids. It also has a church filled with large Biblical figures carved from the wood of the bread fruit tree and looking quite like tiki carvings of the ancestral gods. The pulpit was especially charming with a lion (Mark) lying next to a bull (Luke) beneath a man (Matthew) all below a soaring eagle (John). The creche, banked with island flowers, was also very sweet.

From the mountains, our ship looked as small as Nuku Hiva looked from the sea. And now we sail on to Rangiroa, a 38 hour journey, so once again we have a water view for a while!IMG_0097.jpgIMG_0111.jpgIMG_0116.jpgIMG_0137.jpgIMG_0133.jpgIMG_0140.jpgIMG_0146.jpgIMG_0147.jpg

Posted by HopeEakins 19:44 Archived in French Polynesia Comments (1)

Crossing the Equator

A memorable experience

sunny 81 °F
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We crossed the equator at 135° 28.0’ W, and are now officially in the Southern Hemisphere! We received certificates bestowing on us the title His Majesty’s Trusty Shellbacks, and there was a little ceremony with His Majesty, Neptune, and a few mermaids initiating all the first-time crossers with egg and flour and shaving cream - and the kiss of an eel. It was a little more extensive a ceremony than even we liturgists expected! (See below. Bill and Bryan are on the left side deck chairs in the photo with Neptune.)

Posted by HopeEakins 11:24 Archived in French Polynesia Comments (0)


Why we need to run around the deck.

sunny 80 °F
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Well, we are on a cruise ship, so sooner or later the subject has to turn to food. It’s grand! Yesterday we ate all our meals outside, with dinner at poolside at a restaurant with hot rocks. They are really hot (1500°) and come with steaks, chops, or shrimp - which you get to cook at the table. This is fun for people who get everything served to them otherwise. Starfruit were delivered to our cabin (see below with Bill working on Sunday's sermon); they taste like apples and we have enough for a church fruit salad. Tea is a big temptation (below) so we don’t always go to the lounge with the tea tray and instead sit by the pool or on our veranda.

The final photo is of Bill and Terry Waite (whom he met for the 1st time at Canterbury in 1984). Terry is delivering a series of lectures on captivity and hostage negotiations, including his own story of being held hostage in Lebanon for almost 5 years, chained in a cell with no natural light for 23 hours, 50 minutes a day. His current work is with a foundation that supports families of those held as political captives. Humbling.


Posted by HopeEakins 19:14 Comments (2)

Starting across the Pacific

A long way from everywhere

semi-overcast 62 °F
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Well the sea looks more like the North Atlantic than a tropical paradise and the temp is moderately chilly (see below), but our hearts are warm and we are relishing this time together. At last night’s dinner, we were asked to sit with “a nice Australian couple.” And we did. They were from Brisbane. Conversation #1: Bill - My classmate from Oxford, John Morgan, is Warden of St.John’s College in Brisbane. Other guy (Ted Lennon): Oh, yes, I have mentored some students for John. Conversation #2: Bill - We met a retired judge from Brisbane last fall; can’t remember his name. Ted: Pincus, perhaps? Yes, I have worked closely with him.

Today was lecture day! We heard a presentation on Nuku Hiva, our first port of call, then one on today’s media by Michael Buerk, former news anchor on the BBC, and finally words from Terry Waite, former advisor to the Abp. of Canterbury, held hostage in Lebanon for almost 5 years. Our minds spinning, we played trivia and captured first place, Bryan sharp on entertainment and mechanical stuff, Hope on science and Bill on, well, all the trivia. Then off to the first worship service -- with a congregation of 6, including us all. We are optimistic that we’ll need the whole theatre by May! Tonight holds a dinner for the World Cruisers and then a Motown show. Perhaps sleep will beckon before the latter (hoping so). Hope

Posted by HopeEakins 18:20 Comments (3)

On the left coast

In Los Angeles with Bill, Hope and Bryan

The trip west was uneventful, as we watched the snow covered ground give way to grass - and desert. Once in Los Angeles we settled into the Peninsula Hotel and haven't stopped smiling. The staff seems dedicated to serving the guests - my skirt was ironed, maps drawn for us, rambutan fruit (look it up!) next to baby pears and apples on our desk, and oranges on a tree outside our door (see Bill below). We dined in the rooftop garden under moonlight and today did a few errands before going to the Getty Museum - where we saw an amazing exhibit on Florentine medieval art, wandered around astounding architecture, saw great views of LA, had a terrific lunch and can't believe this superlative (see above adjectives) adventure has really begun.

One odd thing ... no one seems to walk in Beverly Hills. Many many cars, wide freeways, nice sidewalks, and our little trio the only feet upon them. Even shops don't have pedestrian entrances but large parking lots beneath them. On the other hand, the roads are immaculate. We sail tomorrow!
Polled sycamores at Getty

Polled sycamores at Getty



Hope and Bryan at lunch at Getty

Hope and Bryan at lunch at Getty

Bill Hope and LA

Bill Hope and LA

Bill & Bryan and LA

Bill & Bryan and LA

Posted by HopeEakins 19:06 Comments (2)


3 Jan Thu Fly to LA – Peninsula Hotel
5 Jan Sat Sail! 5 pm
6-11 Jan Sun-Fri Cruising Pacific Ocean
12 Jan Sat Nuku Hiva, Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia Noon to 6pm
13 Jan Sun Cruising South Pacific Ocean
14 Jan Mon Rangiroa, Tuamotus, French Polynesia 8am to 5pm
15 Jan Tue Moorea, Society Islands, French Polynesia 8am to 4pm
15 Jan Tue Papeete (Tahiti), Society islands, French Polynesia 7pm
16 Jan Wed Papeete (Tahiti), Society Islands, French Polynesia 6pm
17 Jan Thu Bora Bora, Society islands, French Polynesia 8am to 6pm
18 Jan Fri Cruising South Pacific Ocean
19 Jan Sat Rarotonga, Cook Islands 8am to 2pm
20-23 Jan Sun-Wed Crossing the Pacific and South Pacific Ocean
24 Jan Thu Bay of Islands, New Zealand 2pm to 8pm
25 Jan Fri Auckland, New Zealand 7am to 8pm
26 Jan Sat Cruising South Pacific Ocean
27 Jan Sun Wellington, New Zealand 8am to 6pm
28 Jan Mon Akaroa, New Zealand 8am to 6pm
29 Jan Tue Port Chalmers (Dunedin), New Zealand 7am to 3pm
30 Jan-1 Feb Wed -Fri Cruising Dusky Sound; Milford Sound and Tasman Sea
2 Feb Sat Hobart, Tasmania 7am to 2pm
2 Feb Sat Port Arthur, Tasmania 6pm to 7pm
3 Feb Sun Cruising Tasman Sea
4 Feb Mon Sydney, Australia 8am to 7pm
5 Feb Tue Cruising Bass Strait
6 Feb Wed Melbourne, Australia 8am to 11pm
7 Feb Thu Cruising Great Australian Bight
8 Feb Fri Adelaide, Australia 8am to 6pm
9-10 Feb Sat-Sun Cruising Great Australian Bight and Indian Ocean
11 Feb Mon Albany, Australia 8am to 2pm
12 Feb Tue Fremantle (Perth), Australia 2pm
13 Feb Wed Fremantle (Perth), Australia 5pm
14-16 Feb Thu-Sat Cruising Indian Ocean and Java Sea
17 Feb Sun Tanah Ampo (Bali), Indonesia 8am to 6pm
18-19 Feb Mon-Tue Cruising Java Sea
20 Feb Wed Sandakan (Borneo), Malaysia 8am to 4pm
21 Feb Thu Cruising Sulu Sea
22 Feb Fri Manila, Philippines 8am to 6pm
23 Feb Sat Cruising South China Sea
24 Feb Sun Hong Kong, China Noon
25 Feb Mon Hong Kong, China 11pm
26 Feb Tue Cruising South China Sea
27 Feb Wed Chan May, Vietnam 8am to 6pm
28 Feb Thu Cruising South China Sea
1 Mar Fri Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam 10am
2 Mar Sat Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam 2pm
Overland excursion to Angkor Wat, returning afternoon of March 4
[3 Mar Sun Cruising Gulf of Thailand]
4 Mar Mon Bangkok, Thailand 8am
5 Mar Tue Bangkok, Thailand 4pm
6 Mar Wed Cruising Gulf of Thailand
7 Mar Thu Singapore 6pm
8 Mar Fri Singapore 5pm
9 Mar Sat Port Kelang (Kuala Lumpur), Malaysia 8am to 7pm
10 Mar Sun Penang, Malaysia 8am to 5pm
11 Mar Mon Phuket, Thailand 8am to 6pm
12 Mar Tue Sabang, Indonesia Noon to 5pm
13 -14 Mar Wed-Thu Cruising Andaman Sea and Bay of Bengal
15 Mar Fri Colombo, Sri Lanka 7am to 7pm
16 Mar Sat Cochin, India 4pm
17 Mar Sun Cochin, India 11pm
18 Mar Mon Cruising Laccadive Sea
19 Mar Tue Malé, Maldives 8am to 6pm
20-23 Mar Wed -Sat Cruising Indian Ocean
24 Mar Sun Port Louis, Mauritius 8am to 6pm
25 Mar Mon Pointe des Galets, Reunion 8am to 6pm
26 Mar Tue Crossing the Tropic of Capricorn
27 Mar Wed Tolagnaro, Madagascar 8am to 6pm
28-29 Mar Thu Cruising Indian Ocean
30 Mar Sat Maputo, Mozambique 8am to 4pm
31 Mar Sun Richards Bay, South Africa 7am to 11pm
1 Apr Mon Durban, South Africa 8am to 6pm
2 Apr Tue East London, South Africa Noon to 6pm
3 Apr Wed Cruising Indian Ocean
4 Apr Thu Cape Town, South Africa 8am
5 Apr Fri Cape Town, South Africa 5pm
6 Apr Sat Crossing the Tropic of Capricorn
7 Apr Sun Walvis Bay, Namibia 2pm
8 Apr Mon Walvis Bay, Namibia 2pm
9-11 Apr Tue-Thu Cruising Atlantic Ocean
12 Apr Fri São Tome & Principe 9am to 4pm
13 Apr Sat Limbé, Cameroon 9am to 5pm
14 Apr Sun Cruising Bight of Benin
15 Apr Mon Takoradi, Ghana 8am to 7pm
16-18 Apr Tue-Thu Cruising Atlantic Ocean
19 Apr Fri Banjul, The Gambia 8am to 6pm
20 Apr Sat Cruising Atlantic Ocean
21 Apr Sun Mindelo, São Vincente 7am to 1pm
22-25 Apr Mon-Thu Cruising Atlantic Ocean
26 Apr Fri Bridgetown, Barbados 10am to 6pm
27 Apr Sat Roseau, Dominica 7am to 1pm
28 Apr Sun St. Thomas, USVI 8am to 5pm
29-30 Apr Mon-TueCruising Atlantic Ocean and Straits of Florida
1 May Wed Fort Lauderdale, Florida 7 am to 6 pm
2-4May Thu-Sat Cruising the Atlantic Ocean
4 May Sun Arrive New York City 8 am

Posted by HopeEakins 18:15 Comments (1)

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