Monday, 29 February 2016 – 2630 steps
6:30 to 8:30am Breakfast
8:30 Tamure Sunrise around the Pool
10:30 Itinerary and Excursions in the Marquesas
11:30am Workshop on making Tahitian raw fish
12:00 or 12:30 Lunch
2pm Coconut palm weaving
2:30 Lecture “Te Ao Marama” with PARIENTE Tahiarii
6pm Introduction of the Captain and his crew & Fashion Show of items from the gift shop
7:30 and 8pm Dinner
9:00 Tahiti and the Marquesas – previous passenger on-board’s documentary from 2009.
I had adjusted the time on my watch and so I was certain to not repeat the mistake of the previous morning by getting up too early. I let myself sleep in until 8am with just enough time to enjoy a good breakfast in the dining room. Being that it was a day at sea, it wasn’t going to be too strenuous or overwhelming. The only thing that Kirsten had to deal with however was the ongoing motion sickness. The Gravol was helping a little bit but I think by today she was wishing that she had just visited the nurse on the first day to get a seasickness patch.
It was a great day to find a quiet spot on the outside deck to read a book around the pool. The warmth of the sun coming through an overcast sky. In the morning we just lazed around the lounge, pool and in our own room.
At 10:30 we headed to the conference room for the English summary of the following day’s activities. Steven, who was the bartender on our Aranui cruise 7 years earlier, was now a guide on-board the ship in his 12th year with the Aranui. He gave an overview of the following days activities which are to include an overland trip of Nuku Hiva. Following the presentation Kirsten and I sat around and chatted with him for a half hour as he remembered us coming many years earlier with our 5 children.
We both elected to forgo the Tahitian raw fish making demonstration for some book reading time before our noontime lunch. We had lost track of time however and had to show up for the second seating of lunch instead of at our scheduled time.
In the afternoon, there were at least 50 people wanting to take in the Coconut Palms weaving activity. Passengers gathered around the pool deck and were placed in groups of 4 each with a long palm leaf stretched across their laps. The young tour leaders in charge of the activity showed the group how to weave the palm leaves into a tightly woven decoration as the locals of the islands frequently do. I was impressed with how well we all did in the end.
Afterwards, I had time to use the extremely slow internet connection to send a few emails and text messages back and forth with work using skype. It took longer than normal to work my way through emails but, I was supposed to be on holidays anyways.
Our lecturer gave another presentation in English at 2:30 in the afternoon which I arrived a bit late for but it was a leisure day and I wasn’t in any hurry to be anywhere or to have a schedule of any type.
The big event of the day was after sunset at 6pm around the swimming pool. It was the introduction of the Captain and his crew. Almost everyone on the ship’s crew and staff were introduced and recognized in front of all of the staff with only a small handful missing such and the ship’s second in command who had to take over the navigation of the Aranui 5. The reception staff, housekeeping, guides, nurse, doctor, servers, plumber, electricians, freight hands, mechanics and captain all had a chance to be introduced. It was incredible to see that 90 percent of the Aranui crew were born or from one of the many islands of French Polynesia. I had a discussion with a fellow passenger about the crew. Unlike other cruise lines in Tahiti that mostly use Filipino or other crew, the Aranui crew members are from these islands, which adds a unique component to the overall experience on the voyage.
The evening meal came soon enough and we were pleasantly surprised to have a Marquesian Happy Anniversary song with a drummer and ukulele singer. The two Marquesian activity directors on the ship came to our table and sang to the couple beside us who were celebrating their 45th wedding anniversary. It was a great Polynesian touch to the end of our third day on-board the Aranui 5.