Category Archives: At sea

16th January

Yes, JANUARY, got that bit correct this time¬† ūüėÜ

We have been steering west-south-westerly courses across the Pacific. ¬†We have to average a speed of 17.9 knots, which equates to 19.7 mph/31.5 kph. ¬†The ‘17.9’ is awkward, it’s right between using 2 and 3 diesel generators, however my decision was relatively easy; we were low on fresh water after our Canal transit and the stay in Fuerte Amador, using 3 diesels allowed us to run more evaporators, thus making water faster and we are now well stocked. ¬†We are down to 2 now, we have a very strong South Equatorial current with us and, I suspect, some influence from El Nino; the sea temperature is 85F/29C which is certainly indicative that something’s going on.

We have 1611 miles to Nuku Hiva and today, after 2 days of sun, it has started raining again. ¬†There’s plenty to do on board though and not many of our guests are sun-worshippers anyway.

Yesterday morning we had an award ceremony in the Upper Dining Room.  Crew (and Officers) receive awards for time-served in the company and this was no exception, approximately 20 were receiving awards, everything from 5 years service, to 25 years.

Suhardin, our Engine Room foreman, receives his. Right is Piet Westerhuis, our Chief Engineer

Suhardin, our Engine Room foreman, receives his. Right is Piet Westerhuis, our Chief Engineer

Charles, one of our Quartermasters, receives his service award

Charles, one of our Quartermasters, receives his service award

It just so happened that in September of last year, I clocked up my 20 years with HAL, the first Brit to do so, however there soon will be others close behind. ¬†I had some nice emails from some our senior Corporate staff and received a 20-year lapel pin, (with a diamond, small¬† ūüėĮ )

Moi, with my pin. Left to right, Jan Smit, Staff Captain, moi, Piet Westerhuis, Chief Engineer, Jonathan Bailey, SEH officer, Julie Bernsen, HR Manager

Moi, with my pin. Left to right, Henk Mensink, Hotel Director, Jan Smit, Staff Captain, moi, Piet Westerhuis, Chief Engineer, Jonathan Bailey, SEH officer, Julie Bernsen, HR Manager

¬†The days at sea are, of course, an opportunity to ‘eat’ my way around the globe and last night was no exception. ¬†A dinner in the Pinnacle grill, this time with a James Bond theme. ¬†I was fortunate enough, (rank does its privileges on occasion), to share a table with 5 lovely ladies, what more can one ask for, particularly as one does not have to ‘make’ conversation, quite the opposite, I just had to sit there and listen¬† ūüėĬ†

L-R.  Hazel Donald, moi, Victoria Kruse, Linda Kruse, Karen 2 and Karen

L-R. Hazel Donald, moi, Victoria Kruse, Linda Kruse, Karen 2 and Karen (They have ‘Gold Fingers raised, gold nail polish)

The Pinnacle in full swing.

The Pinnacle in full swing.

We crossed the equator yesterday morning and are now in the South Pacific. ¬†It’s cyclone season and, thousands of miles away to the east¬†of American Samoa, is just such a beast, quaintly named ‘Victoria’. ¬†However it is heading south and shouldn’t affect us; nevertheless I always keep a seaman’s ‘weather eye’ open. ¬†We have some great forecasting programmes, being sent to us daily and a far-cry from¬†the old days, when¬†only a¬†barometer could give an indication of changing weather.