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Ocean Ocean Everywhere

2000 km from the nearest land as we sail eastward

semi-overcast 22 °C

Monday – Thursday April 24 - 28th – At Sea & Lima Peru
We are back at sea after a frustrating day of watching and waiting for the seas to subside so that we could get off the ship at Easter Island one of the key destinations in this voyage across the South Pacific. However, it was not to be and now we are pressing on in a north easterly direction towards our ultimate destination of Lima, Peru.

Sea days are a popular topic of discussion among seasoned cruisers and the opinions are as varied as the passengers on board. There are the usual voices at either end of the spectrum – I hate them or I love them – but most of us as usual fall somewhere in between. I have noticed that those who seem to have a need to be continually entertained tend to avoid cruises with lots of sea days. Those of us who are more inclined to entertain ourselves seem a bit less inclined to avoid cruises that contain more sea days.

A typical week long Caribbean cruise may have three or four sea days spread across the week as the ship transits the more distant passages. Transatlantic crossings will generally have five sea days in a row. Mediterranean cruises tend to have fewer sea days due to the close proximity of the ports.

Due to our aborted 2-day stop in Easter Island this trip will have the longest run of sea days we have ever had in our few years of cruising. We will end out with ten straight days at sea without a landing.

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Wake of our ship sailing ever eastward

Our gang of eight are all fairly seasoned cruisers and all appear to be quite self-sufficient at keeping themselves entertained. Michael & Mercedes are continuing their Bridge classes; Sherry & Kent the same. David and Hazel are catching up on their reading, editing their hundreds of pictures as well as building the blog. Roy is out around the ship making friends as well as reading and Sue is reading and taking another cooking class. Of course we are all attending a number of the various enrichment lectures in the main theater with each of our group having their own particular favourites.

Meals are also a very social time and it is not unusual to spend two hours at dinner chatting. We have had a number of evenings where we all sit together as a group of eight although a group that large is frequently a challenge to seat together so we often eat as two groups of four. We have tried most of the specialty restaurants two or three times and we are unanimous that they all are great with each of us having their own favourites. The main Grand Dining Room is a lovely elegant room with a great menu too. For breakfast and lunch we all seem to prefer the Terrace Grill which is a buffet style and has a marvelous selection. Although it is a buffet Oceania Cruise Lines still has staff serving all food. I suspect it is an effort to stop the spread of the various ailments that can spread throughout a cruise ship at lightning speed. They also have hand sanitizer dispensers at every turn.

By Tuesday the day after day of grey showery weather, the strong winds and the choppy rolling seas is wearing thin on pretty well everyone and we are all looking forward to seeing the port of Lima, Peru on Wednesday. We were not scheduled to arrive until Thursday but with our two -day visit to Easter Island cancelled and with a medical “urgency” on board the Captain has elected to arrive in Lima a day early rather than slowing down and spending an extra day at sea. Everyone appears just as happy to be heading for land. Had the weather been better people might have felt differently.

Wednesday morning arrived with a grey overcast sky and a light mist. Just as we settled into our eggs Benedict a dark shadow loomed off our bow and very quickly a large point of land towered up alongside our ship. Because of the fog and haze we were fairly close to shore before we all realized it. The seas had calmed considerably over night and we slowly slipped into the harbour at Lima, Peru.

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Uninhabited Island looming in the mist just off the coast of Lima, Peru

Lima is a large commercial harbour with lots of boat traffic and gantry cranes moving cargo on and off ships large and small. Once settled alongside our pier the pace on board ship picked up considerably. As soon as the ship was secured and Peruvian port authorities had cleared our ship’s papers we begin disgorging passengers off the ship from the stairway on Deck 5 and onto the waiting tour busses that were waiting at dock side.

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Tug boat assisting our ship to her berth

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Lima’s busy commercial harbour

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More of Lima’s busy commercial harbour

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More of Lima’s busy commercial harbour

As usual the ship had organized many tours to a variety of local destinations. In addition, due to us arriving a day early the ship has arranged to have free shuttle busses at the pier to transport any of us to Miraflores a more central area of Lima that has many points of interest. Most of our group elected to take the shuttle and explore the Miraflores area more. None of us went on the organized tours as we have already booked tours for tomorrow. For those who elected to stay on the ship there were a small number of local craftsmen who had set up shop on the pier.

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Tour buses lined up waiting for us to board for tours around Lima

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Local craftsmen selling their goods

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Local craftsmen selling their goods

On this entire 18 day voyage we have only tied up at dockside in one other small port so our stop in Lima is an opportunity for the ship to refuel and add supplies. The supplies were all stored in five giant shipping containers the size of a typical large transport trailer. Shortly after landing the fork lifts are busy running in and out of the containers with skids of supplies. The skids were loaded into a large loading door in the side of our ship and are then picked up by the fork lifts inside the ship and taken to the appropriate storage area in the ship's holds.

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Shipping containers filled with supplies for our ship’s next voyage

After ten straight days on a rolling sea most of us were glad to set foot on terra firma even if it was only for half an hour to check out the local craft vendors booths on the dock. However many folks were caught by surprise as the rocking did not stop once they stepped ashore. Anyone who has been at sea for a few days often notices the rocking motion often continues for a day or more after going ashore.

Tomorrow we are off the ship to explore Lima.

Posted by DavidandHazel 14:49 Archived in Peru

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