Pacific Crossing

January 20, 2017

We got an email from the captain of the Pacific Princess a couple of days before our departure, telling us that there will be an itinerary change. We were scheduled to depart LA. Friday 1/20 in early evening for our 22 day voyage to end in Sydney. However, due to an approaching storm, we would sit in the harbor in San Pedro until approximately 4Am Sunday morning 1/22. We would then take a quick right, and head to Bora Bora, then Papeete rather than to the ports on the original itinerary, which were Honolulu and Tonga.

Friday morning we are packed and ready for our adventure. Our Fijian Uber driver arrives and admits he’s low on gas, but he’s pretty sure we’ll be fine to get to the airport.

“Really, we have time, you can stop for gas.” I say.

“No, no, we’ll be fine. I’ll get some when I get there. “

From the back seat, I can see that his engine light is on too, but hey, we’ll be fine.

Sacramento’s Discovery Park, adjacent to the Sacramento area river, is underwater as we drive past it on the way to SMF airport. California’s drought is officially over, and I’ve never seen the river so high in the seven (?!) years that we’ve lived here. We are getting out before the next big storm. I hope our city will weather this storm.

We planned this trip months ago, and when we booked it I remembered being sad that I wouldn’t be home to celebrate Hillary Clinton’s inauguration. She’d be the first woman president! My god, how exhilarating ,finally a leader who looked like me, and a woman whom greatly admire. Then, the unthinkable, and again, I wonder if we are getting out in front of a disaster. No secret, I am a moderate Democrat. I’d have been disappointed if a Republican had won, but trump devastates me.

Sacramento airport was pretty quiet. Some people watched the inauguration in the terminal, many sat turned away. Then the flight to LA was one of the most turbulent that we’ve experienced. The view from our ship is of stacks of containers and container barges going by. It’s not exactly the best of Southern California. There’s such an air of unease, but we are on our way to an amazing trip. I just can’t let this spoil our enjoyment.

January 21, 2017

Saturday, the next day, is glorious. The sky is blue, and we can see the mountains in the distance topped with snow. Maybe we should leave today?? We walked around the somewhat sad, old San Pedro downtown and to Ports of Call Village. Both are past their prime. However we got over 6 miles of walking recorded on my Fitbit. Many good friends also walked today, in glorious sunshine in Sacramento, San Diego and San Francisco for the Women’s March. I reveled in their Facebook photos and was with you in spirit. I am so, so thankful for you.

January 22, 2017 running from the storm

At sea, rough seas

We awoke this morning shortly before 3AM to some serious rocking and rolling. We are in a balcony at the bow, deck 6 of 11. I see some lights in the distances that look like a set of oil drilling platforms. We are definitely at sea early. Poor Barry is sick. No puking as long as he stays prone in bed. The cabin next to us shares a wall at our bathrooms, (head to head, so to speak). I hear our neighbor throw up and flush a couple of times when I’m in our shower. Coffee is enough for me for breakfast and I decide to do some recognizance to look for a place that isn’t rolling as much. Maybe I can get Barry out of the cabin and the fresh air will do him good. Nope, it’s rocking everywhere. There aren’t many people in the restaurants, the outside decks are roped off. There are “air sick” bags on most tables. Ugh, I’m not feeling too well either and I’ve never been sea sick.

Not what we’d planned on, guess we’ll just need to ride this out and try not to get too sick. Just like this new administration.

January 25, 2017
The weather has improved as well as the seas. Though we can feel the ship movements much, much more than we ever have on other ships. Some fellow passengers have said that’s because we are onboard a much smaller cruise ship. The assistant cruise director admitted to getting seasick for the first time in his life and he’s been sailing for twelve years.

I have started a little onboard routine, the morning begins with cappuccino and a beautiful plate of fruit, walking on the deck and or pickleball on a makeshift area created by some folks from New England. I am taking hula lessons, which I am enjoying tremendously. The instructor is especially good and the dance itself is so fluid and poetic. I also enjoy the community of woman, which for me feels so familiar and comforting. I took hula lessons on another cruise and Barry is taking ukulele lessons. We will be ready to entertain at luaus in the greater Sacramento area when we get home, pick up a little extra clink. Barry and I meet up for a little lunch and read or go to a movie or lecture. Then…happy hour, read, dinner and a movie or a show. All the while, we watch the enormous sky and changing sea, enjoy the wind and salt and motion.

I’ve read one book so far, All Good Things: From Paris to Tahiti: Life and Longing, by Sarah Turnbull. Besides being very appropriate for our trip, (she is Australian and talks of her homeland as well as Polynesia and France), it was an uplifting memoir of a couple living fully.

We’ve met lots of folks from California, but also some from England, Ohio, New England, and Texas.

8 thoughts on “Pacific Crossing”

  1. Hi guys,
    what a story!! We were on the sister ship, the Ocean Princess, cruised from Shanghai to Singapore and had no such “Rock’n Roll” experiences. I am sure you are going to have a marvelous trip and I wish I could join you in Bora Bora or Tahiti! Marga and I keep saying that we need to do that cruise a third time soon!
    Be well and let us hear from you on the way to paradise!

    1. Glad to hear your “small ship” experience was good. Have to admit we are still getting lots of motion. Shanghai and Singapore- haven’t been there but on the list! We love to cruise with you again. Keep us posted on your plans.

  2. Hope the weather is improving for you. You may need to bring home some “gum” trees from down under after last weekend storm here in Sacramento and the number of trees blown down in the park, starting to look barren in places. Have greet time.

  3. So sorry to hear about your rough water. If Barry was sick, I can’t imagine how I could have survived. I get seasick when the sea is calm. You have had enough bad experiences – things have to get better. It sounds as if you have a wonderful schedule carved out so enjoy this super vacation. Still envious just not of the bad seas.

    1. Thanks for the kind words! Find words the kind words Hope you are safe and dry in Sacramento. Look forward to sharing some wine when we get home.

  4. Hi D&B,
    Cruise dinner table mates P& R here.
    Sorry that B was feeling poorly early on. It wasn’t so obvious to me.
    Thanks for sharing your blog.
    Keep B strumming on the ole ukulele!

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