Back at Sea, and Fanboy time

There was a long sail to our next destination at the top of New Guinea, so one more whole day at sea. DISAPPOINTED!

The expedition crew had laid on a couple of lectures, and from past experience, and lack of other options I attended. What a treat the first one was as the speaker was hilariously funny, extremely informative, and encyclopedically knowledgeable about the subject. “Naturalists in the Age of Discovery. Brilliant, Brave and Bonkers” I was hooked and laughed my way through the whole hour.

The ship’s Capitan was next, and this is when I realized my entire life, and all the travel I’ve done is just a whiff of smoke. This 46 year old man was the ice pilot aboard the research vessel looking for the Endeavour, Ernest Shakleton’s doomed ship. Lost in Antarctica in 1914 and only found this year by the second expedition, Capitan Freddie Ligthelm had everyone in the audience captivated and awestruck (me) by these exploits.

The morning flew away and in the afternoon the movie made by the history channel was shown. IT WAS RIVETING.

I learned at least two things from the day.

  1. You never know what is coming next, so no point being disappointed.


The Explorer Lounge is a place for presentations, lectures and video screenings.
Silver Explorer

A Warm Welcome, and Everyone’s Curious

After finally being able to get off the ship for a few hours it was quite frustrating to have to get back on board. Dinner calmed us down and we sailed overnight to Den Weg Islands. These islands are known for their ancient rock art and many of the drawings are only visible by zodiac.

We were taken through the bay to the site, and after viewing and photographing the truly wonderful site, we were brought to a small village to be exhibited. I mean to tour around.

The whole community was there and everyone was taking everyone else’s photos. Blonde women especially were constantly being asked to have their photo’s taken and one poor woman couldn’t move for all the smiling people around her.

After the entire group of 110 was offloaded we were paraded through the village with drummers and dancers leading the way. It was a motley procession of people wobbling on their sealers, a million underfoot kids and a whole bunch of motor scooters inching along. It was quite surreal.


These villagers had not seen any tourists for over three years and we were quite the curiosity. There was a tour through the caves Japanese soldiers had carved during the war to a central square where an incomprehensible speech was followed by dancing and food, and rain. The heat was in the 30’s and humidity was at about 2 million percent prior to the rain and I was soaked through, so it took a couple of minutes to realize I was getting wet. It was a pleasant relief on the way back to the boats, and as we were loading the children of the village sang the Indonesian national anthem to us before we sped away.

I left wondering who had seen the most new sights, us . . . or them. It really didn’t matter because everyone had fun.

Land Ho


I have become exceptionally spoiled. I was on this same ship in April, and quite a few of the crew recognized me. The service here is simply outstanding and the staff are making this trip despite the slow start.

The food.  Oh my.  It took me two months to get over the last trip, and like a true professional I am right back where I left off. I hope we get started with the swimming soon.

Today we are at Triton Bay on the island of New Guinea. The bay is full of Karst Islands. These islands come straight up out of the water rising hundreds of meters in the air with riot of vegetation growing straight out of the rock. Think James Bond movies and you get the picture. There is so much to see driving through this bay and the naturalists of the trip are busy explaining about all the flora and birds.

We have time for a dip in the ocean and the water is so clear and so warm that the slow start of a couple of days ago is quickly forgotten.

A Long Voyage


Australia is a very long way away from Calgary. Big news I know, but until you have been 15 hours in the air you don’t really get it. This is the start of a trip around New Guinea on an expedition ship that will take us to some of the most inaccessible places on the planet. Snorkeling is the big attraction but seeing this part of the world has been high on my wish list for a long long time.

A few days in Sydney to get our feet on the ground and do the touristy stuff in the city before a flight to Darwin. We will have some more time in Sydney on the way back.

Darwin, and our group has gathered for the cruise. We wander around the city and for me the big attraction is the amount of Aboriginal art available. There are galleries and museums everywhere and the quality of the work is really very good. It doesn’t hurt that they are air conditioned and it is 37 outside and this Canadian is melting. A couple of hours in the galleries and it is time to board the Silversea’s Silver Explorer ship for the start of the cruise.


Starclippers Tall Ship Sailing (Barbados – Caribbean Islands)

There is something enchanting about being on a Tall ship and watching the sails go up under the moonlight to beautiful music!  Starclippers gives people the opportunity to spend lots of time in various ports for on-shore experiences as well as offering some unique things to do on board!  Climb the mast for a birds eye view or hang out on the “bowsprit” – the netting at the bow of the ship – to watch the Ocean below!  This trip is casual and yet still first class food and accommodation – an absolute blast of a good time for friends and family. Kathy took a group of 24 on the Barbados – Caribbean Islands sailing and each person had a magical time on-board and we are already planning their next adventure.