Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Lazy Day, Cruising Sunday 8th February.

Late start to the day due to lack of sleep AGAIN. But it was ok as we are cruising all day. The weather is absolutely gorgeous not a cloud in the sky and the ocean is as flat as a pancake. I went up to the parents retreat (place you go that has no kids) and layed on a nice comfy day bed and was able to have as much NZ ice-cream as I wanted. It was wonderful I even managed to finish a book I had started. All in all a great day. Tomorrow is Tauranga

Home of the “Cake Tin” – Wellington, Saturday 7th February, 2009

Welcome to Wellington the capital of NZ. Today is another beautiful day and we are taking the city tour. We took a cable car ride then went out to Mt Victoria for beautiful 360 degree views of this pretty city. As we were going through the city we noticed a lot of people in costumes and as the day wore on more and more people were wearing costumes. We did not quite understand why till some one said that the Rugby 7's was on and the Kiwi's were playing that afternoon in the stadium that was right next to the Ship. The stadium is nick-named "the Cake Tin" for obvious reasons – it looks like a cake tin – lol. It was a fantastic site to behold. There were people everywhere and in such high spirits. Mind you a lot of people did not quite make it to the stadium but they seemed perfectly happy just wondering the streets going from pub to pub. Poor Kiwi's lost in the final seconds to the Pommie's . Tomorrow is a cruise day as we travel up to Tauranga.

Arrived in Christchurch today and for some weird reason I thought it would be great if we went horse riding WHAT WAS I THINKING when I booked that tour. The stomach started churning as we approached our horses nooooooo Jen not a good idea. Ok just get on the damn thing and smile smile smile. Ok so far so good we are on the horse AND we have made it out of the gate. We travel down this gravel path with tree's along both sides so my horse decides it time for a snack so out of order we go and head for the nearest tree " Jenny pull the rein to the right and give him a little dig in the sides" yeah right easier said than done. Quite frankly if Noble wants to eat let him I say but alas he is not suppose to so eventually we get back in line only to have the little bugger go to the other side and start munching so we start the process all over again. Finally we continue along our merry way to the river bank. The water is sooooo beautiful the river is called "Waimakiriri" it comes down from the mountains and is that green/bluey colour. We start riding along the riverbank and dear old Noble's eye start twitching to the left oh great whats up this time. On the river bank is a big orange kite and low and behold the horses have not seen one before so this makes Noble a bit nervous. The guide asked the guys if they could leave it on the ground whilst the horses are close but that is not good enough for dear old Noble. He decides he wants to put a bit of distance between him and the kite so he starts to prance around and carry on I scream or swear very loudly can't quite remember but I just pulled on those reins till he stood still. GET ME OFF THIS MANIAC HORSE. We manage to get back to the stables without further incident I was just relieved to be off the wretched thing lol. Our next adventure was jet boating WOW what a scream that was. We could'nt believe how shallow the water was in some places I mean I am talking about a couple of inches if that. The weather was fantastic and riding in the jet boat was the perfect ending to an interesting day. We actually did not get a chance to see the actual city of Christchurch today so we will just have to come back again. Our "poltergeist" is still banging around so sleeping is hit and miss some nights. The maintenance people keep trying to sort out the problem so hopefully the banging will finally cease. On to Wellington







We arrived in Dunedin about 8am and no expense was spared on the weather. What a glorious day. This is the first day since we left that we have touched land. Ed went on his Speights Beer Tour and I went out to the Otago Peninsular to see seals and penguins. We arrived at Natures Wonders Naturally which is set high on a hill over looking the ocean with gorgeous views N,S,E &W. We got our special jackets on then jumped in the 8 wheeled quads and set out to see the seals. OH DAMN did not quite understand about driving in the Argo's I thought just a nice little drive around the property stopping to see the sites BUT NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO that was not the case we drive uphill and down dale over things underthings we spun round in circles I HATE 4 X 4 driving so you can imagine my horror at 8 X 8 driving and the more I cringed and squealed and swore as we bounced over obstacles the more our driver enjoyed my dismay (bastard lol) but the sight of seeing the seal colony made up for everything. It was one of the most amazing sites so of course my camera went beserk I am sure I had one seal doing posers for me (lol) next stop after going up what I felt was the equivalent of that street in San Francisco that goes up down up down then up up up then down down down was Penguin Beach and low and behind there was one tiny penguin all by himself thank god for zoom lenses. Back to the ship we went and arrived at the same times as Ed's beer tour. Good grief maybe sending him on a beer tour by himself was not the best idea lol but he enjoyed it and that is what this holiday is all about. Ed is still plodding along with his roulette strategy and I am plodding along with my feeding of the poker machines lol. Next stop is Christchurch.


DUNEDIN




have to go sightseeing will put up some more soon.

Holy crap what happen to the weather it is absolutely freezing this morning. AAAAHHHHHH but what a morning. Today we officially started our tour of NZ. We arrived at Milford Sound about 7ish the wind was blowing a gale and it was a wind that just chilled you to the bone. But the views of Milford were so worth it. What a gorgeous place. Once we entered the sound the wind died down and not a ripple on the water could be seen. The only thing to be heard was the low rumbling of the ships engine. I can only imagine what a spectacular sight the Pacific Sun made travelling up Milford Sound. The sun came up over the mountain and it turned into a glorious day, chilly but gorgeous. In Milford we had to enter and exit talk about turning the ship on a postage stamp that was highly impressive onya Captain Philpot. Once we exited Milford we went seaward again for a bit then into Thompson Sound. Thompson Sound lead into Doubtful Harbour which in turn took us seaward again then we entered Dusky Sound in the afternoon. We sailed through Dusky Sound and by early evening continued our journey onwards to Dunedin.


MILFORD SOUND



There’s a chill in the air – Tuesday 3rd February, 2009

Ah the shorts are being replaced by jeans and jumpers. we are getting close and of course the weather has turned to crap. We did the same thing today as we did yesterday so no use repeating it. I will say that I am surprised at the number of frail looking elderly people that are on board. This is just #NOF city waiting to occur. I do like having all the oldies around it makes me feel young mind you I am huffing and puffing like most of them I am sometimes tempted to pinch their oxygen. Yeah yeah my fault and I know what I have to do. Tonight was a right disaster with the sleeping arrangements it felt like we had a poltergeist somewhere near us as all I could hear was doors slamming and then at some stage during the night it felt like a coal train was passing beneath us the noise was so loud I tried to whinge to Ed but of course after 8 beers he was'nt real interested so I decided to go to the pursers desk and try and see if we could get transferred to another room as the boat is not at full capacity. Alas no joy there ship might not be at capacity but the rooms where all taken with a lot of individual travelers don't these people realize I need my beauty sleep I mean A LOT of beauty sleep. The night manager even sent a little Indian man down with me to our cabin so that he could try and hear the noises. That's great me bringing home a strange man to our cabin and whispering to him not to stand on my husband who was sleeping on a mattress on the floor (that's another story) yeah lot of good that did. finally got off the sleep about 4am which was really 1am Brisbane time only to be woken at 6am which was 3am Brisbane time because we were about to enter Milford Sound. Ah but that story is tomorrow.

Paddling Across The South Pacific Monday 2nd February, 2009

Day 2 finds us a bit overcast with a slight chill in the air. Yet another late start to the day we seemed to have found our pattern. We mossied around the ship, had a chat with Ugly Dave Gray, did our quiz sat about and read sent an email mind you it cost me $13 just to do that as the internet is via Satellite. Thought about everyone back home and hoping everything is ok. Hope you girls are behaving yourselves with Lisa. Ed continues to gamble on roulette and winning I continue to gamble on the pokies and losing. Ed bought me a gold (not real gold) charm bracelet watch that I absolutely love now I just have to talk him into the matching necklace. We go each day up to the duty free shop and pick a new perfume and cologne to try for the evening – yeah I know rather pathetic but hey we smell good. I wander through the art gallery admiring some rather beautiful pieces I am hoping that Ed will say how about we get that Nechita (she is the modern day Picasso and is extremely famous) but I won't hold my breath. I am working my way through the cocktail list and having regular Nana naps in the afternoon. Unfortunately sleeping at night has become a big problem for me and it does not help by having dinner at 830pm. Each night they take an hour off us so that we gradually swap to NZ time. More tomorrow

A New Day Dawns Sunday 1st February 2009

No early start today. So much for promises of getting up at dawn and doing everything. It went "whats the time" "0640" "too early" "ok" "whats the time "0930" "damn better get out" and so the day began. We had a nice big cooked breakfast then went off to the quiz. We found some quiz partners 2 older couples and did fairly well we organized to meet for the afternoon quiz and that was the start of our daily routine. After quiz it was time to hit the decks and take advantage of the nice weather so we slipped slopped slapped and went and found a couple of deck chairs and settled in for a nice snooze in the sun. Oh dear someone did'nt quite slip slop slap properly and ended up with sunburnt upper legs (yes me). Tonight is formal night so out came the tummy,butt,thigh, waist, hip tuck in torture suit. Let me tell you never try and squeeze your body into lycra with sunburnt legs. It is not an experience one wants to go through too often. After another wonderful dinner it was entertainment time and tonight it was none other than "Ugly Dave Gray" he was quite funny and has not really changed too much over the years. After that it was time to GET THIS BODY OUT OF THE LYRCA. Once I was rid of the wretched lycra it was back to the casino to be once again entranced by the colours, bells, and that ever elusive 15 free games call of the poker machine. Eddie went and tried his luck with his "special" roulette strategy – which is actually working very nicely for him. Unfortunately my strategy of crossing my fingers and talking to the machine did not work and I lost another $10. Oh well better luck next time.

Today's the day today's the day. All aboard the Pacific Sun for a 14 day cruise to the land of the "long white cloud" – New Zealand. Wonderful mummy dropped us off at the port of Brisbane where we boarded the revamped Pacific Sun. I love the thrill of embarking on a journey everything is so wonderful and exciting. Once we boarded we could'nt wait to find our cabin. Because we booked a special kind of cabin they did not give us a room number so we had to wait till we boarded. I was hoping that we would get upgraded to a really nice cabin but as we headed down level after level I knew we were'nt going to get the luxurious first class cabin and as we headed to the front of the boat my hopes soared again when it appear that maybe we would be getting an outside cabin with a window - Nope no window. When we found our cabin right up the front of the boat we were actually quite surprised the cabin space was bigger than all the previous cruises we had been on. Granted there was still the bunk beds but we were use to that. So all in all it was a very comfortable cabin and it would do nicely as our home for the next 2 weeks.. Back up top it was time for the drinking to begin and wait for the tell tale sound of the horn that would tell us that it was time to leave the Port and sail away. Looking around at all the people on the boat I began to notice a common theme, wheel chairs and oxygen tanks holy cow it looked like all the retirement villages in Brisbane had converged on the Pacific Sun for their annual holiday. It was quite good actually because I felt young and a live and did not have to spend the whole holiday staring at all those young chicks with their perky boobs and gorgeous figures the bummer part was that there was no real eye candy-oh well. Finally after an hours delay the horn sounded and the last rope was cast off and we were underway. Ok now what to do we have said good-bye to Brisbane and we were headed for Caloundra were we would say goodbye to our "pilot" then we turned east then south and headed for New Zealand we would be at sea till Wednesday morning when we cruised through Milford Sound. Back on deck the sail away party was in full swing. By now we'd had a few drinks and I was starting to feel the "rhythm of the beat" it was Congo Line time. "Here Ed hold my drink I'ma gunna Congo" da da da da daaaaaa DA da da da da daaaaaaaa DA.. That was fun and low and behold I managed to get myself on video doing a very bad congo dance. We went to dinner and met our dining companions for the next 2 week and low and behold one couple came from our suburb AND knew someone I worked with who would of figured. As usual dinner was absolutely superb. After dinner we went to the Casino and Ed started playing roulette with his specially design strategy. Me I just headed off to feed the pokies. After finishing at the casino we settled in bed and lights out I close my eyes only to have them forced open with and almighty BANG. Holy shit what was that did we hit a whale or something is this going to be a replay of the Titanic if so were the hell is Leo to rescue me instead of snoring Ed. Then again BANG oh no it was no whale. It was the waves hitting against the bow of the boat oh DAMN was'nt this going to be fun. When the waves were crashing against the bow you could hear the water lapping against the boat it sounded like it was right underneath us. Thank goodness for the sway of the ship it was liked being rocked in a cradle and soon the waves were a distant sound and the excitement of the day faded away as sleep became my new best friend.