It was the normal sea day. Arthur had another session of Rappin’ with the Rabbi; the entertainment tonight was comedienne Rita Rudner; and tonight’s pillow gifts were leather passport holders.
We crossed the Dateline at 11 tonight, so we have lost a day and when we wake up, it will be Saturday. It gets very confusing.
Jan 31 – Approaching Tonga
It’s Saturday according to the rugs in the elevators, but the NY Times is dated Friday. It will be better eventually, but right now it takes some adjusting.
Today was another sea day as we approached Tonga. We were due to dock here Monday, but we were re-routed because of the swells at Rarotonga and the storm approaching Alofi. By law, the whole island shuts down on Sunday, so we had to dock before then. The only spot available was not going to be available until 7 tonight as we waited for another ship to vacate the dock. Around 5 tonight, the captain advised us that we would be even later, docking around 8 pm just as we started dinner. We have been playing tag with the Oceania Marina and had to wait for it to dock first. The logistics must drive the captains crazy.
Once the ship was cleared, a group of local singers and dancers began to perform native dances on the pier right by the ship. We were able to watch from the wrap-around deck outside our room before going to dinner at 8. Because of the late arrival, anyone who had hoped to go ashore had to do so in the dark. We had thought about taking a quick look but changed our minds with the new schedule. Dinner tonight was with the Starrs and Shopshires to celebrate the Shopshire’s noniversary. That’s not a typo – their anniversary is the 30th which we sort of glossed over.
After dinner, we all walked off the ship to explore the little stalls the locals had erected in hopes of capturing our attention and dollars. Note that this marked the purchase of mask #1, handmade and even dated and signed by the woodworker herself. It looked even better when we got back and into good light. As crowded as the “mask wall” is, there probably won’t be any [well, too many] more. As MA said, we didn’t have any from the South Pacific; now we do.
TOMORROW -- A really quiet day in Tonga