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rafinmd

Around the World on Amtrak, KLM, and HAL

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Ok Roy FIRST OFF YOUR NOT OLD!!!!!!!

That is in regards to the sleep patterns. Your on a fabulous vacation I still think time change the weather everything is out of sink!! I’ve done that also on our last cruise on The Eurodam where either excitement or just me I could. It sleep! I ended up walking the Promenade about 3:30 one morning and was energized just being by myself and doing my walk!!! We’re kind of crazy right Roy? I’d go on cruises and I’d end up thinking of my patients or things from work and end up not enjoying myself! Now I retired 2013 and if I can’t sleep I walk!!!! I wish they would have more things to do on sea days😔 your dinner looked yummy and we’re the same way of wanting to plan our meals with the menus! Gosh I really hope for better weather for you! I thought putting the lounge chairs on the aft was a sign of good up coming weather!!! Glad your Bible study is something you look forward too!

Himself will be on The Eurodam next Wednesday! Roy wait for your next blog!

Denise:)

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Roy -- you are not old!

We also have troubles adjusting to time changes. Even when we did land tours -- had troubles adjusting to the time changes -- early flights, etc.

Loving your reports.

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My wife and I took the Celebrity Millenium from Yokohama to Vancouver last May, and I can definitely say that losing an hour almost every night across the Bering Sea took its toll. But it was fun gaining an extra Monday!

If your first port of call is Petropavlosk in Siberia, I think you’ll find it very interesting. The sail in and away are beautiful, and the town itself has three snow capped volcanoes (at least they were snow capped last May) looming over it. There’s not too much to see just wandering around, but the Sunday we were there was warm, and all the locals came out to the waterfront walkway, at the end of which colorful food stands were set up, right by this gigantic statue of Lenin. The whole place felt very old time Soviet.

The tour bus took us to some interesting places, including a newly constructed onion dome church, the local mall, a military history museum, and several beautiful overlooks.

Several buildings along the way were in quite bad shape, though, so I don’t think the economy is particularly prosperous. But rich Russians apparently do fly in for helicopter skiing...

 

 

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We find cruising east, especially those long Pacific crossings are harder then heading west. Hope the weather picks up.

Allan

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We find cruising east, especially those long Pacific crossings are harder then heading west.

East-bound from Japan to Vancouver was brutal. Not only were we losing an hour every night, there was one day where we lost two hours!

I can always sleep an extra hour on a west-bound, but east-bound is a toughie no matter what ocean.

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Day A10, Wednesday, October 11, At sea, MS Amsterdam

 

Thank you Krazy Kruizers, Shiela, Jacqui, Denise, retafcruiser, Alan, RuthC, and BarbarianPaul. I’ll agree it’s much harder going the other way; fortunately I won’t need to deal with that this trip. I did an eastbound crossing on the Crystal Symphony in 2013 and found Petropavlovsk an interesting place (that few people visit) but on this trip Dutch Harbor would have been our only stop between San Diego and Japan.

 

The Oosterdam is in Puerto Vallarta. The Prinsendam is at sea from Dubrobnik to Venice.

 

When I rose at 5 the TV screen indicated 50 knot winds across the deck and my walking experience reflected those winds. A look at my GPS indicated we were about 500 miles due south of Petropavlovsk, Russia. I walked 2 miles and that turned out to be all my walking for the day. It is fortunate the Amsterdam Dancers got their show in when they did. My walk ended right around sunrise but there was no sun to be seen until briefly much later in the day.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/11nosun.jpg

 

Hamish’s guest at the 9:30 Coffee Chat was Hotel Director Hank Mensink; I missed it as I had just time to get up to the lido quickly between bible study and Ian’s talk on Kushiro.

 

In his noon update Captain Eversen reported we have come 3974 miles since San Diego with an additional 753 miles to Kushiro. We are now closer to Hong Kong than we are to San Diego. In addition to the winds there is a lot of motion and people are staggering around the ship rather than walking.

 

In addition to a lecture by Dr. Mings on Japan the afternoon program featured a matinee performance by Craig Robert and his saxophones. After the show I visited the ice cream bar and found it too cold even under the pool dome to eat ice cream; I had to return to the lido.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/richard2.jpg

 

The second gala night at table 43 was hosted by the assistant chief housekeeper. He will have a relatively easy trip home at the end of this contract, returning to the Philippines midway through the Grand Asia Voyage. His next ship will be the Volendam but he will disembark July 18 when I get on. I chose the Rack of Veal and carrot cake.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/dishes11.jpg

 

There was no evening show as the Queens Lounge was devoted to the Black and Silver Ball. Perhaps the smoothest “dancers”as the ship pitched and lurched were the big silver balls hanging from the ceiling.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/blacksilver.jpg

 

I’ll take my parting shot from the weather. I certainly look forward to warmer temperatures and especially lighter winds but am doing ok. I know for a while I’ll be looking back longingly at these temperatures when heat approaches 40C/100F. For now I can add layers and while I’d like one or 2 less the time will come when it’s too hot with nothing left to take off.

 

Roy

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Golly -- sure was hoping that the winds would have died down by now.

I would have a hard time walking around the ship with my Rollator with the ship pitching.

Great pictures as usual.

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Good choice Roy on The rack of veal! I am waiting for mine to finish so We can celebrate our 46th Anniversary!!!!we both got married at 18!!!! Can you believe that!!! Supported both of us through college and residences. I am surprised with the weather! WOW! I will pray for better weather! You know at sea everything changes with the weather! Your pics are great!! Can not wait till you get to your final destination ! ROY! No matter what I would of eaten that 🍨!!!!!! I’ll wait till your next blog!!! Sleep well !

Denise:)

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Roy,

Thanks for your updates.

Hope the carrot cake was as delicious as the carrot cake we had on Maasdam last year.

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Good choice Roy on The rack of veal! I am waiting for mine to finish so We can celebrate our 46th Anniversary!!!!we both got married at 18!!!! Can you believe that!!! Supported both of us through college and residences. I am surprised with the weather! WOW! I will pray for better weather! You know at sea everything changes with the weather! Your pics are great!! Can not wait till you get to your final destination ! ROY! No matter what I would of eaten that 🍨!!!!!! I’ll wait till your next blog!!! Sleep well !

Denise:)

 

Congratulations on your Anniversary.

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Uh oh. I'll be boarding in San Diego in a year. So what bad things have you heard??

 

 

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Congratulations on your Anniversary.

Erewhon!!!!!!!

Thank you soooo much! My goodness I did not expect that at all! CC family to me is important!!!

My Veal was perfect!

Sleep well all, and especially to our Roy!

💤

Denise:)

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Oh dear Roy, it doesn't sound like the winds and waves have improved much at all.

 

I admire those who were still able to dance at the ball. Sounds like it was very rocky.

 

Those Black and White Balls are always nice :)

 

Hope you wake up to much better weather. (yn)

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Thank you all. Going to try to get to bed early tonight. Today's weather was not nice but fine inside the ship and the seas have smoothed out the last few hours.

 

Day A11, Thursday, October 12, 2017, At sea, MS Amsterdam

 

The Oosterdam is at sea from Puerto Vallarta to San Diego. The Prinsendam is in Venice.

 

When I woke at 5 the Amsterdam was still pitching and lurching but the video display had the apparent winds down to about 20 knots. Our incessant time changes have pushed sunrise steadily earlier and it came today a little before 6AM. As compared to sunset sunrise seems to be more of a gradual process than a unique event and that was certainly the case today.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/dawn1012.jpg

 

Since I spend a fair amount of time on the lower promenade deck I’m including a little collage of the deck, starting at the aft crossing, then down the starboard side and across the bow. Tall people need to watch their heads passing under the tenders.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/amstprom.jpg

 

It was a relatively quiet day with just 2 main activities, bible study at 9 and Ian’s talk about Yokohama at 10.

 

In his midday update Captain Eversen indicated we would be at the dock about 7AM. Today’s weather was not particularly pleasant with temperatures never getting above 8C/46F and there appeared to be frequent drizzle. Friday in Kushiro is supposed to be pleasant with a high of about 15C/60F.

 

I rarely eat lunch in the dining room but did so today getting the pasta entree and using the fruit plate from the appetizer section as my desert.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/lunch12.jpg

 

There were 6 of us at table 43. I chose the strawberry bisque, chicken scallopini, and apricot crisp.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/dishes12.jpg

 

There was a double bill in the Queens Lounge. The Alley Cats snuck in one final performance before leaving the ship, followed by the onboard dance team with Dance Fever.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/fever.jpg

 

I’ll take my parting shot from home today. When in between travels I work with the Scout troop my fire department sponsors. I have just gotten word that one of our scouts has successfully completed the requirements for Eagle Scout. Eric, congratulations and well done.

 

Roy

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Good morning Roy!!! Coffee in hand and enjoyed your blog as always!

I have fingers crossed that Kushiro‘s weather will be good for you!

Wonderful pics of the sunrise and food choices.

Smooth Sailings Roy!!

Denise:)

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Thank you all and congratulations Denise. BTW, the carrot cake was great.

 

Day A12, Friday, October 13, 2017, Kushiro, Japan

 

The early wake up plague continues. I guess the good news is it’s still only 2 hours so perhaps it will fade now that we’re on Japan time for the next 8-10 days. I decided to go with it and took 5 laps around the lower promenade deck. As I started the lights of Nemuro, at the southeast tip of Hokkaido Island were close off the starboard stern. Conditions at this hour were chilly but calm, both sea and wind. The walk did not help me fall asleep when I returned to my cabin.

 

Sunrise was listed for 5:30AM and there was a little color in the sky but as 5:30 approached a thick fog enveloped the harbor and our last hour of travel was punctuated by regular blasts of the fog horns.

 

Someone spotted a breakwater about 6:25 and a few minutes later we passed a fog shrouded Coast Guard cutter.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/coastguard.jpg

 

The first line went out about 6:40 with all lines placed without mechanical assistance, and Security Officer Norm welcomed the Immigration officers aboard just before 7.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/arrived.jpg

 

The immigration process was slow; the first group was called to the Explorations Lounge at 7:45, at 9:30 they were half way up to my group 19. Things did pick up a bit after that and I was called at 1030 and through the process at 10:40.

 

This is my first visit to any of Japan’s smaller islands. Hokkaido is connected to Honshu now by one of the world’s longest underground rail tunnels and perhaps the most notable town is Sapporo,

 

None of the tours offered interested me so just did some walking around the compact town. The cruse port is apparently at the mouth of a small river, and the Nusami bridge a little upstream from the dock is noted for a number of statues. After crossing the bridge I walked back downstream for a good look at my side of the Amsterdam, and then tried for a little wifi. The map showed the city library but the information desk at the ship sent me to the Lifelong Learning Center, an imposing structure on a hill on the other side of the Nusami bridge.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/nusami.jpg

 

I thought I identified the library (not sure; all the building’s writing was in Japanese) but it looked deserted. I thought the information desk had said the top floor. That was an observation area with great views but no wifi.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/kushiro.jpg

 

There was a city art museum on a lower floor. I wasn’t very impressed with the (free) museum but installed some updates my laptop had been pestering me to add.

 

I walked back along the main street as far as the train station which seemed small and all the information seemed to be in Japanese characters but there was a tourist information office that presumably help getting things sorted out. There was a church next to the station.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/gracechurch.jpg

 

In my walk I did not see a single Starbucks or McDonalds but the American icon that seems everywhere in Kushiro is 7-11. I did stop in and buy a couple of bottles of Diet Coke.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/7-11.jpg

 

It was about 2:30 when I returned to the ship. There had been an abandon ship drill in the morning and some of the lifeboats were still tooling around the harbor. Going up to the lido for a late lunch I stepped out on the bow for my first real view of the Grand Asia logo painted on the front of the ship, then continued on the emergency stairs up to the deck 6 “porch”. Scrapnana, if you want to sit there on the World Cruise it would probably be worthwhile to take a folding chair.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/asialogo.jpg

 

All aboard was 4:30. A crowd on the dock was all waving orange towels as we made preparation to leave, although several of the tour buses only returned about 4:45. Once everybody was onboard the gangway was taken in very quickly and we backed out of the harbor right on time at 5:00.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/sendoff.jpg

 

It is pretty much becoming standard to have 6 of us at table 43. Tonight I chose the Cherry Soup, Chicken Tikki, and blackberry soup.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/dishes13.jpg

 

The featured entertainment was a variety show with guitarist Louis Shelton and Sonia Selbie. I dozed off after dinner, missing the 8:00 show but caught Shelton’s part of the late show.

 

Today’s parting shot will be a bit of a musing. I’ve just come off my longest run of sea days on a big cruise ship, 4850 nautical miles in 10 sea days. That set me to thinking what it might be like to sail around the world nonstop. In a way, I presume the answer is “impossible”, as a ship could never go that far without fuel and provisions, Still, on a 1998 cruise from Alexandria VA we bunkered the ship while anchored off Norfolk, and on the Northwest Passage cruise last year we brought supplies aboard on a landing craft so it might be possible if impractical. I’m thinking the minimum practical would be some “technical stops”, perhaps at industrial ports in the dead of the night for fuel and provisions. I think 10 straight days at sea has left me feeling game for that.

 

Roy

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Oh Roy, Sapporo 👍by now I’d be finding a place to get one! Maybe 7-11👍. Just kidding, 10 days at sea 🌊 your holding up well! I’d expect you’ll sleep well tonight! Scrapnana is going to have an awesome time on her cruise! Nice pic of the 2017 world cruise banner on ship. You know even though you could not find the library that is a wonderful pic from the bridge of The Amsterdam!

I am so impressed that you got your walking in! Keep it up. Now maybe you will catch up with the time change.

I wonder what the orange towels represented on your departure🤔.

Thanks you for your congrats on our anniversary!! Even then I was waiting to read your post!

Until the next post sleep well Roy and enjoy this amazing cruise!

Denise:)

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Great pic of the banner Roy. :)

 

Love the orange towels bidding you farewell.

 

Table of 6 is a nice size especially if you enjoy each other's company and conversation.

 

So happy to hear that the sea have smoothed for you.

 

You enjoy your cruise while I enjoy your posts. :D

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I enjoying your reports and photos, Roy. Do you know the significance of orange towels?

 

 

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Thank you all. Sorry, I don't know the significance of the orange towels. BTW, all available menus and When & Where should be posted on the blog.

 

Day A13, Saturday, October 14, 2017, At sea, MS Amsterdam

 

The Oosterdam is in San Diego beginning an Atlantis charter. The Prinsendam is at Rijeka.

 

I drink a lot of coffee. On Friday I had one cup first thing in the morning and everything after that it was all decaf. I don’t know if it was that or acclimating to the time changes but slept until 5 this morning with no difficulty staying asleep. I continued that this morning by getting a mug of hot water instead of coffee for my morning walk. I got up to the lido deck for coffee just at sunrise time found nearly total cloud cover, The sun did make a valiant attempt to poke through a little hole at the horizon about a half hour later.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/dawn1014.jpg

 

There hasn’t yet been a sea change in the weather but there’s a gradual shift. I did walk with both my fleece top and gortex jacket but opened up the jacket late in the walk. A sure change of changing conditions came in the last half of the walk as the stewards came around and set out the cushions on the lower promenade deck lounge chairs.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/warming.jpg

 

I had not written much Friday evening so it worked well that the only thing of interest on this morning’s program was the 9AM bible study. It had gotten warm enough that it was comfortable eating breakfast on the aft pool deck with just my fleece. We had one new couple in bible study. Their flight to San Diego was delayed and they followed us from San Diego to Dutch Harbor and finally to Tokyo and Kushiro.

 

As the morning ended temperatures had slowly risen into the 60's but the cloudiness had become a light drizzle. In his midday update Captain Eversen indicated we would pick up our pilot at 5:30 and start docking at 7:30. We will likely have periods of rain in Yokohama. We picked up a little stowaway resting midday at the bottom of the stairs from deck 7 up to the lido.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/stowaway.jpg

 

 

Saxophone virtuoso Craig Robert went into the other side of his life at 2 with a talk “The Power of Survival” on his ordeal of falling in a canyon while rock climbing and needing to hobble out of a thousand foot deep canyon on a shattered leg. The ordeal became part of a travel channel series “They Didn’t Die” and he showed the story on the screen, as well as some trailers for his appearance on American Ninja Warrior.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/dishes14.jpg

 

That was followed at 4 by Ian’s talk on our 5 remaining Japanese ports. Vert pleasant choices of peach soup, prime rib, and apple crisp. The ship fell down a bit by not updating the menu on the navigator app so my waiters gave me copies to scan. It is unsure how many of us will make dinner Sunday with late tours and an overnight in port.

 

The featured entertainment was David Meyer, an instrumentalist who plays an electronic xylophone. The instrument can be configured to produce the sounds of a variety of instruments running the gamut from grand piano to steel drums and Meyer played a correspondingly varied repertoire.

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/meyer.jpg

 

Today’s parting shot will be a wish for relief from the California fires.

 

Roy

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Glad you slept well finally!! Your dinner looked good. Weather changing for you!!

Thank you for asking about our fires.’our daughter went to Sonoma State and she still has a lot of her friends up there saying the smoke is so bad with breathing and very hazy!! So hope relief comes soon and the winds die down!

Until your next blog keep enjoying the 🚢 cruise!!

Take care Roy!

Denise:)

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