Day #14 New Guinea Adventure

Rabaul, Papua New Guinea

This is a little bit like being Bill Murray in the movie Groundhog Day because today was what yesterday was supposed to be. This morning was a bit of a sleep in so I didn't get to see the sunset, but I did get up on deck before breakfast and took this shot looking across toward Tavaurea Volcano.

Looking toward Tavaurea Volcano

Map of the region showing our heading -  Google map link

So once again we say our farewells as our shipmates once again prepare to head out but this time we are pretty sure they won’t be coming back and a new ship load of passengers will be more that happy to come aboard.

In the meantime, while all of the ship preparation for the new passengers is underway, Kelly and I prepare to photograph a number of cabins for the Orion 1 Virtual Tour presented on the Orion website. It’s pretty much going to take us all the time up to the arrival of the new passenger to get all of the shots done that we need to so it’s a case of heads down, bums up for us.

Around about 1pm the mini buses with the new passengers start arriving at the dock and Kelly and I finish the last of the cabins, pack up all our gear and head up to deck 6 to check out the new arrivals.

As I mentioned yesterday there are 8 of us continuing on from the first leg and we know that two of our friends, Sharyn and Gary, who were on our first Orion cruise, the Gulf of Siam, are amongst the new guests. It’s also going to be a full ship and not an empty cabin or bed to be had.

It’s a hectic time for the crew settling everyone in to their cabins and finalising the provisions but finally we hoist anchor and head out of Simpson Harbour toward a day at sea and our next destination Wewak, near the border with the Indonesian controlled, West Papua.

To welcome the new passengers there’s the traditional “Sail Away Celebration” on deck 6, where we enjoy champagne and finger food while renew old acquaintances and start making new ones.
Yours truly on deck with his new 50-500mm lens

Sailing out of Rabaul we get a chance to catch up with Sharyn, who’s busy taking pictures of everyone, so we turned the tables on her and got one of her.

Then there’s John and Mandy, they are two of the eight passengers carrying on from the first tour.
John and Mandy

We also met this sociable bunch from up Minyama way in Queensland. Two couples Muriel and Neil and Joanne and Max.
Murial, Joanne, Max and Neil

After we’d left the harbour and started sailing West up the coast afternoon tea was served followed by the mandatory lifeboat drill. To finish the day Tracy Griener, the Orion hotel manager introduced Orion to those of us unfamiliar with her and the staff responsible for making our expedition comfortable and enjoyable.

Just after the briefing and before dinner there was the opportunity to stroll around the ship and get some shots of the sunset. The first is from the rear deck in the Delphinus lounge, the second is of the moon just after it had appeared and the third is panorama shot with a fisheye from the forward area of deck 6.
Heading into the sunset

The moon

Sunset panorama from the forward deck of Orion