Arabian (Sea) Nights (and Days): at sea, 24th-28th March 2020

At dawn on Tuesday 24th March we were fairly close-in to Cape Comorin, the southern tip of India, before heading out to pass through the Nine Degree Channel in Lakshadweep; we passed just north of the island of Minicoy around midnight. I knew Lakshadweep as the Laccadive Islands, but apparently that is strictly the name … Continue reading Arabian (Sea) Nights (and Days): at sea, 24th-28th March 2020

Sri Lankan Pit Stop: Colombo harbour, Sri Lanka, Monday 23rd March 2020

We were due alongside at Colombo at five, or at least that is what the captain had told us in the previous day’s noon announcement. At six, a pilot boat came out to meet us, still 5 km from shore and flying the yellow quarantine flag. The ship promptly turned round once the pilot was … Continue reading Sri Lankan Pit Stop: Colombo harbour, Sri Lanka, Monday 23rd March 2020

Bay of Dolphins: at sea (Phuket to Colombo), 19th-22nd March 2020

We remained at anchor just outside the territorial waters of Thailand for the morning of Thursday 19th March to carry out what was euphemistically described as ‘removal of sludge’. Once the poor sludge barge had departed, we lifted the anchor just after mid-day, and set sail for Colombo in Sri Lanka. It was stiflingly hot … Continue reading Bay of Dolphins: at sea (Phuket to Colombo), 19th-22nd March 2020

Succumbing to the Inevitable: at sea (Java to Phuket), 14th-18th March 2020

I awoke at six on Saturday 14th March. We were still berthed in Samarang. There was a message on my phone from Dolphin Dave, who had been on our South America cruise last year: “Looks like you are heading back … plenty of days seawatching.” I checked the CMV website and there was an announcement, … Continue reading Succumbing to the Inevitable: at sea (Java to Phuket), 14th-18th March 2020

Sightseeing with Police Escort: Samarang, Java, Friday 13th March 2020

We were due alongside at Semarang at 06:00, but we head already been told the night before that we would be anchoring offshore to allow health officials on board, and that everyone would need to be tested before we would be allowed ashore. The process took much longer than on previous occasions. We were called … Continue reading Sightseeing with Police Escort: Samarang, Java, Friday 13th March 2020

East of Java (so Nowhere Near Krakatoa): at sea, Thursday 12th March 2020

Krakatoa is one of the iconic names from my youth, reading about the largest explosion of living memory when the volcano erupted in 1883, destroying the entire volcano and most of the island. More recently, Anak Krakatoa (‘child of Krakatoa’), the new volcano that began to rise from the sea in 1930, has been in … Continue reading East of Java (so Nowhere Near Krakatoa): at sea, Thursday 12th March 2020

East of Wallace’s Line: Lombok, Indonesia, Tuesday 10th March 2020

When our itinerary was initially changed to include Indonesia, then Java and Bali were obviously famous islands that everyone knew, but Lombok rang a bell as well. Why did that name sound so familiar? I was reminded by Michael, one half of our new Aussie couple on table 217 (well, Ann-Margaret is actually Swedish, but … Continue reading East of Wallace’s Line: Lombok, Indonesia, Tuesday 10th March 2020

Living Up to Expectation?: Bali, Indonesia, Monday 9th March 2020

We were greeted by Balinese men in masks this morning. They were not performing traditional Balinese dance, however, always performed wearing a mask which has all sorts of meaning for the initiated. The men were wearing facemasks against potential infection, and they were wielding thermometers which were pressed against our foreheads to record fever. We … Continue reading Living Up to Expectation?: Bali, Indonesia, Monday 9th March 2020