Day 007: Coral Sea & Java Sea (Tropics) | West By Sea
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Day 007: Coral Sea & Java Sea (Tropics)

Posted by on 2013/05/26
Day 007: At Sea
Position: S 9º 29.61′  E 133º 37.33′
Weather: waves 2 meters, 27ºC with some rain
Last Port: Brisbane, Australia
Next Port: Singapore
Status: Underway heading 279º at 19kts

From the Navigator:

Throughout the day the ship will maintain a West North Westerly course passing North of the Gulf of Carpentaria proceeding through the Arafura Sea on our way towards East Timor. The Arafura Sea separates the Northern Coast of Australia and Indonesia.

It was Sunday and we slept in. At a late morning breakfast we met Jerry, a Director with the Palm Beach chapter of the Navy League.  We then attended the port brief for Singapore. The speaker went through almost 400 photos and we think it would take one or two weeks to do everything in this small island city.

(Audio of brief – long version)

We had a nice late lunch with Cornelius and Joyce. He was born in Rotterdam and she in Jakarta. He came to this part of the world with an import-export company. She is the 5th generation of Dutch in Indonesia. She told us of living a very good and quiet life until the Japanese invasion during World War II and her time in a concentration camp as a small girl. During that time there was no school and she missed many years, forced to make up the education as a young adult. It didn’t stop her from eventually becoming a teacher, a job we could tell she loved. Like Frank and Linda a couple days ago, their common culture eventually brought them together. Cornelius will celebrate his 90th birthday on board in a couple weeks.

We picked up Australian coins to use in the on-board laundry machines, then headed to the cabin to do some journaling and take a siesta.  Ed once again went on a quest for a quiet spot, hoping to find it in the forward mess deck. It was not to be: crewmember Danny from the Philippines wanted to talk about Apple and the Mac: he’s a huge Mac fan. Ed then continued on to another of the passenger lounges only to find it filled with a “Married for 50 or more years” celebration. As yet unqualified to join in, he did have an interesting discussion with Roy who was there waiting for his wife. The topic of cancer came up and Ed talked about Michelle’s experimental proton radiation treatment, long used for treating prostate cancer. Roy shared he was a survivor and had taken steps 20 years ago to form a support group when cancer was a much more terrible word and information was very scarce. His haphazard network of support groups has grown over the years into a robust multi-city network. On behalf of all men everywhere Ed thanked him for starting the conversation and bringing the conversation into the mainstream.

Ed returned to the aft lounge, still trying to find a quiet spot. Armando is the head waiter in the lounge and brought over a very nice spiced rum and coke with a lime. Giving up for the day on writing but several stories richer, the mixed drink was exactly what was needed to ease a rather slow Sunday to a close.

We have picked up a tendency to angle left when meeting other pedestrians. The Australians drive on the left and pass starboard to starboard for most passing situations not involving a motor boat.

At dinner we dressed up a bit to end the week. Our table mates Karen and Roger from Hawaii planned to celebrate their anniversary on the 27th but somehow the ship missed the memo and brought over a small celebratory cake with lit candle (an open flame being a very rare sight at sea). They kindly shared a small slice of the delicious ganache with each member of the table.

To finish the night we attended an entertaining performance by comedy singer ____. The fact and fiction in her story about being twice divorced became quite hard to untangle but she was able to hold it all together. Even tall tales have their place at sea. Perhaps those tales are in the best place when they’re at sea?

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