Wednesday, October 16, 2013

South by Southwest in the South Pacific

And so our journey across the South Pacific has resumed. Moorea, where we spent our Sunday, was  the last land we will see until we reach New Zealand mid-morning on Saturday.

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We sailed some 2,500 miles from Hawaii to French Polynesia on a body of water that at times reached a depth of 14,500-feet.  We have nearly the same distance to travel to reach New Zealand.  Then another two days at sea to reach Sydney, Australia.

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Although we knew the Pacific Ocean is the world’s largest, covering some 46% of the earth’s surface, we had no idea just how immensity of this body of water. There has been no other marine traffic along our route. A bird or two flew past as we neared Tahiti, we saw another some 400 miles from Moorea.

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We saw a fishing boat some distance from Tahiti but no others before or after that lone ship. Television and internet signals sometimes weak, other times none existent.

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The weather patterns have changed daily.  During the early part of our journey we were buffeted by gusty winds (the Captain called them ‘moderate’ but they blew sandals away from lounge chairs when sunning on the deck).  Yesterday, a sunny warm day, brought the calmest seas we’ve experienced and today the heavy clouds and strong winds have returned. We lean into the wind to walk on the deck in the photo above. 
Our 122,000-ton Celebrity Solstice ship at times lurches and groans against  the wind and waves. (For those of you who think you have a distain for large ships, let me tell you that in the midst of the Pacific and up against the forces of nature, they don’t seem so large at all.)

Perhaps Somerset Maugham, said it best in his “Moon and Sixpence” novel based on the life of Paul Gauguin, when he wrote,

“The Pacific is more desolate than other seas; its spaces seem more vast, and the most ordinary journey upon it has the feeling of adventure.”
“The air you breathe is an elixir which prepares you for the unexpected.”

That’s it for Travel Photo Thursday this week!

9 comments:

  1. What an adventure, and I'm sure you do often feel small and insignificant on this large body of water with all its vagaries and swinging moods. Love love love the quote by Somerset Maugham. Funny, I was reading some of his short stories last night ;)

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  2. Glad that you're having fun! That is indeed an immense expanse of open water. I've been wondering if they have different entertainment and shows each day or do they have to repeat since the cruise is so long? I would get so much reading done on a cruise like this. Good thing for Kindles so you don't have to weigh your luggage down too much with books.

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  3. We travel a lot and love river cruises. However, I could never, never get my hubby onto a large cruise ship!
    Enjoyed reading you post !!

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  4. What a amazing trip and adventure this must be. Thank you for taking us along. Those skys are so beautiful. Travel safe.
    We have been away too for 6 weeks, but on dry land. It is good to catch up again with Travel Photo Thursday.

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  5. What a great way to get a sense of how big our world really is. Air travel makes the world seem smaller but on a boat, time slows down. I can't imagine being lost at sea on a small craft! Have a wonderful holiday.

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  6. On large, open seas like the Pacific, I'm sure ships and everything seem small. What an adventure, though, Jackie! I'm glad to hear about and see it through your eyes.
    Oh, I didn't realize Carnival sailed to NZ.

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  7. I liked the part where you mentioned how small the ship can seem. It always gives me pause for thought thinking about that part that the ocean beneath you was 14,000 feet deep. I'm glad you guys are having a good time, Jackie! :)

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  8. Wow, that's a lot of ocean! Happy travelling to you...

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