Day #3 New Guinea Adventure

At Sea

Today is a sea day, that means no landfall but lots of onboard activities to keep us all busy. Unfortunately we are still in the Coral Sea and there is a bit of a swell so Kelly is still not well, despite taking sea sickness tablets.

I’m feeling okay so I’ve decided to be good and start off with a stretching class with Dianne, the ships masseur, at 07:30 on Deck 6. The weather is pretty unsettled at the moment and there are lots of rain clouds about but about ten of us, a couple of guys included, make the best of it.

One of the many Boobies following the ship

After that it’s down to the Delphinus Outdoor Café for breakfast and there is a great spread waiting for me. There’s a chef with a small two burner grill making fresh omelettes or eggs as you like them. There’s a buffet with fresh fruit, yogurt, muesli etc and a hot buffet with scrambled eggs, bacon, sausages etc.
I go with a omelette and in no time, Emil, one of the Orion waiters, has brought me a coffee to have with my breakfast. Before I finish up, I ask Donny, another waiter, if they have Gluten free bread and amazingly they do so I ask him to make me some Gluten free toast that I can take back to Kelly.

There are a couple of lectures happening today, the first is at 09:00 and it’s a presentation by the Expedition Team of an overview of the expeditions we will be going on during the trip. Mick Fogg, the expedition team leader, takes us through all of the amazing places we are going to visit and the various options we have in regard to each location.

This is the first trip we’ve been with Mick and from the start it looks like he’s full of passion and enthusiasm for the places we are going to see.

After that it’s Justin Friend’s turn. Now we met and travelled with Justin on our first Orion Expedition cruise from Singapore to Ho Chi Minh City in October 2009 and it’s great to have him back on this cruise. Justin is the Expedition Program Manager and he develops and manages the expedition destinations. He tends to work out of Sydney now but he’s onboard because the second leg of our cruise is termed a “Voyage of Discovery” as it’s the first time the ship has been to these destinations. Justin has scouted them out but that’s about it.

Justin’s presentation gives us a great background into the History and Culture of Papua New Guinea and what a history it’s been and what a state it’s in now.

Justin giving his presentation

By this time it’s lunch and I’m about to head back to the Delphinus café for more food!  But before I go I spend a bit of time on the deck overlooking the bow watching the Boobies wheeling above and around the ship. They are swooping down on flying fish leaping out of the water as the Orion glides by.

Booby in flight

Boobies are large birds with long pointed wings and long bills. They hunt fish by diving from a height into the sea and pursuing their prey underwater. You can read more about them at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Booby (If anyone can identify these actual Boobies can you let me know and I'll update the description)

After lunch there’s the Zodiac and Snorkel briefing where the expedition team brief those who haven’t travelled on Orion before and hand out the snorkelling gear. As we’ve both been on the Zodiacs before and we have our own gear with us we don’t need to attend.

As I don’t have to attend I’ve booked a massage with Di and I head up to deck 6 where she’s got her small office. Once I’m on the table Di asks me how I’m feeling and if I want a relaxing or remedial massage. I make the mistake of telling her my right shoulder has been a bit achy!

For the next hour Di goes to town on me, oh my god, she is a very strong girl. About quarter way into the session I tell her the only other person that inflicts as much pain on me is my trainer. Di asks me who that is and I tell her Phil Cunningham. Well can you believe it,  Di and Phil know each other, turns out that Di is from Rozelle and she use to be at Balmain Fitness when it first opened.

The funny thing is that knowing I was training with Phil she seemed to want to inflict more pain, must have been a competitive thing!

So after an hour I’m feeling muscles I never knew I had and I’m hurting in lots of places. Di cheerfully tells me I’ll feel great tomorrow and asks if I want to book another session. I tell her I’ll let her know and escape down to my cabin.

Poor old Kelly’s still not feeling too good so she can’t join me in the Cosmos lecture theatre for Nick Rains lecture introducing us to the fundamental controls of your digital camera. Even though it’s basic stuff I still learn new things about how the camera works and Nick is more than willing to answer dumb questions!

After the lecture I return to the cabin and Kelly isn’t getting any better so finally I get her to agree to see doctor Anna. Anna comes in and gives Kelly a whacking big injection into the muscle of her arm. About 30 seconds later a smile comes over Kelly’s face for the first time in days and she mumbles something about feeling sooo good and drifts off into sleep.

I leave her sleeping peacefully and head out to the welcome reception in the Leda Lounge and then down to the Constellation Lounge for dinner.

Hopefully we will be out of the Coral Sea later this evening and into the shallower waters around Papua New Guinea.

Tony Redhead

93 Maud Street, Unley, SA, 5061, Australia